SMASH Metadata Management

SMASH is a metadata aggregation server that manages metadata for stake pools. The functionality provided by SMASH supports stake pool operations and the delegation ecosystem with its standardized framework for listing valid stake pools with verified metadata.

Each stake pool that participates in the network includes metadata that helps users to make a rational delegation choice. This metadata contains owner details, pool name, pool ticker, homepage, and a short description. It is crucial to ensure that registered stake pools are valid, that they do not duplicate ticker names or trademarks, and do not feature content that users are likely to find offensive. SMASH was designed to improve visibility on verified stake pool information for Cardano users, as well as to enable convenient navigation options.

A SMASH server can aggregate stake pool metadata, fetch it, and store it in a semi-centralized environment. The server is typically owned by a specific operator, who is then responsible for its maintenance, and can curate and review stake pool metadata. Importantly, it makes it possible to resolve disputes over offending or duplicated stake pool ticker names and delist operators if they are proven to be bad actors.

The SMASH server code is open source and anyone can deploy it and become an operator. In the due course, Daedalus will allow users to configure any server of their choice and browse custom stake pool lists.

If you want to install and run the SMASH server, you can use these instructions.

How does the IOHK SMASH server work?

The first generation of SMASH is initially deployed by IOHK and is used in the Daedalus delegation center, where it provides the ability to view available stake pools with verified names, ticker symbols, and websites.

Below is a step-by-step description of actions that can be taken when you identify a pool with a duplicated ticker name or offensive content. Please note that this applies to the SMASH server that is run and maintained by IOHK.

Stake pool delisting reasons

First, please ensure that there is a reason for a stake pool to be delisted. There are certain reasons that influence the decision for a stake pool to be delisted. These include:

  • illegal or malicious content: a stake pool that features any illegal, abusive, or malicious content as part of the stake pool metadata (for example via the link to the SPO’s homepage).

  • impersonation: stake pools that attempt to impersonate other individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that misleads, confuses, or deceives others. For example, a successful stake pool called POOL being obviously impersonated by another called P00L (by linking to the same website).

  • previous ‘claim’: ticker names can be registered by SPOs on a ‘first come - first served’ basis, however, a ticker name which was registered on the Incentivized Testnet (ITN), may only be registered on the Cardano mainnet by the same SPO that registered such a ticker on the ITN. Ticker names that were registered on the ITN but were not re-registered on the Cardano mainnet by 19th June 2020 will be released and available for registration on the Cardano mainnet.

  • an inappropriate ticker name: a ticker name that is obscene, sexually explicit, offensive, hurtful, profane, or otherwise inappropriate. This is a subjective judgment in some cases, so best efforts will always be made.

  • intellectual property rights (IPR) violations: SPOs that violate the intellectual property rights of others including copyright and trademarks, where proof can be supplied.

  • inactive or retired pools: stake pools that are retired or have not produced blocks in a long time, or whose SPO cannot be contacted. Retired pools on the mainnet have a limit of six months within which to make a request for their ticker name to be reregistered.

How to request a delisting

  1. When you identify a stake pool that you believe should be delisted, you can send an official request for delisting to smash@iohk.io. Please include your rationale and any proof of why this stake pool should be delisted. In particular, state one of the above reasons and provide a detailed explanation. Stake pools impersonating trademarks should be reported by the trademark holder or their authorized representative.

  2. After your request, you will receive an email that acknowledges that your request is taken into consideration.

  3. A SMASH operator will review the request to ensure that the reasoning and proofs are accurate and will make a decision whether or not to delist the stake pool. It may also be determined that further arbitration or community consultation may be required. However, the ultimate decision will always be reserved by the entity operating the SMASH server in question.

  4. When a decision is made, you will receive an email outlining whether the stake pool will be delisted or whether the ticker listing will be allowed to remain. In either case, we shall always provide an explanation or justification for the choice. Please note that in some cases, a stake pool can be delisted proactively - whether temporarily or permanently. With delisting applied, the stake pool will not be visible on SMASH and its operator will need to make a case if they want the decision reversed.

  5. If a stake pool operator believes that delisting of their stake pool has happened by mistake, they can submit an appeal by emailing to smash@iohk.io.

IOHK’s SMASH operator is constantly reviewing all requests from the Cardano community and SPOs to ensure that all the stake pool information is tracked and managed accurately. A request is usually processed in 7 working days.

It is important to note that delisting refers only to the display of metadata and listing with SMASH. As a decentralized network, at no point, will stake pool operations themselves be affected. For more information or any clarifications, you can email smash@iohk.io, contact @benohanlon in Telegram, or reach out to @benohanlon directly on Twitter.