Cardano SPO Column #060: CarPool [VROOM]
This piece was published May 21st, 2022 on The Cryptonomist.
This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a stake pool working to educate and introduce people from their local and global community to Cardano, support select non-profits, and to help small businesses strategize and plan for blockchain adoption: CarPool [VROOM].
Last week’s guest was a stake pool with the aim to educate, and make people feel safe and secure when staking, with the end goal of donating 30% of all profits to charity.
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, thanks for your time. Tell us something about yourself, where are you based and what is your background?
My name is Fletcher, currently I am based out of the pacific northwest of the United States. My approach to most things in life is a balance of reason and intuition. I love to contemplate timeless mysteries, explore ideas and conceptions thoroughly and enjoy deep conversations. Hearing and attempting to understand various perspectives is important to me.
My professional life is a bit multi-faceted with over 17 years of experience in the healthcare field including, advanced clinical experience and knowledge of systems and project management.
What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
Like so many others, I’d read about Bitcoin in 2010 and felt that it was profoundly important stuff but had no idea how or what I could do to be part of it at that time. A few years ago I was carpooling with some healthcare workers and one of them mentioned cryptocurrency.
She shared her personal experience as someone who had emigrated to the United States, and how crypto had empowered her and her family abroad in numerous deeply personal ways, from assisting with medical bills of a loved one to putting her and some family through school. That was my moment of conversion, and I began consuming everything I could get my hands on about crypto.
With a background in healthcare it was a pretty quick progression to finding Cardano. I was delighted to discover scientific rigor, peer review, and tokenomics that make sense to me from a long-term sustainability perspective. The system is equitable and treats every entity who participates with inherent worth and value, it is highly inclusive, and from my perspective it has tremendous potential to impact human behavior and the course of our development as a human race in restorative ways.
I wanted to contribute more and one of the ways that made sense to me at the time was to begin operating CarPool. The name stemmed from that powerful moment while carpooling with my colleagues. The term embodied my sentiment, that we’re in this together and I want to pick up more friends along the way.
Given your background in healthcare, can you share your thoughts about the integration of blockchain technology in medicine? What benefits would it bring?
The integration of blockchain technology into healthcare holds so much amazing potential. As many are probably aware it is not a new idea for healthcare. When I first researched it about 2 years ago I was really surprised; the healthcare industry had begun exploring the technology and its use cases many years ago. The healthcare industry is moving away from fee for service care and progressively toward a value-based approach to care; and one of the core strategies to accomplish this is an increased investment in digital infrastructure.
Blockchain can help reduce costs, make many processes more efficient, improve the patient experience — especially in the transfer of care from one or more disciplines or care providers, and better protect patient data. Something I am particularly excited about is the ability for people to monetize their health data in research using blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Certain forms of cryptography such as zero knowledge proofs are an example of how people could make selective health data available to a research company while maintaining anonymity and privacy. Access to wide-spread, real-time biometric health data could rapidly springboard forward areas of the health sciences.
Progress feels slow to me, but I understand it is an enormous lift and will require a collective effort. Most of the development I currently see is for private permissioned blockchains. I understand the justifications for that approach and design. I believe Hydra, the layer 2 scaling solution for Cardano, will open new doors for the industry to start making substantial progress. Of course, I am biased.
How would you explain Project Catalyst to people outside the Cardano ecosystem? And what kind of proposals have you been working on?
Much of the terminology in cryptocurrency is new to people outside of the Cardano ecosystem, so usually I like to ask questions first to get an idea for a helpful way to relate ideas. I have described Catalyst to people outside the Cardano ecosystem somewhat like a grant program. The decisions to fund or not to fund a grant proposal are made by the community instead of an elected board of directors or committee, etc.
It is a community owned and governed treasury that funds development and growth of the ecosystem. Catalyst is progressively moving through experimental stages furthering innovation while also helping to develop and improve decentralized governance and/or voting systems.
I just recently participated in my first Catalyst cycle with Fund 8. I submitted the CarPool Education & Onboarding System proposal. Working with a small team, we are building a live interactive learning platform designed to reach new and inexperienced people who are outside the crypto space. We have designed a curriculum that guides people through a deep understanding of the technology and its implications, manages expectations, and emphasizes security. The learning platform comes with incentives for participation and brings new and well-informed people into the ecosystem and space.
The proposal received amazing support from within the community. There were many amazing proposals in the same category as ours. Unfortunately, there were not enough funds remaining to fund our proposal in this round. In spite of this, it meant a lot to me that we received community approval if there had been enough funding remaining. Our timeline may slow down a little bit and our projected start date may push back, but we are still making progress and feel really excited.
Fantastic! Anything to add? Where can you be contacted?
Our webpage will be a great way to find access to the learning platform, see our work with nonprofits, and other community partners. I’ll share our link with the caveat that at the time of writing this it is under a lot of development so best to bookmark it for a return visit. The website can be found here.
Right now, the primary way to stay apprised of development and updates with CarPool is to follow us on Twitter and reach out with questions or conversation. Thank you.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG.