Cardano Improvement Proposal (CIP): Adding web links for stake pools & delegation portfolios
Update 2021-03-30: Proposal approved & merged!
Six months to the day after submission, the proposal for links to Cardano stake pools is included in the existing plan to implement address and payment URI's in Cardano wallets... the result of much writing, editing, debate, compromise, and persistence with Cardano's early governance process (with CIP editors at Emurgo, IOG and the Cardano Foundation):
Proposal & History
In September 2020, after recognising the brutal competition between small stake pools for a survivable amount of delegation, with more stake pools diving into an already saturated YouTube market for "educational" stake pool promotional videos (often full of rapidly obsoleted information and affiliate links), I realised there had to be a way for stake pools to be recognised by potential delegators based on relevant HTML content (educational web pages, not just videos) as well as direct customer communication & support (like HTML email signatures & Twitter / Telegram messages).
My resulting CIP was one of the first coming from an author outside Cardano's supporting agencies. It has been well received and is in the process of riding into a Daedalus implementation of a URI payment link scheme, much like the one currently supported in Yoroi. For example, we will be able to refer delegators to our pool with the web link:
and someday, after these single pool URLs have been adopted and the Cardano protocol supports "ratio staking" as outlined by Emurgo lead Sebastien Guillemot, the Cardano community will be able to create, share, and evaluate multi-pool links with "portfolios" of proportionally assigned delegation:
The benefits of this CIP are universal to pools of all sizes, delegators, and the Cardano ecosystem itself: since, so far, any possibility for presenting a "delegation portfolio" has been centralised. This CIP outlines the first means of providing a delegation portfolio which the Cardano community itself can generate: allowing community centred and special interest groups to support common interests and compete more effectively for delegation without having to be recognised by a central authority.
Once the Cardano community can share and evolve its own delegation strategies, further decentralisation of Ada stake will not just be possible from large Ada holding agencies like IOG and the Cardano Foundation: it can be massively distributed in parallel by the Ada holders themselves, each being able to choose a theme or cause they believe in rather than just a single pool. Delegation portfolios and links can circulate in favour of any stake pool feature listed on the recent IOG community delegation application (environmental impact, community and cultural significance, technical contribution) and many more.
Please see the CIP-COSD-MultiPoolStakeURIscheme link above for a complete list of benefits for this standard, and especially for an outline of how the concept of the Delegation Portfolio will eventually emerge from this CIP, in a way that will naturally support Cardano's diversity, resilience, and future-proofing.