APEX stake pool received both IOG and Cardano Foundation delegations and I am extremely proud and happy about it. It feels like what I did this year has more meaning.
Running the stake pool gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about Cardano. And being active on Telegram and Discord, I discovered that many people have Cardano or linux related questions that I can easily answer. And I started to help other people with their issues running Cardano nodes or stake pools, and I’ve been doing this a lot in the last months. I was hoping to receive the previous round of IOG delegations, but I was not lucky enough. When I heard that this round one of the important criteria will be the community contributions, I registered for it and I started to hope again. And many people told me that they recommended me because I helped them with technical issues, or because they noticed I am helping other people. And a few days ago, on 12th of October 2021, just before epoch 295 ended, I was one of the lucky ones receiving the IOG delegation.
I cannot tell how much this meant to me. I was struggling in the past months to attract delegators, and except for a random delegator with over 100k ADA that came and left quickly a few months ago, and I did not have much success. I managed to have one other SPO that I helped a few times as delegator (I lost him as delegator after a couple of months, he lost a lot of delegation and needed the delegation back), and then another delegator that wanted to help a few small pools with a few of his wallets. I am very grateful to him, we are in contact and he is still supporting my stake pool. And in the last weeks another person delegated a small amount to my stake pool, but I am very happy for it, because before he delegated to APEX, the stake pool had again only one delegator (except my wallets and my son’s wallet). Every wallet, no matter how small it is, is very important for a small stake pool. Because being so late in the game, accumulating ADA is very expensive. Some people risked a lot a few years ago and bought large amounts of ADA when the price was very low, and now they are doing very well. But for the people starting this year, including me, things are different. With the IOG delegation, the pool will start minting blocks, because so far it has minted 0 blocks because the delegation was too low, and the luck was not on our side. Other pools with similar delegation already minted blocks, with a great luck.
Two days later, on October 14th, the APEX pool also received the Cardano Foundation delegation, which surprises me a lot, because I did not qualify for their delegation by the old rules. The new rules were published today, and they removed the rules about minimum pledge, minted blocks and pool fees between 1% and 5%. Of course I am very happy and grateful for this delegation. This will not only help my stake pool to mint blocks, this will help the stake pool mint many blocks each epoch, somewhere between 15 and 20 blocks each epoch. This means the delegators will get good rewards, because the pool has the minimum fixed fee and 0 variable fees, and deducting the fixed fee of 340 ADA from a total of 10k-15k ADA rewards will not be significant, so most of the rewards will go to the delegators.
The APEX pool is in good hands, I am also running a stake pool on testnet, using a similar setup, and the testnet pool has already minted almost 5k blocks since the end of February until now (4953 blocks until the moment I am writing this). This should be good enough as a proof for the people wondering if I am a responsible SPO. And you can talk to me almost anytime, I am very active on Discord (https://discord.gg/EY7JDK2Q53) and Telegram (https://t.me/apexpool), also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/cardanoapexpool).
I discovered during the last years that I like sharing my knowledge with other people at work. And the same thing is also valid in the Cardano community, I like sharing my knowledge with other people, I like helping people with their Cardano challenges. This has become my mission in the last months and I like it. Doing something you like is very rewarding. And the Cardano community is a great community, I am not aware of other crypto communities that are so great (Ergo community is also great, I have to mention it).
During the next months, my second mission will be attract as many delegators as possible, and to convince them to stay after the IOG and CF delegations will move to other pools. So here I am, asking the ADA holders to delegate their wallets to my stake pool, APEX. It is not a problem if the amount of ADA is small. Every wallet is important. And the rewards will be good.
By delegating your ADA wallets to APEX pool, you will help me accomplish what has become my mission. I will be even more motivated to help the community, and maybe one day this will be my full-time job. And of course you will also get staking rewards. I will make sure the stake pool is running and minting all possible blocks!