Q: There are so many Cardano Stake Pools… Which one should I pick?
A: It depends on your purpose. To maximize your income, you should pick one with many millions ADA live stake, with 340 (or close) fixed cost and the variable fee close to 0%. A high pledge is also a good sign that the pool owner invested in the pool and will take care of its performance. You should also pay attention to the following things:
- the pool should not be saturated (for more details see the Staking Page)
- the pool pledge should be met. If the pledge is not met, the rewards will be 0
In order to sustain the decentralization of Cardano, it is a good idea to pick an “independent” Stake Pool, and not one that is part of a cluster of Stake Pools (a good example would be 1PCT – there are right now more than 30 1PCT Stake Pools, concentrating a lot of stake, which is not so good for decentralization). Decentralization helps prevent attacks against the Cardano blockchain.
You could also pick a smaller pool, to support decentralization of the blockchain. Or even better, you could pick a pool that supports a cause you believe in, like donating to charity, or donating to something you care about.
You could also consider delegating to APEX Pool (this Staking Pool). The rewards will be very good with the current total delegation.
Q: When do I start earning rewards from delegating my ADA?
A: You will start to earn rewards in 15-20 days after delegating your ADA. Each Epoch in Cardano has exactly 5 days. If you delegate now (Epoch n), after the current Epoch is over, you will wait another full Epoch (n+1), and when the following Epoch (n+2) begins, your ADA will start earning rewards. After this Epoch (n+2) ends, the rewards will be calculated in the following Epoch (n+3), and when this Epoch also ends, you will start receiving your rewards (so at the beginning of Epoch n+4). This is why there is a delay of 15-20 days before you start receiving rewards. Buf after this delay, you will receive rewards every 5 days.
Q: Do I need to keep my computer and my wallet running in order to earn staking rewards?
A: No, you don’t need to keep your wallet or your computer running. Delegating your wallet to a Staking Pool is an operation that is written to the blockchain (so it is immutable).
Q: If I send more ADA to my wallet, do I need to delegate again, in order to earn rewards for the new ADA?
A: If you add more ADA to your delegated wallet, the new ADA will be automatically delegated to the same pool, and after a few epochs you will receive rewards for them, too. For the moment you can only delegate the whole wallet to a pool.
Q: Can I delegate using my hardware wallet?
A: You should be able to use the hardware wallet with Daedalus or Yoroi. You will create a new wallet for that. You need to send the ADA from the staked wallet to the new wallet and delegate from there. Your old wallet will still be delegated to the old pool. You cannot stop delegating from Daedalus, you can only change the pool. So you will not be able to get back your 2 ADA blocked for the delegation certificate registration. In order to do this, you will need to recover your wallet (using the 24 words seed) in Yoroi, then stop delegating, and after that you can send the 2 ADA to your new wallet, too.
Q: Do I lose rewards if I delegate to another pool?
A: No, you do not lose rewards if you change your delegation. But exactly as when you delegate for the first time, you will receive the rewards from the new pool with a delay of 15-20 days. But until then, you will receive rewards from your previous pool, so you can change the pool without any worries.
Q: The Pool I’m delegating to did not pay my rewards in Epoch X. Why?
A: First, the rewards are payed by the Blockchain itself, not by the pool. This is implemented in the protocol. Then, there are different reasons why someone would not receive rewards for an Epoch:
- the Pool did not produce any block in that Epoch, so there are no rewards
- the Pool’s pledge was not met, so there are no rewards
You should inspect the pool on pooltool.io, pool.vet or adapools.org (or other online tools) to see if there are any visible problems. If you do not find an obvious reason, you should try to contact the stake pool operator. Usually the stake pools have a telegram or a discord channel, so that the pool owners can talk to their delegators. There could be also technical reasons for not producing blocks, for example an expired operating certificate, or the time not being in sync on the pool nodes. If you cannot contact the stake pool operator, maybe you should change the pool, to avoid losing rewards in the future.
Q: Why do I have to pay 2 ADA to delegate to a pool?
A: You do not pay 2 ADA to delegate, the 2 ADA are locked as long as your delegation certificate is registered in the blockchain. And your delegation certificate needs to be registered, in order for you to be able to delegate to a Staking Pool. But when you stop delegating, you will receive with the last rewards to 2 ADA, too.
You will also pay a transaction fee of about 0.17 ADA when you delegate, and this fee will not be received back. And each time you change your pool, you will pay a transaction fee of about 0.17 ADA.
Q: Is staking safe? Is my ADA in danger if I delegate to a pool?
A: Your ADA is safe, it never “leaves your wallet” when you delegate. Technically, delegating is a transaction recorded in the blockchain, where you say you delegate the voting power of your ADA to a Stake Pool. The more voting power a Pool has, the more likely the Pool is selected to produce more blocks (which means validate transactions and write them to the blockchain forever).
Q: Is my ADA locked if I delegate to a staking pool?
A: No, your ADA is never locked. You can transfer ADA from your wallet even if your wallet is delegated to a Staking Pool. If the amount of ADA in your wallet is reduced, you will receive lower rewards for the next Epochs.
Q: How about staking in my Exchange?
A: This is not a good idea, because Exchanges concentrate a massive amount of ADA, leading to centralization. One of the most know Exchanges, Biance, for example, has for the moment more than 60 Staking Pools (all with the name BNP), without any pledge (some of them have 0 ADA as pledge, some of them have 2 ADA as pledge).
When you stake in an Exchange, you cannot select the pool you are delegating to. Some Exchanges also lock your ADA for a period of time when you stake. When you delegate from your wallet, your ADA is not locked, you can make payments anytime. And don’t forget, your ADA is not really yours when you keep it in an Exchange. Your ADA needs to be in your wallet, if you want to have the full control and ownership of it. “Not your keys, not your Crypto”.