120 ADA donated! ;)

We are very proud to have donated our first ADA contribution to our benefactor https://www.lifechangersa.org/ here in South Africa. Please also consider supporting their lifeboat initiative https://www.lifechangersa.org/life-boat. You can find their online shop here https://www.lifechangersa.org/online-store. More info to follow on where this donation will be used to help people in need 🙂 We will continue to support as we mint more blocks!

More on Slot Battles, Orphaned and so called ‘stolen’ blocks

It seems Orphaned blocks do not indicate any issues with the pool, if you’re checking orphaned blocks on https://pooltool.io/ for example then you’ll often see that another pool’s block was accepted by the chain, this is often referred to as a ‘slot battle‘. Slot battles used to have a lot do with geography and trying to spread the block your pool produced faster than another pool, however that lead to some unfortunate centralization issues on the cardano network and has since been done away with. The winner of a slot battle (the pool who’s block is accepted by the chain) is now determined randomly using a pool’s VRF, which cannot be gamed by pool operators. When nodes receive two valid blocks for a single slot, the block with the lower VRF Proof value is chosen as the latest block and is propagated throughout the network. The other block becomes orphaned and unused. Slot Battles are unavoidable in Ouroboros Praos and the result of them is a matter of luck. However, Stake Pools with less active stake have an edge in winning slot battles because they are more likely to generate lower values of VRF_Proof over a larger competing pool. so whats VRF exactly?

Staking pool operators need to generate a few key pairs:

  • An operational cold key pair. The key grants the right to sign blocks to the KES key.
  • Key Evolving Signature (KES) key pair. The key is used for signing a new block. The key expires periodically and a new one is computed. (every 90 days)
  • Verifiable Random Function (VRF) key pair. The key is used to find out whether a node is a slot leader in an ongoing slot. The node does it every second.

So logfile output from our ‘stolen’ block said the following

STOLEN: Leader for slot ‘30620534’ but “stolen” by another pool due to bad luck (lower VRF output) 🙁

4th Block minted!

We are happy to announce we have minted our 4th block 😉

26-05-2021, 22:49epoch 268slot 90260block 5770413

We are the slot leader for the following still to come in epoch 268

LEADER: slot[30620534] slotInEpoch[207734] at[2021-05-28T07:27:05+00:00]
LEADER: slot[30667521] slotInEpoch[254721] at[2021-05-28T20:30:12+00:00]
LEADER: slot[30810831] slotInEpoch[398031] at[2021-05-30T12:18:42+00:00]
LEADER: slot[30841547] slotInEpoch[428747] at[2021-05-30T20:50:38+00:00]

Updated to Mainnet 1.27.0

We have updated our producer and relay nodes to the latest major version 1.27.0. We can confirm all is running well!

From https://github.com/input-output-hk/cardano-node/releases, “Node version 1.27.0 provides important new functionality, including supporting new CLI commands that have been requested by stake pools, providing garbage collection metrics.
It includes the performance fixes for the epoch boundary calculation that were released in node version 1.26.2, plus a number of bug fixes and code improvements.
It also includes many fundamental changes that are needed to prepare for forthcoming feature releases (notably Plutus scripts in the Alonzo era).”

2 Months on…

Well 2 months has passed since we decided to start PlebPool and we couldnt be happier. We have reached 15 delegators and over 200K ADA staked thus far. We have found 3 blocks which means for a small pool like ours really nice returns. We continue to keep up with the latest developments!

We have joined various bare metal and mission driven initiatives. We are also putting in place some automated features so that when we find a block we purchase from here [https://www.lifechangersa.org/online-store] a few things for our community here in South Africa. The more staked, the more blocks we statistically should find, and the more people we can feed. Thanks for all the support 🙂

3rd block minted

Congratulations to all of our 13 delegators. We successfully minted our 3rd block at 07-05-2021, 19:44 Epoch 264 / Slot 165573

https://adapools.org/blocks/1636f15b7584242092ab87cbde94b753fa7ce79ffa8f65901e94425ff07e1274

Thanks for all the support thus far (over 159K ADA staked) in making a success of plebpool! We will release more information on our charitable cause soon! People will be feed in South Africa because we are finding blocks 😉