This was originally published as Staykpool's SPOt-light #013. It is a short interview of the operators of Dad Stakes.
Everyone has one, but not everyone gets to know him: A Father. Long before I was an SPO I knew I would take becoming a father, and more profoundly being a father very seriously. Without too much overt bias I’d say that if I had to select a mission driven pool, DAD would be it. Fighting the fatherless crisis, known to negatively impact an astonishing amount of metrics across society, its a noble cause if there ever was one. Please read along as we hear the story behind DAD Stake Pool, Theres a little treat at the end 😉
Hello Dads, tell us a little bit about yourselves, as I was made aware that your are 3 dads doing this. What are your areas of expertise? (Tech, finance, insufferable puns, lawnmowing), how did you learn about Cardano and what led you to adopt the roles you currently play in the ecosystem?
Dad1: a.k.a. Brent, prior Navy Aircrewman now full time Dad and Program Manager I learned about Cardano from Tim, one of the Dad’s here at Dad Stakes LLC. Tim introduced me to bitcoin back in early 2015 and that sparked my investigation into crypto. Looking for the “next bitcoin” my original crypto I was researching was Litecoin, then more discussions about how Cardano is based on the scientific method the rest is history. Knowing Charles was a cofounder of ETH and left to make a better ETH only further solidified my belief in the future of ADA. It led me to shilling it nonstop to DAD2 Vince, I’ll let him speak his part. See dadstakes.com/blog/our-first-block for more info.
Dad2: Hello, my name is Vincen (yes there is no ‘T’ at the end). I’ve worked in IT for a while now doing everything I could, from basic System Administrator tasks to being a Virtualization and Network engineer as well as being a Dad to 2 amazing kids (boy and girl). I first heard about Cardano from Brent (Dad 1), honestly, he wouldn’t stop talking about it and his brother in-law Tim (Dad 3). I had my guard up to crypto in general but after Brent spoke about it often, I finally broke down and jumped in buying a little bit of ADA in 2019 ($.045). It was after I made that purchase, I started to actually research Cardano and found the vision that Charles has for the future of Cardano intoxicationg, after that I became a walking and talking billboard and annoyed many people with the endless conversations that I would somehow turn into crypto talks.
Dad3: Tim. I’m a software guy. I’ve been doing that many, many, many years. I was a co-founder of a crypto wallet called edge.app (back then it was Airbitz, unfortunately no ADA support yet in Edge). Eventually, I moved on to other software companies. I was initially intrigued by ADA because I read it was written in Haskell. I always loved Haskell and other tech in that same vein. Back in the day I even used nix, which Cardano uses to help with package management. So I bought some ADA in 2019 and I have been buying and learning ever since. Brent brought up the idea of starting a pool, and he had a buddy Vincen (now my buddy too) who was into it and so we launched it. It is fun to be part of the ecosystem. Now I’m in the plutus pioneer program and I’m as happy as a clam because I get to get weird with Haskell again.
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 of setting up.
Dad1: As the business guy behind Dad Stakes, my focus was more on the legal matters involved, making sure we have an LLC established, meeting our tax regulations while protecting each founder and their investment into starting the stake pool.
Dad2: It has been a wild ride, getting new delegators is the hardest part. I was very unaware of how much marketing would play a role in being a SPO. We were fortunate enough to be selected by the Cardano foundation to receive around 15.4mil for 3 months.
Dad3: We used the Cardano docs when we were trying to start the pool. The docs were a little rough to follow but after a couple of of tries on the testnet, we had our confidence up and were able to launch our pool. I wish I would have seen a couple other resources like guild-operators before we launched that would have simplified it. Oh well. All and all though it’s fun. I dig it. The more I learn the more I like Cardano. I find myself thinking of more and more use cases for it.
Were there any problems, obstacles to overcome on the way, and if yes, how did you tackle them, what resources did you use?
Dad1: The major problem is reaching a significant amount of delegation to get out of the lottery system and into the guarantee for block production. We were blessed with the foresight to invest into Cardano early, but I think all 3 of us wished it was a more substantial amount that could have mitigated the delegation hurdles all small SPOs face. Getting our name and mission out to the larger public has been a challenge were actively pursuing alternative methods to accomplish through advertising and social media.
There is a specific reason your Pool is named DAD, right, I mean apart from the obvious fact that you are dads, it ties in close with your mission. Can you tell us about that and why you think this requires more attention and funding?
Dad1: Dad Stakes LLC is focused upon fighting the fatherless crisis. 1 in 4 children in the USA today is suffering from a lack of a father figure inside their home life. Be it a biological father, step father or just a mentor or more distant male family role model, fatherlessness has a massive impact upon modern society. Unfortunately, fatherless children are at a 4x greater risk of poverty, 7x more likely to become pregnant as a teen, 2x greater risk of infant mortality, 2x more likely to suffer from obesity, 2x more likely to drop out of high school, more likely to go to prison and have behavioral problems just to name a few examples. (Taken from the national fatherhood institute). Being prior military, now a father to two beautiful little girls I can’t imagine how drastically their life would change if I was removed from the picture. A childs imagination, drive and desire for life, curiosity and happiness are things we lose as adults and I wholeheartedly believe our world needs more of these traits from Adults. Seeing how fatherlessness has effected friends, fellow service members and our world around us we focus attention towards providing a guiding father figure in every child’s life. We at Dad stakes do not discount the role of either parent in a child’s life, they require both and would love to see how much stronger our children can be by having active mothers and fathers.
On your website we’ve seen that already 618,3 ADA has been donated. That’s terrific. What organisation do you donate to and how do they combat the crisis of fatherless homes? Yes websites may be linked, this is all about spreading that awareness!
Dad1: Currently we donate to two different organizations, majestyoutdoors.org and journeymentriangle.org. We feel each takes an approach that helps to fight the fatherless crisis, majesty through more focused children mentorships and journeymen through targeted mentorship focused towards 12-17 boys but not exclusive to that group. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the input of multiple male role models in my life and believe it takes multiple examples for any child to grow into their own. Being exposed to a father figure establishes so many important things like how a young lady should expect to be treated from the opposite sex, how to handle emotional and physical turmoil, personal health issues or simple life coaching. Through mentorship each organization we donate to is helping to provide those answers and more to children in fatherless homes.
Clearly, the fatherless crisis speaks to you, and as the following infographic shows its has deep roots in all sorts of social problems. are there (beyond those mentioned) more factors that draw you in for this specific cause, maybe personal stories or situations around yourselves.
Dad1: Each of the reasons on the infographic we showed highlights how much harder the life of a fatherless child is at the beginning. Combine that with coworkers and other veterans I have served with and lost to suicide that came from fatherless homes really drew attention to how impactful fatherlessness is. While I have been blessed to have my father in my life, it’s taken multiple male role models in my life to become the man I am today. Cousins, Uncles, friends, fathers of friends and peers have all had an impact upon my life and how I go about handling all the speed bumps and uncertainty we all face daily. For my short military career I always had my Uncle (retired Navy) to reach out to, ask career advice questions and obtain a sanity check. Having a mentor, a Dad or a role model to talk to has been paramount to my life and I want to help ensure every child has that opportunity.
Dad2: I didn’t grow up fatherless but my Dad was away a lot due to being in the Military, I understand the importance of what he was doing and why but its still left a void in my life. Growing up around many people without fathers and I have seen firsthand how it affected them in their lives. Some of those people got into bad stuff and didn’t make it out alive and others latched onto other role models and have turned around their own life around. As a youth Lacrosse coach, I have as many as 50 kids a season that I get to interact with and to see their growth within the sport as well as personal development is amazing and gives me more purpose in life. Nothing is more motivating than when a kid approaches me years later and tells me I had a direct impact on their life outside of sports based on the lessons we teach.
If there are any dads (or soon to be) reading this, is there any advice you can give to them. We all know the ‘Not Financial Advise’ disclaimers, but fatherly advice is almost universally appreciated.
Dad1: Haha “Not Financial Advice” but you’ll never be perfectly financially ready for kids. Talk to your better half, decide if you’re both ready for the lifetime commitment for kids and tackle it that way. The joy I receive daily from my Daughters and the time I get to spend with them can never be replaced by any sum of money or planning. Truly make sure your willing to put in the time a child needs, to help them grow, explore, learn, laugh, comfort and protect. It’s a bigger commitment than most people realize and more time should be spent discussing it in advance of having kids.
Dad2: Oh man, you can read as many books as you would like but nothing will prepare you for being a Dad. Best advice I have is take it day by day and enjoy every moment good or bad. There is a lesson in everything that you do, remember they are always watching and absorbing knowledge from you good or bad so be the best you can be.
Why should people delegate their ADA to your pool, this is your elevator pitch, lay it on us.
Dad1: Having followed Cardano since early 2019 religiously, we truly believe in the network, its capability for a greater good in our modern world and the overarching impact it can have to better lives. Our mission of fighting the fatherless crisis has such a broad overarching impact upon modern society that every step made to help eliminate this problem will have a massive cascading effect for good in our world. We believe in decentralization of the network, we’ve invested and now committed our time towards maintaining our pool and technology stack which is distributed with relays around the world and is monitored 24/7/365. We architected our pool to provide our delegators peace of mind and Return On their Ada
Any people you’d like to thank? I can imagine you’ve done most of it yourselves but there can be that special someone that provides the necessary motivation. (twitterhandles of people that have been helpful, influential and appreciative of your efforts always helps)
Dad1: A big thank you to IOG and Cardano Foundation for building the Cardano network. Your vision, dedication to product and commitment to the community is apparent in all that you do and I cannot wait to see the growth and impact of Cardano over the next few years. Thank you to my fellow SPOs both here at Dad stakes and the Cardano community for your insight and trust into the future of this network. By maintaining decentralization, eliminating a central authority and commitment to the community the future is very bright. Thank you to all my fellow Parents and the effort you put in every day for your kids. Thank you to everyone else who has helped along the way that I’ve forgotten on this list.
And last but certainly not least, lay on us your top 3 best DAD-jokes! Readers will be polled afterwards 😉
Dads, I was already a fan before, just by the sole conviction that parents play the most important role in anyones life, We all know how amazing mothers are, emphasizing the huge impact you can (and should) have as a dad is beyond crucial. After reading this it only solidifies my beliefs and I hope people reading this (maybe fresh parents) can take comfort in it, knowing their contributions to their childrens lives are invaluable. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this all down for us to read, and we wish you the best in continuing this amazing mission!
Bas @ Staykpool.