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Cardano SPO Column #067: Vasil [VASIL]

This piece was published July 10th, 2022 on The Cryptonomist.

This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a stake pool run by the family of Vasil St Dabov, with the goal of continuing his important work which was cut short by his untimely death: Vasil [VASIL].

Last week’s guest was a stake pool operated by a software engineer from the US, who’s working on several projects within the Cardano ecosystem.

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, thank you kindly for your time. Please tell us Vasil’s story, his background and his interests. Tell us also something about your family.

Vasil Stoyanov Dabov lived in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He was a mathematician who created one of the first private businesses in the IT sector in Bulgaria after the fall of the communist regime. Vasil’s interests spanned not just IT and the future of technology, but also the evolution of human consciousness and the health of our planet. He was a student of Dzogchen under the late Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and one of the earliest yoga practitioners in Bulgaria.

Vasil’s passion for Ginkgo Biloba and other endangered tree species was unparalleled. In his lifetime, he single-handedly planted more than 10,000 trees. He viewed trees as permanent land installations. When asked why he stopped counting exactly how many trees he planted, he responded:

“After I had planted a few thousand trees, I realized that instead of spending time counting how many trees I had planted, I could use the same time to plant more trees”.

Vasil passed away in his apartment in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on December 3, 2021 after a long combat with pulmonary embolism. We, his son and daughter, are continuing his legacy and the work that he was unable to finish due to his sudden passing. Our backgrounds combine blockchain technology and the arts, and we are now also caretakers of the thousands of trees that he left behind.

What’s the path that led Vasil and your family to Cardano? What did Vasil envision for the future of this ecosystem?

Vasil was incredibly passionate about blockchain technology, trees, and the evolution of consciousness on this planet. He saw blockchains as a technological dimension of collective consciousness. In his mind they serve as global, public infrastructure, which should keep track of all shared resources on this planet, including natural ones.

Vasil was a prominent Cardano Ambassador and believed that Cardano is the leader of third generation blockchains, especially ones based on the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. In Vasil’s view, Cardano and Ginkgo trees share the characteristics of longevity, resilience and an enormous potential to contribute to the health of the planet.

Cardano’s upcoming upgrade was named after Vasil. How was this received by your family and, without the need to get too technical, what does the Vasil hard fork entail?

We are honoured to have Vasil commemorated as part of blockchain history (in particular Proof-of-Stake). Vasil would be very proud of this accomplishment as he cared deeply for how blockchain technology can improve life on this planet.

The Vasil hardfork features a number of network improvements, which are meant to make the network simultaneously more robust and more efficient. You can watch this video for a high-level summary.

What would you like to achieve with this stake pool? There’s mention of NFTs for delegators on your website, please tell us more.

Part of Vasil’s vision was always to create a publicly accessible Ginkgo forest in Bulgaria as well as eventually in other places throughout the world. The Ginkgo forest in Bulgaria will ensure the longevity of the Ginkgo trees Vasil planted in his lifetime and will contribute to the preservation of this important but endangered species.

We inherited the execution of this vision as part of Vasil’s legacy. The VASIL staking pool has always been and continues to be a vehicle for this. We allocate all funds generated by the pool (after the cost of operation is covered) to the fulfilment of this vision, making use of any relevant blockchain technology. For example, we are airdropping NFTs proportionate to the size of delegation to every delegator. You can read more about this airdrop/collection here.

We plan to leverage NFTs, smart contracts, and other blockchain tools in far more complex ways in the future. This is just the beginning.

Amazing. Any final thoughts? Where can people stay in touch?

Blockchain technology and staking pools in general are still very much in their early days. Everyone participating in them is a pioneer in creating a better future for the generations to follow.

Staking pools are perfect vehicles for enacting initiatives which benefit the entire planet and all living organisms on it.

Delegate your tokens to a pool with a mission and a team who will execute it!

Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Telegram. Visit Vasil’s legacy website.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG.

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Patryk | Cardano SPO/NFT Column

Patryk | Cardano SPO/NFT Column

Ambassador for Bio Pool | Writer and Translator for The Cryptonomist | Watch “Dominion (2018)” on YouTube