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Boosting Decentralization on Cardano

Jun 30, 2022

At the moment of publishing this article, there are 3178 Cardano nodes constantly propagating new blocks and hence — new transactions on the Cardano chain. This number continues to grow, making Cardano one of the most decentralized networks out there today and looking at the current trend — also in the future.

There is however, a dire issue with regards to Cardano nodes, or validators — that the Blueshift team decided to address: the majority of the current Cardano nodes have extremely low saturation. This means that they either rarely produce blocks or do not produce blocks at all. Since block production determines rewards for the operator and the stakers — that makes these pools not feasible to operate cost-wise. The even larger issue is that when these starting pools are still in their ‘low saturation phase’ it does not pay off to stake in these pools.

This issue cannot be solved by one team, and we seek to unite the Cardano community to solve this very serious problem.

Most nodes that are not able to operate at a sustainable cost level are shut down sooner or later.

Consequently, if the Cardano community does not somehow find a way to support these so-called micro Stake Pool Operators(mSPOs) — Cardano will be facing a much less decentralized future with only large organizations’ multi-pools and high-profile individuals’ nodes being able to survive long-term.

The Solution for the Issue at hand

There are a few things the Cardano community can do to support the degree of decentralization and thus — the Cardano ecosystem at large.

Firstly, delegating to microSPOs is one of the easiest and best ways to support them directly, thereby strengthening the decentralization factor of Cardano. In other words, it is the act of delegation that keeps them ‘alive and rolling’.

Secondly, we can promote micro SPOs that are performing a very important function in the Cardano community and broader society. Examples include SPOs that educate people on Cardano, provide in-depth insights on the technology, contribute to charity purposes, or pursue and promote the broader vision of a decentralized financial system.

Other ways to achieve a higher level of decentralization are closely related to the vectors mentioned above.

For example, Cardano Twitter users can tweet once a week about a different mSPO and the benefits of delegating to them. This would of course fall under the ‘theme’ of promoting mSPOs.

Another approach is to move $ADA from centralized exchange accounts onto on-chain wallets staked to an mSPO. The same applies to moving $ADA from a multi-pool to the pool of an mSPO. Both would fall under the ‘delegating to microSPO’ vector proposed previously.

Regardless of these actions being a derivation of the act of staking to mSPOs, it is still worth mentioning these excellent ways to boost decentralization on Cardano.

The Blueshift mSPO Campaign

To champion both paths towards a `healthier` chain — Blueshift has launched the “microSPO delegation Campaign” during which approximately once a month 150 thousand $ADA are delegated to a microSPO. The staked $ADA will remain in those pools for 3 months after which two thirds — 100 thousand ADA, will be moved into a new micro stakepool.

We call on other projects to do the same.

The team decided the first delegation to go to Carpool SP, a microSPO dedicated to educating anyone willing to listen and learn more about Cardano.

Together with the announcement of the first delegation, we also asked the Blueshift community to suggest which pool we should delegate to in the next ‘round’.

The pools and the reasons to delegate to a specific microSPO poured in from Cardano community members. The following is a list of all SPOs suggested by the community along with a short description of their goals:

GROW +100% pool profits go to save children’s lives
SMAUG Founder of
POWER World mobile supporting pool
247 Cardano ecosystem contributor
CLIMA Helping communities tackle environmental threats and thrive in the face of climate change
HERO Donates to First Responders
RETRO Donating to the fight against cancer
STOIC 0% fee and 100% solar energy
LSSP Cardano ecosystem contributor
SOLPI Fighting climate change & 100% renewable
HEDGE Cardano ecosystem contributor
APEX Cardano enthusiast & solutions architect
LHS Fighting malnutrition and drilling wells in Malawi
BIO Donating 50% of the pool’s income to charities

With so many different suggestions and great Stake Pool Operators, the Blueshift team felt they could not make a fair choice themselves. That is why four Stake Pools were selected randomly and a poll was created on Twitter whereby the final decision was left to the Cardano community.

The four Stake Pools that were selected randomly for the poll were: LHS, BIO, APEX and HEDGE.

Lighthouse Stake Pool (LHS) won with the great majority of votes. Not only that but the secondary goal of this ‘competition’ was also achieved! Lighthouse Stake Pool received additional delegations from the great exposure created by the Blueshift Twitter poll.

One might think that the last poll win should come as no surprise considering how impactful LHS is, however, the clear win was partially achieved due to the actions of Bio pool supporters. Bio pool supporters teamed up to support the LHS pool which is significantly smaller than Bio pool, yet still doing amazing things that deserve all the support on its journey to becoming a fully saturated pool.

Due to the valuable community-backed support provided by the Bio pool, the Blueshift team decided to give the amazing Bio pool another chance to win a 150k $ADA delegation!

That is why the Bio pool will again be a candidate in a poll contest! Other three pools that will compete with Bio pool will be the top three most liked pools posted in the comments of the Twitter post. The Twitter post in question will be the one announcing the release of this article.

Stay tuned on Twitter to find out more about the delegations coming up next!

Both new and old ‘modes’ of selection will be utilized in upcoming delegations. The current Blueshift pool allocated for microSPOs will allow for three more delegations. This might change and additional delegations might take place as Blueshift moves forward as a project. To be more precise, as Blueshift reaches higher and higher ADA TVL goals — more and more important Cardano mSPOs will receive the delegations.

In other words, when Blueshift users provide liquidity via the DEX — they are automatically also assisting the decentralization of Cardano.

Societal impact

Considering that globally 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked and 1.1 billion adults are unable to prove their identity, more democratic financial systems are required that empower individuals to become legitimate actors. That is why Blueshift`s ambition is to create easily accessible, well-balanced, and organically growing portfolios that help expand more democratic and decentralized financial systems.

To succeed in our goal, we also must ensure that the decentralized platforms we build on remain as decentralized as possible — which is exactly the goal of this campaign.

Likewise, Blueshift aims to support amazing Stake Pool operators such as Lighthouse pool which make the world a better place. One well at a time.

For many individuals outside the crypto space it is difficult to understand what is being achieved through advanced digital technology, however, it is only a matter of time before the societal impact of individual-centric blockchains like Cardano become visible to the mainstream in all its glory.

When the societal impact of the Cardano community, and the crypto community at large, becomes unavoidable to witness — the growth and force behind all these altruistic activities will increase exponentially.

We can dream big, but we also must dedicate ourselves to these goals. Blueshift leads with example by deciding to stake the provided ADA liquidity via the Blueshift DEX — to the most valuable SPOs that need the delegation. By doing so we are ensuring a more decentralized and better future of Cardano.