In today’s All about Pools I am focusing on Letsfarm.io, a German pool who seems to share a lot of the same values as I do with The Chia Plot, and when choosing a pool. Letsfarm is focused quite a bit on trust as their selling model and they think that having proper tax registration and doing things by the book is going to have a lot of value long term.
They are a small group of experienced IT folks who started farming individually very early on with the launch of Chia mainnet. When the netspace started to really explode they decided to team up and use their software engineering experience to develop a pool with the reference pool software as a base. They are not running the reference code and have merely implemented the required functions in their own stack, like a number of other pools. This is good news, since the pool reference code was meant to be feature complete not tuned to the needs of running a production pool.
The Letsfarm team spent a lot of time describing their quest to be legal, so I will let them explain in their own words.
When we started with the project of building our own Chia farming pool, our incentive was always to build a pool which people can trust. Before even starting to work on the pooling software implementation, we spent quite some considerable effort on building the legal framework around it. This included setting up the company and making sure that we can legally run a farming pool in Germany. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) supervises banks, financial service institutions and insurance undertakings in Germany and also needs to be involved when operating a farming pool in Germany. Making sure that we could legally operate our pool in Germany was not trivial and involved lots of emails, phone calls and lawyers. To be honest we completely underestimated the amount of work which was required on this topic. In the end we are quite happy that we succeeded with it, even though we probably lost some hair during that process 😉
Because of the effort they spent on their custom pooling software and setting up their company, I suspect they are in it for the long term. This can be hard to tell though, since I never expected MaxioPool to go either.
Because they wrote their stack against the reference and not with the reference code they are pretty confident that they have the ability to scale up and since they are still relatively small they are not even close to the limits of their stack. They have their payment mechanism automated and are paying out every day. As they grow they do plan on adjusting that as they don’t want to be stuck in the position of holding a lot of XCH belonging to their farmers.
They are currently running a promotion for any farmers that bring 25TB to their pool and continue farming until October 8th they will have 0% fees as long as they stay with the pool and they currently are still in their 0% fee period. The low fees do concern me, as I have written about, because I am worried about the long term financial viability of these very low fee pools. Even at 1% of block rewards on all their farmers right now they are only looking at like 0.06XCH a day to maintain the pool. That’s not a lot.