Before December 13th, 2019, the Cardano blockchain did not have an Incentivized TestNet (ITN). On December 13th at 14:13:37. epoch 0 with slot 0 officially started the Shelley Incentivized Testnet (ITN). Despite its launch, the ITN was not yet officially live for stake pool or stakes delegation. I wanted the DApp360 (D360) Stake Pool, to be one of the first stake pools in the ITN. Little did I know that this desire would bring me sleepless nights for almost 8 consecutive days. This blog, ITN Chronicles, provides my epoch-by-epoch experience as a stake pool owner/operator in the incentivized testnet (ITN) for the Cardano blockchain.

Pre – Live Launch

Pre-launching the DApp360 (D360) Stake Pool before the ITN official live launch date (12/16/2019) was an extremely frustrating and difficult task. The frustration and difficulties arose from the fact that I was impatient to wait for official ITN stake pool documentations. At the time, neither IOHK nor Cardano had organized or streamlined their respective documentations. IOHK ZendDesk’s documentation varied slightly in steps and processes compare to the documentation on the Cardano Foundation website. Also, both documentations were not quite updated yet for the ITN official launch. As a result, I experienced a lot of frustration and headache trying to set up the DApp360 stake pool. I did not get a single minute of sleep from Friday night (12/15/2019) to Saturday afternoon (12/14/2019).

I went to my real job from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. At 8:00 pm the same day, I started setting up my ITN stake pool node. I sat in the same chair for 12 consecutive hours. During this period, I verified my stake pool registration with the Cardano Foundation on Github. I migrated my snapshot Byron wallet to a Shelley wallet using the Cardano Wallet. Migration was required because the Daedelus Reward wallet was not ready yet. This process was painful. Then came setting up the stake pool node by installing and configuring jormungandr 8.2. By 7:54 a.m. (the next day), the DApp360 stake pool node was ready to accept delegation. At that point, I announced in Cardano StakePool & Best Practices Workgroup Telegram channel that my node was officially ready. It was the first time in my entire life that determination and passion to complete a task drove me to go without a minute of sleep for almost 26 hours. I was glad I did it.