Cardano SPO Column #041: CO2-Pool [CO2P]
This piece was published January 9th, 2022 on The Cryptonomist
This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a mission-driven stake pool that donates a portion of pool rewards to climate action initiatives: CO2-Pool [CO2P].
Last week’s guest was a stake pool operated by two environmental activists who want to change the world for the better.
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.
Hi, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Tell us something about you, where are you based and what is your background?
Hi, my name is Stefan. I am 52 years old and I am an environmental engineer. I live in Germany and I run CO2POOL together with my son Elias. He is 18 and a FridaysForFuture activist.
We started CO2POOL in summer 2020, at the beginning of Shelley Mainnet. As we are both concerned about climate change, our goal is to connect Cardano blockchain with climate activists. We donate parts of our pool owner rewards for climate action projects such as GreenForestFund, TreesForLife or Veritree, and apart from donation, we put a lot of work into our projects to make Cardano a climate-neutral blockchain.
What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
I’ve been interested in blockchain since 2018. And as I am interested in technology in general, I tried to run a Bitcoin node on a Raspberry Pi first. Not to make any money, but only to learn about it and be part of a far bigger network.
But that wasn’t easy to do, and I learned about the computational power needed and the high power consumption of Bitcoin in general. I informed myself about other blockchain technologies and alternatives to the Proof of Work concept, and I found Cardano in early 2019.
Cardano convinced me because of its clear roadmap and the scientifical background. For me it was really clear that Cardano will develop well in the next years, so I bought some ADA and read articles about Cardano regularly. In summer 2020, I asked my son if he would be interested in running a Stakepool together with me on the new Shelley Mainnet.
Because of my job I am short of time and I knew that it wouldn’t be possible for me alone to do this. My son agreed, and he had the idea to donate parts of our block rewards to climate action, so we founded CO2POOL. My son is interested in computer science too, so he learned a lot about Linux servers, about blockchain and how to run a Stakepool. He now uses this knowledge also in school.
What does it mean to be a mission-driven stake pool? And please describe why you have chosen your particular mission.
As we started at the end of July 2020, we’ve been one of the first mission driven pools. There have been only a handful of them, dedicated to special purposes. I think CO2POOL has been the first pool with a mission to fight climate change and to donate to such initiatives.
After some weeks on the Shelley Mainnet, it was very clear that it would be hard to survive as a small Stakepool. The total number of stakepools was growing, and there were already some multi-pools from Youtubers and influencers, who attracted a lot of stake. So we decided to join alliances like the Cardano Single Pool Alliance, which we joined from the very beginning, and we created our own alliances and published a list of Charity pools on Adafolio, where we list all pools donating part of their rewards. We found it necessary and important to increase visibility of small pools like ours.
In spring 2021, we founded the Climate-Neutral Cardano group with 19 members. One of our biggest successes was the involvement with the Cardano Foundation and Veritree Collaboration to create a CardanoForest of 1 Million trees. We worked together with CF and Veritree over a couple of weeks to realise this project, and we are very proud about the donations for 541,000 trees which already have been made. CO2POOL alone was able to contribute 3,100 trees for Veritree, in addition to our own small Cardano Grove in Scotland that we already started in March 2021.
You’ve recently put forward a Project Catalyst proposal: “A world map of green Cardano”. Can you tell us more about it?
Thanks for the question. CO2POOL provided the initial calculation for the Veritree project, how many trees will be needed to offset CO2 emissions of Stakepools on the Cardano blockchain. It’s great to offset stakepool related CO2 emissions, but it’s far better to reduce these emissions.
So the goal of our Catalyst proposal is to invite Pool operators to use renewable energy for their stakepools. We would like to support this by making ‘green’ stakepools visible for environmental-friendly delegators. If we could provide a world map where delegators could easily see which stakepools run on green energy, it may help them to decide where to stake and support a climate-neutral Cardano blockchain.
We know it isn’t possible to always choose the energy supplier (in Germany it’s easy, in other countries it may not), so we will also make visible pools which offset their emissions by tree planting and other initiatives, and we would like to list offset projects of stakepools as well as the broader Cardano community.
So we really hope we could create a world map of green Cardano and hopefully we will see it becoming greener every epoch, until our goal of a climate neutral Cardano blockchain is finally reached. Here is our full proposal.
Amazing. Any final remarks? Where can people stay in touch?
We are very proud to be a part of the Cardano community and to support the network with our stakepool, our ideas and initiatives. But we are still a small pool with only about 120 delegators. Our biggest delegator is a whale of the Cardano Foundation, but it will leave us in January. It’s always very important for us to get new delegators and to increase our pool’s stake.
Every new delegator is welcome, and we always plant at least 5 trees for each new delegator and send them Veritree tokens and our own CO2Token.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOHK.