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Frequently asked questions

In proof of work, miners invest computing power to compete to be chosen as the leader who gets to make the next block and win a reward for doing so. By contrast, in proof of stake, the stakeholder who will form the next block is randomly selected, proportionally to the size of the stake that they have, according to the blockchain ledger.

“Proof” means having evidence that blocks of transactions are legitimate. “Stake” means the relative value held by addresses on the node. “Relative value” is all the value held by wallets on a particular node divided by total value in the system.

There have been a number of attempts by other cryptocurrencies to develop a proof of stake algorithm, although these protocols have suffered from flaws and have not been shown to be provably secure.

For a blockchain to be secure, the means of selecting a stakeholder to make a block must be truly random. An innovation of Ouroboros to produce the randomness for the leader election process is to do this by way of a secure, multiparty implementation of a coin-flipping protocol.

Cardano delegation is the method by which individual coin holders can delegate their ADA to staking pools and earn Cardano rewards based on the size and performance metrics of those pools.

Essentially, delegation is how the everyman “mines” Cardano (though this is technically done by the pools that earn slot leader status in each five-day epoch).

You can use the rewards calculator to get an idea of how much you will earn in rewards. It’s important to note that the calculator produces only reward estimates and shouldn’t be considered definitive or a guarantee of reward amounts. In the future, we will likely test different parameters that may affect reward margins. Amounts calculated are therefore subject to change, but represent a realistic and sensible level of return.

No. We never have any access to your coins. In absolutely no circumstances should you ever send your ADA to anyone who claims to be running a staking pool. Delegating your stake to any pool does not require you to send your ADA. ADA will never leave your wallet. All delegation will occur within the Daedalus and Yoroi Wallets. You are always in control of your coins.

No. Your ADA will not be locked or frozen for a certain time-period when delegated. You are free to move your ADA in and out of your delegated stake and free to change which staking pools you participate in as often as you want. The act of delegation does not relinquish spending power. Only the right to participate in the protocol is delegated. Funds can be spent normally at any time.

Your staked ADA is completely safe! Your staked funds remain solely in your control – stake pools never have access to your funds or rewards. Additionally, you can never lose funds by staking them. Pools take their fees from the total rewards earned by the pool, prior to distruting them to delegators. If a pool doesn’t make any blocks, it doesn’t take any fees. Fees are not charged directly to delegators.

There are two types of fees stake pools charge: fixed fee and margin (also called variable fee). The fixed fee is an amount of ADA taken from the total rewards the pool produces in an epoch (epochs last 5 days). There is a minimum fixed fee of 340 ADA, which all pools must charge. Note: this is not a fee charged to each delegator. Margin, or variable fee, is a percentage taken from the pool’s total rewards each epoch after the fixed fee has been deducted. These fees go to the pool’s operators to cover the costs of running their pool.

Pledge is the amount of ADA the pool operator(s) have staked in their own pool. This effectively lets delegators know how invested the operators are in the success of the pool. Pledged ADA earns rewards just like if it were staked, so if a pool goes down, its operator will not only miss out on collecting fees for the missed blocks, but they will also lose rewards on their pledge. Pledge also has a small effect on the rewards earned by the pool’s delegators. This is called the pledge influence factor.

Cardano’s Ouroboros protocol divides up its delegation staking rewards across five-day periods called epochs. These epochs are the periods during which different stake pools compete with one another to earn slot leader designation, which lets them create and validate new blocks.

ADA rewards are disbursed after every epoch.

Yes. When you delegate your ADA to a stake pool, you will pay a nominal transaction fee (the equivalent of a few cents in US dollars).

The very first time you delegate your stake you will also pay a 2 ADA deposit which is returned to you when you undelegate your funds.

When staking Cardano, rewards will be disbursed after every epoch, or every five days. Over the long run, the current model indicates that those who participate in ADA staking will earn a return of about 5.0 to 5.5{f7657a00fe642260dc1af962a382b7f355ab27962c140cc24f1da554fe349161} on their investment annually.

The rewards are paid with 15-20 days delay (about 3-4 Epochs). This means that for the first 15-20 days, you will not receive any rewards. However, with each subsequent Epoch, you will start receiving rewards from the previous Epochs.

After that time, the rewards will be paid at the end of every Epoch (5 days).

Have more questions?

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