Stakepools are run by stakepool operators. These are network participants with the skills to reliably ensure consistent uptime of a node, which is essential in ensuring the success of the Ouroboros protocol and the Cardano network as a whole.
The protocol uses a probabilistic mechanism to select a leader for each slot, who will be expected to create the next block in the chain. The chance of a stakepool node being selected as slot leader increases proportionately to the amount of stake delegated to that node. Each time a stakepool node is selected as a slot leader and successfully creates a block, it receives a reward, which is shared with the pool delegators proportionately to the amount each member has delegated. Stakepool operators can deduct their running costs from the awarded ada, as well as specify a profit margin for providing the service.
Yes. Staked ada are not locked. You may withdraw your ada and spend them at any time. The only ada that are locked are the ada pledged to the stakepool by the owners and operators. Delegating to a stakepool has no required time commitment.
Yes. Delegated stake can be re-delegated to another pool at any time. Re-delegated stake will remain in the current pool until the epoch after next (from the point of re-delegation), after which your delegation preferences will be updated on the chain and your stake moved to the new stake pool. Rewards are distributed from the end of each epoch, so you’ll continue to receive rewards from your original stake pool for two epochs before your new delegation preferences are applied.
Yes. However, to delegate to multiple stake pools, you will need to create separate wallets. The stake associated with each wallet can then be delegated to a specific stake pool.
The mainnet Daedalus wallet will feature a list of all participating stake pools directly via the UI, while Yoroi will show the same information via their Seiza blockchain explorer. These pools will be ranked and color-coded to help stakeholders make the best decision about where to delegate their stake. Ranking is based on many factors including fees, pledge, and performance, which is calculated in part based on the number of blocks the stake pool was tasked to create compared to the number actually created in a single epoch. Over time, more metrics will be added to this ranking.
Both Daedalus and Yoroi wallets are supported for the Incentivized Testnet. You can download your preferred wallet client using this link .
Many exchanges are also converting their services to be compatible with Cardano’s new Shelley era and will likely make it possible to stake any ada you keep on their exchange.
When you first restore a wallet in Shelley-era Daedalus, a balance wallet is created containing all your Byron-era ada. Balance wallets are copies of mainnet wallets, and as such do not support stake delegation. To participate in delegation on the Shelley mainnet, you’ll need to create a rewards wallet and transfer funds from your balance wallet to your rewards wallet.
Both available mainnet wallets (Daedalus and Yoroi) will display a total of rewards earned throughout the Shelley era.
Not yet. But, we expect that this capability will be enabled on several exchanges soon.