We are a small two person team based out of Honolulu, HI that run the Aloha Cardano (ALOHA) pool. One of us has significant experience in coding and the like and is much more technically savvy. The other is better with communication and website stuff, but has also learned a significant amount about Linux since starting the stakepool. Both are able to handle the operation alone if necessary, in case one of us was on vacation or something to that effect.
I've been interested in Cardano since I first heard about it back in late 2016. We surfed the wave up to the All Time High of $1.16 and watched the whole market collapse in 2018, with ADA sitting at $0.04 or so now --- and we never sold a single ADA.
What excites me most about Cardano is its commitment to "doing things the right way". Peer review, formal specification, etc. I think the vision is there and they have put together the best possible team to do it. I truly believe that Cardano will lead the way for cryptocurrency to change the world we live in -- so much so that I think my grandchildren will ask me one day:
"What was life like before ADA?"
Our pool is currently run on a dedicated Linux server with dedicated internet. It's running on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS with 4 cores, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB SSD and 300 Mbps Internet.
We considered using a Cloud Service like AWS or Azure, but ended up not doing it that way in the spirit of decentralization. Additionally, being in Hawaii, there are not many good VPS options with low latency available to us.
As it stands currently, either of the pool operators can remote into the server from wherever we are to make changes, as necessary. Of course, if it came down to it, either of us could access the server locally as well.
We have been tinkering with the settings all the time and have achieved very good up time in the last few epochs -- after a lot of lost sleep.
We are running this pool because we believe in Cardano's future and want to be a part of it. For this reason, we plan to run this pool with the long term in mind. At the core of any community is communication, and we will try our best to keep our website updated with any new information that comes up. Additionally, we are reasonably available by both email and Telegram.
We are very active in the Cardano Shelley Testnet & StakePool Best Practice Workgroup Telegram channel under Aloha Cardano. Shout out to everyone in there who has helped us out.
Our hope is to provide the lowest possible cost to the stakepool operators, and to you, the delegators -- while providing reasonable returns. As such, we are committed to staying at ZERO fixed fees, and a reasonable 4% fee ratio. You may see people run their own pools for significantly less on the testnet, but it remains to be seen whether it will stay that way when the mainnet hits. We chose 4% with plans for it to be the way for the testnet AND the mainnet. For this reason, the plan is that the people who delegate with us on the testnet will stay with us on the mainnet. In this way, we believe loyalty is very important, and would prefer to have a core group who stick with us for the long term. We feel this is much better than only catering to those who will always chase the lowest possible fee ratio --- who will likely change their stakepools on a revolving door basis.
Feel free to go to pooltool.io and look up "ALOHA". You can see that despite being a small pool, we've generated 17.3k ADA in rewards for our delegators.
However, for full transparency, we've been assigned 47 blocks (according to pooltool), but if you look us up on Shelley Explorer, we only made 44. So, somewhere along the line, despite our best efforts, we missed 3 of them. That said, we are committed to being better and hope you will join us on our journey.
Long story short: The whole point of cryptocurrency is to be decentralized! I don't think you can get more decentralized than a stakepool in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!
For more information about Aloha Cardano, go to alohacardano.com.