SPOt-light #003 [LVLUP]

Hello everyone, thanks for showing interest in the interviews of our SPOt-light! Todays interview is with Luc, operator of LevelUp Pool [LVLUP] and we crossexamine him about his what and why for doing this and joining the network and put in all the work required to get up and running. Enjoy 😉

  1. Hello Luc, Tell us a little bit about yourself, what are your areas of expertise? (Tech, finance, other), how did you learn about Cardano and what led you to adopt the role you currently play in the ecosystem?

Hey there, thanks for having me on, good to get some more news out regarding this. I am responsible for system administration in a great University in Québec. I bought my first Cardano in 2017, but took a break from Crypto after a big loss with CadrigaCX. That made me reluctant to go ahead.

  1. So from getting to know Cardano, you now are a core part of it, or as most SPO’s do, trying hard to solidify that role. How is that been going, walk us through the process if you will.

When staked my ADA, I saw a lot of saturated pools and I read that the K-parameter will be set to 1000 at the end of march. This made me decide to start setting up the pool in advance so I would be ready for the K change. It’s still 500 today, and it will happen in the near future and I’m ready 😊.

  1. What is the current state of your Pool, how is it setup and are there any developments in the near future? If its a Bare metal server, include a picture, were curious how you roll!

I use a mixed infrastructure, cloud and bare-metal. Block-producer and relay are hosted on AWS. You can take a look at the infrastructure here https://www.lvlup-stakepool.com/infrastructure.html

My first goal was a 100% bare-metal stake pool, but cloud advantages are huge in terms of stability, reliability and security so I opted for the mixed layout.

  1. Were there any problems, obstacles to overcome on the way, and if yes, how did you tackle them, what resources did you use?

The whole registration and setup process is rather uncomplicated from an IT perspective, when you have that experience, the setting up is the easy part. I really encountered issues to find delegators, how to get it filled. That is why my response to the F2LB initiative was so positive and hopeful. I think its a problem most of us struggle with.

  1. So, the L2FB Initiative, its fairly new, can you tell us a little bit about it, what is its purpose and what can people do to help?

Stephano [STPZ1] had a vision of grouping small SPO’s and combine the excess stake to ‘boost’ one of the pools, and use the queue rotation system. Immediately I jumped in! I drafted the F2LB Google spreadsheet. I created the website and the logo, then the discord channel. After that, things moved quickly. Some people tell us that we are scammers and F2LB was a pyramid scheme. In fact only one Guy had this idea, he shall remain nameless, everyone can have their opinion, even if its misinformed. I see F2LB like a kick starter for smaller SPO’s.

  1. How much stake do you have delegated to it and when can you be expected to receive the boost from F2LB? More important, what are your efforts now to make sure you attract delegates yourself?

I delegate 4k ADA to F2LB. I had the stake community on epochs 253 and 254, I reached 431K live stake on epoch 253 and 750k on epoch 254! I promoted the pool on Reddit and I started a campaign on Google Ads. I hoped to mint a block with 750K active stake. My “brand” is transparency and I think people like to see what goes on, the obscurity may give people doubts about what goes on.

  1. What can people do when they don’t operate a pool, but do have some ADA in their portfolio’s, can you give some general recommendations? Do’s and don’ts so to speak.

Delegates to small pools! A pool below 10M active stake, you will have same ROA as you would in a highly saturated (62M active stake) pool.

  1. We see a lot of Big Pool operators successfully managing multiple pools. It seems like a good idea from where most people stand. How do you feel about this and how does it affect the purpose of Cardano?

The big pool operators also help decentralization, that is the main goal. I think it’s not the best way to operate a healthy network, however, it’s a free market. I don’t blame anyone to be greedy. We must focus on educating all the ADA holders out there, small and large. Ultimately they make the decision on how to stake.

  1. Why should people delegate their ADA to your pool, or what benefit do they get from supporting this initiative?

LevelUp! Is the most transparent stake pool of Cardano Network, a share as much information as I can.

  1. Any final thoughts?

It’s hard to be SPO. For now, being SPO took all my free time. The pledge is not only in ADA,

Ok, thanks for sharing this, lets hope people reading this will see the benefits of the smaller pools, and join the collective initiative at https://www.f2lb.org and support the growth of the community from the ground up!

Have a great week and Stay(k) safe!

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