Cardano SPO Column #031: Stake for Nature [ST4NA]
This piece was published October 30th, 2021 on The Cryptonomist
This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a stake pool which donates 50% of the pool income to organizations dedicated to helping this planet: animals, plants and entire ecosystems: Stake for Nature [ST4NA].
Last week’s guest was a stake pool rewarding its delegators with WMT, while also donating 50% of margin fees to Save The Children.
This initiative is a point of reference for everything Cardano and every week or two we will invite a Stake Pool Operator (SPO) to answer some questions and give us an update directly from within the Cardano community.
Considering that many of our readers are new to the crypto space, we will have a mix of simple and technical questions.
Hey, glad to have you here. Please introduce yourselves, where are you based and what are your backgrounds?
Hello everyone, I am excited to be here and talk to you.
I am Esther, and together with my husband Juan Carlos, we run the Cardano stake pool. I am a primary school teacher, and he is a railway engineer. From the start, the most important thing to us has been to combine our two passions, technology — nature. Our personal and work experiences have led us to where we are now, where this new, rewarding, and exciting project begins.
We are from Madrid in Spain, but we love traveling to get to know different cultures and meet new friends. It is an enriching experience. That is why we have lived and worked in many places around the world since 2009. Currently, we are in Australia.
Why Cardano? How did you discover this blockchain project and what has stood out for you?
Cryptocurrency’s potential has always interested us, although we had never invested in any of them. One day my husband came across an article about PoS (Proof of Stake) and compared it to PoW. He immediately started looking for more information on this new validation method and came across Cardano.
It was like a crush; we were reading many of the papers and watching all the YouTube videos for weeks where Charles Hoskinson explained his vision. During that period, we did not talk about anything other than Cardano. We imagined the potential it would have in the future in many areas that we cannot even imagine now.
We didn’t hesitate to set up our stake pool and use the rewards to help the environmental organizations we have been helping in the past. Our vision was clear, we would have the possibility to use a developing technology and learn while the ecosystem itself was developing.
Even though we are a young stake pool (we started in June of this year), we have had an excellent progression. People (delegators) and other stake pools have aligned with our objectives and have supported us from the beginning.
Your stake pool has been chosen by IOG and Cardano Foundation for the delegation program. Can you tell us more about this?
The Cardano ecosystem has three major entities behind it: Cardano Foundation, EMURGO, and IOHK.
IOG (formerly IOHK) is a technology and engineering company that builds cryptocurrencies and blockchains for academic institutions, enterprises, and government entities. They have numerous projects, one of which consists in delegating a proportion of its corporate ADA holdings to help bootstrap Cardano SPOs.
This time has been their third round. They usually support geographically distributed lower-middle-sized small pools to help balance the network, mission-driven operators, pools creating content or driving social awareness. To date, around 300 pools have received an IOG delegation of 3M ADA each.
Cardano Foundation is an independent Swiss foundation. Its job is to ensure that the Cardano blockchain achieves sufficient decentralization, increase stake pool operator engagement, empower individual stake pools, and support the staking and delegation infrastructure delivered through each era.
Their delegation preferences and methodology has been carefully designed to support the ongoing decentralization mainnet, by involving new individual stake pools. They also support stake pools of all sizes and regularly engage with their SPO community through their Community Management team.
You’re part of the Climate Carbon Neutral group. What is its role and how does it help the environment?
One of the things that most attracted us to Cardano is the low environmental impact of its technology. When we started our stake pool, we contacted Mat (operator of ECO pool) to join the pool and fight for the same goals: to reduce our ecological footprint and to help environmental organizations in the fight against climate change.
We overachieved the requirements that the group asked for. One of these requirements is to operate the server infrastructure in a climate-neutral way and rely on 100% renewable energy. Currently, our servers are powered by ecological energy that electricity companies offer in Australia. They are slightly more expensive, but it is an essential requirement to use clean energy in our home. We also have a small solar panel installation.
The other requirement to be part of the Climate Carbon Neutral group is to use part of the pool operator fees to donate to climate protection activities or compensation measures. Basically, this last requirement was our goal when we created our stake pool, to donate 50% of our profits to environmental organizations to fight against climate change, particularly the disappearance of endangered species and deforestation, among others.
Climate Carbon Neutral has been actively involved in an initiative to donate ADA to plant trees worldwide. This initiative is called Veritree ITO.
We recently covered the Veritree ITO, can you tell us more about this venture? How will it all work?
Veritree ITO is a fantastic initiative that was announced at the last Cardano Summit. Basically, it is a collaboration between the Cardano Foundation, Veritree and the participation of the Climate Carbon Neutral group to support the goal of planting one million trees for the Cardano Forest.
Our group estimated how many trees would be needed to cancel out the environmental impact generated by the nodes and concluded that 218,000 trees would need to be planted to offset the equivalent CO2 emissions of this equipment on the environment. As of the date of this article, donations exceed 340,000 trees.
We have also joined this initiative and have donated the full rewards of our first block along with the proceeds of a charity auction of NFTs.
This initiative has had great acceptance, and we believe that more initiatives of this type are necessary. From Stake for Nature, we know that many stake pool operators are reluctant to make donations due to the high tax rate they must pay in their respective countries.
There are very few environmental organizations that accept cryptocurrencies as a method of donation today. We want to call on the NGOs to open the door to accept donations in ADA, this way, we believe this will lead to a substantial income stream, and stake holders will have an easier process to make these donations.
Thank you kindly for your time. Any final comments? Where can people find you?
Thanks to you for giving us this opportunity to talk about our project.
We are very involved in educating the community, and we are continuously creating educational content and addressing concerns on Facebook. We see that there is still a lot of lack of awareness in social media about cryptocurrencies, especially Cardano. We think that each SPO should contribute their knowledge to educate the community.
We believe passionately that a better world is possible, and that people can discover the answers to our environmental issues. Using Cardano’s decentralized financial system, we obtain funding to support environmental organizations in their fight. With your support by staking, we will participate in the battle to reverse the steep decline in our planet’s health, while you earn a passive income without losing any of your ADA.
Stake with Us, Stake for Nature.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOHK.