A Spotlight on Stake Pools: STAT

05 June 2024 • News & Updates
Denicio Bute
Community Content Lead

An interview with stake pool operator, co-founder, and lead developer of the AdaStat Cardano explorer and its associated API.

Each installment of the series “A Spotlight on Stake Pools” delves into the motivations, missions, and unique contributions of stake pool operators (SPOs). By highlighting the diverse individuals and teams behind stake pools, the Cardano Foundation hopes to not just showcase the critical role of these core network participants but, in fact, emphasize the significance of decentralization in Cardano's architecture. The series also underlines the network's commitment to open-source development, as well as to empowering stakeholders and building a blockchain designed for long-term impact and equitable opportunity.

Our last installment featured the ZW3RK stake pool, managed by Moritz. His extensive background in systems engineering and work with the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC) project bring unique value to the Cardano ecosystem by advancing the development of this widely used, open-source compiler for the Haskell programming language. The Foundation encourages the community to learn more about Moritz and his contributions to the ecosystem in the detailed ZWERK blog post.

We now turn to the STAT stake pool, operated by Dmytro Stashenko. In addition to operating STAT, Stashenko is the Co-Founder and Lead Developer of the AdaStat Cardano Explorer and its associated API. Notably, AdaStat’s implementation of SPO poll stats into its platform has been instrumental in supporting the Cardano community by improving transparency and encouraging productive dialogue. Beyond these endeavors, Stashenko has also developed open-source PostgreSQL plugins to support the Blake2b hash function and Ed25519 elliptic curve signing algorithm, which Cardano utilizes behind the scenes.

Why did you become a stake pool operator?

It's a very interesting question. The irony is that this happened due to the postponement of the Shelley era to a later date. I first heard about Cardano in 2017, when I was studying various crypto projects with the investing purpose. I watched a few videos by Charlie Hoskinson, and found them fascinating. I felt an interest to learn more about Cardano. So I read the white paper, got acquainted with the roadmap, and studied the research papers. The project seemed quite reliable to me, and I decided to invest some of my savings in it. At that time, of course I didn't think about a pool at all. And if Shelley had been deployed in 2018, as originally planned, I'm pretty sure STAT would never have appeared. However, Shelley's deployment was delayed, and in fact this gave me enough time to study the technical part of the Cardano project thoroughly. Thus, by the time Shelley Testnet was launched in 2019, I was already a Cardano Ambassador, I was engaged in translating articles about Cardano and I became a moderator in a few Telegram Cardano channels. In addition, I took an active part in testing the public testnet, and was a member of several closed groups for early testing in private testnets. All this predetermined my decision to become a stake pool operator

What is the mission of your stake pool?

First, it's about decentralization and security. In the exciting Cardano world, stake pools are at the core of Ouroboros, Cardano's proof-of-stake protocol. More independent pools means more security and higher decentralization of the Cardano blockchain.
Second, as you mentioned earlier, I am not only a pool operator, I am also a Co-founder and Lead Developer of AdaStat Explorer. Thus, the rewards from the STAT pool allows me to sustain and improve the AdaStat website as well as the Telegram bot.

Can you give us a brief history of your stake pool?

The AdaStat Pool was launched at the beginning of Shelley Incentivized Testnet (ITN), when the Cardano community was testing the transition from the Byron era to Shelley. In the epoch 208, when Shelley was deployed on the mainnet, the pool STAT was also launched on the mainnet on 30 July 2021. It made its first block on 18 August 2020, in epoch 211—the first epoch community pools started making blocks. Since then it has been creating blocks every epoch. It reached 1,000 blocks on 2 February 2021 with 279 delegators, and 10,000 blocks on 25 August 2023 with more than 5,800 delegators with 63,6M total stake.

How did the Cardano Foundation delegation impact your stake pool operation?

Well, there are at least two aspects here—motivational and material. If we talk about the motivational aspect, being shortlisted by the Cardano Foundation delegation for "outstanding contribution" makes me feel satisfied with what I am doing and encourages me to continue contributing to the Cardano ecosystem. As for the second aspect, the financial side of the question, since AdaStat provides data completely free of charge and does not have any advertising, the rewards from the Cardano Foundation delegation allow me to pay for hosting and network infrastructure, so this is really very helpful.

Did the Cardano Foundation delegation enable you to build or improve tools, projects, or open source repositories?

Definitely yes! Besides my main contribution—the AdaStat.net Visual Cardano Blockchain Explorer as well as the API website—I have also developed a couple of open source PostgreSQL plugins to support Blake2b hash function and Ed25519 elliptic curve signing algorithm, which Cardano uses under the hood. In general, since the Cardano Foundation delegation permits the continuous operation of the pool, this allows me to focus on development and spend more time and resources on contributing to the Cardano ecosystem rather than on marketing.

How would you summarize your contributions to the Cardano ecosystem?

I am a Cardano Ambassador (translator role), the Lead Developer of the AdaStat Explorer, as well as the Telegram Reward notifications bot, developer of several open source extensions, and contributor to some community projects like:

I am also the Moderator of two Russian-speak Cardano Telegram groups:

Are you currently building something that you would like to share?

Oh, yes, we have a lot planned ahead. This applies both to updating existing features and adding new ones. Firstly, our team plans to add support to AdaStat for both Preprod and Preview testnets. Secondly, as I said a little early, we are going to make the AdaStat open source, so everyone can run their own copy of the AdaStat Cardano explorer. Thirdly, the Cardano network is currently preparing for the transition to the Voltaire era, and our team is also going to implement support for CIP-1694 on AdaStat. We are planning to implement support for Governance actions, DReps, votes and everything else that will appear in the Voltaire era. The plans are grandiose, and we hope they all will be implemented smoothly and without delay.

Stay up-to-date on STAT’s activities by following @ada_stat on X (formerly known as Twitter) or visiting the pool website.

The Cardano Foundation encourages all operators to complete the SPO notification form to receive updates on the latest operator tools, new delegation rounds, on-chain governance, and related information.

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