Cardano SPO Column #008: PsyADA [PSYA]

This piece was published May 23rd, 2021 on The Cryptonomist

This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a new stake pool whose mission involves supporting psychedelic and plant medicine research projects: PsyADA — Psychedelic Cardano Stake Pool [PSYA].

Last week we asked some questions to a Stake Pool Operator fostering cryptocurrency adoption and providing chances for education.

This initiative is a point of reference for everything Cardano and every week or two we will invite a Stake Pool Operator (SPO) to answer some questions and give us an update directly from within the Cardano community.

Considering that many of our readers are new to the crypto space, we will have a mix of simple and technical questions.

Hello Lukas, glad to have you here. Please introduce yourself and tell us what fascinates you about Cardano.

Hello, I’m 33, coming from Czech Republic, but for the last 4 years, I have lived full time on the road with my girlfriend and dog in our little home on wheels. We’ve just come to France after a nice winter in the Canarian Islands and we are slowly heading north for summer.

After my IT university studies, I took the position of network engineer. It was a nice job, something I wanted to do because networks always fascinated me, but I’ve never really liked the office, sitting between 4 walls for 8 hours per day. After 6 years I’ve quit, we hit the road, exchanged a little part of our comfort for freedom, and have to say it was the best decision of our lives and we want to continue living like that.

I’ve always traveled a lot before, and for most of the time on my travels, I was partially living from making music on the street — my life’s passion. Unfortunately, last Covid year made it very hard, most likely impossible, but it brought me back to IT. During that time I discovered Cardano, which absolutely fascinated me and it seems it became my second life’s passion.

There is one thing that fascinates me the most about Cardano and it’s the community — one of the biggest in the crypto space & it’s full of nice people. I really wanted to contribute somehow, so I’ve started the Psychedelic Pool.

Over the past few weeks we had several other mission-driven stake pools, how does your PsyADA Pool fit that role?

If you compare Cardano SPOs to BTC miners — a huge amount of electric energy is used to secure the BTC network, all driven by pure greed for profit, not sustainable, and not environmentally friendly. The energy of Cardano is different, it’s not only using a tiny fraction of the electric energy of BTC, but many of the pools — mission driven, are giving something back by supporting charities, planting trees, cleaning oceans, fighting climate change, etc. This is something my nomad “hippie” heart is very close to and happy about.

PsyADA is a member of MDP alliance too, and it wants to donate 20% of the operational rewards to independent non-profit organizations related to psychedelic research and plant medicine projects.

I believe psychedelics are a breakthrough for treating many kinds of mental health disorders. They could potentially help millions of people around the globe affected by depression, PTSD, drug addictions, anorexia, brain injuries, color blindness, or even many sorts of pain like a cluster headache, which is probably one of the most painful disorders known to humankind and there are amazing results with LSD or Psilocybin treatment.

There are early crypto investors like Mike Novogratz who are also investing in psychedelic-related companies, what similarities are there between these two industries?

Both Crypto and Psychedelic phenomena are experiencing some kind of renaissance. Both are very young in terms of what they could bring to the world and both desperately need to spread better awareness and education to minimize some risks related to them.

If you think you’ve missed crypto, which I think we are still early, you can maybe check some psychedelic stocks. Most of them went public just recently and some of them are also within my scope. We could probably expect a boom very similar to the cannabis industry. Well, it seems it’s already happening.

There are some other analogies of blockchain to the world of psychedelics. One of them is for sure mycelium, which is sometimes described as a natural internet, and it basically works the same way — it’s a decentralized peer-to-peer information-sharing global network, and fungi (magic ones included) are made up of mycelium too. Also, the human brain is communicating in a very similar way and I believe we could find many more examples of why decentralization is much closer to nature than centralization.

I believe Satoshi Nakamoto may have liked mushrooms, but what I know for sure, Charles Hoskinson loves them.

You are quite a new SPO and your stake pool hasn’t produced any blocks yet. How is this process going?

That’s true. I’ve started my pool on Cardano Mainnet about 3 months ago, I’ve actually started much earlier by deploying my first nodes on Testnet to be sure all is running well before coming to production.

While starting the pool I had no idea what’s in front of me in terms of marketing and competition with big players like Binance or 1PCT gaining the power of the network for themselves, and every time they make a block, small pools do not.

The official pool tools and wallets are also more likely giving an advantage to pools with high levels of saturation than small pools. The sad fact we are facing is that the only 21% of all staked ADA is in hands of Single Pool Operators.The key to improvement is only in the education of stakeholders to motivate them to move their ADA from exchanges, to avoid unofficial wallets, or pools ending POOL7, 8, etc. And to motivate them to choose small pools instead, which should give about the same annual return as big pools (around 5%). Small pools just don’t pay that often, but the rewards should be higher and worth waiting.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours promoting the pool on social media, paying ads, helping people with staking, making videos. Pool is growing, but very slowly and there is really a lot of work behind. At this time, every ADA staked could help the pool a lot and I am very grateful for every single person that has decided to choose PSYA pool.

I’ve started the pool which I want to run long-term and I really want it to start contributing to its mission. The part of the mission I already do is spreading some awareness about psychedelics and their potential.

Thanks for taking the time. Any final thoughts? Where can people find you?

Thank you so much for this opportunity.

I believe psychedelic plant medicines and Cardano have the potential to change the world.

If you want to know which projects PsyADA wants to support, you can check my webpage, or you can follow me on Twitter where I daily share the news related to research and potential of psychedelics. Of course, there is something about Cardano too 🙂

I also have an account on Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, Instagram, and Telegram group, all links are available on my webpage.

For those who read this far, consider staking some ADA with Psychedelic pool PSYA. Thank you so much and wish you a great day 🙂

Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOHK.