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If you are interested in how to earn Cardano rewards, your mind will almost certainly go straight to the idea of cryptocurrency mining. After all, for so long, that’s been the dynamic: To earn more crypto, you have to mine it. However, Cardano operates differently than other mainstream cryptocurrencies. Instead, you earn ADA through a process called Cardano staking, and Cardano uses ADA stake pools – or delegation – to achieve this.
How to stake Cardano – or, more technically – how to delegate your Cardano stake – is an important part of the backbone of the Cardano ADA system. Indeed, the cryptocurrency staking model that Cardano uses is unique among proof-of-stake coins, and is designed to achieve true decentralization by the spring of 2021, something other major cryptocurrencies have tried to accomplish.
Cardano staking is unique in that it allows anyone who holds ADA to earn rewards through a simplified, straightforward process that is facilitated through the interface of all official Cardano wallets. If you’d like to get in on the ground floor and go straight to the top, our brief Cardano How-To Stake Guide will get you delegating – and profiting – just like crypto intended!
What is Cardano Staking?
Before you can learn how to delegate your Cardano stake, you need to understand what Cardano staking actually is. It might seem like a lot to take in, but don’t worry – it’s all pretty straightforward, even for first-time crypto users.
Staking is a different form of blockchain validation, which is the security theory that most cryptocurrencies are built around. With Bitcoin (BTC), you’ve heard of Bitcoin mining, or the method by which BTC transactions are validated by the community.
However, mining Bitcoin takes tremendous processing power and undermines its “decentralized” nature by giving all the validation control to just a few multimillion-dollar corporations with giant server farms. The little guy can’t compete.
With Cardano, which is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, mining is not used. Instead, blockchain transactions are validated by “epoch slot leaders.” These are the stake pools that are selected for the given five-day time periods – or epochs – Cardano uses, and they derive their power from everyone in the community who has delegated their Cardano ADA to said pool. Slot leaders are responsible for creating new Cardano blocks and validating them. In return for this work, the pool is awarded ADA coins to distribute to their stake pool members.
Cardano Staking Rewards
As a reward for their community assistance, those involved in staking Cardano ADA will earn passive income in the form of more tokens whenever their delegate pool validates a block. To get these rewards, however, you must delegate your ADA to a Cardano proof-of-stake pool such as ADA Strong or any of the authorized Cardano stake pools you find in your wallet’s delegation center.
This is effectively Cardano coin mining, and the Cardano staking rewards are granted in the form of more Cardano ADA tokens. Instead of only the owners of expensive servers getting all the rewards for block-building and validation, the ADA Cardano staking model allows everyone who owns ADA to contribute and benefit.
Cardano staking rewards are distributed automatically. You do not have to take any action to claim your rewards, they will just appear in your wallet. Rewards are earned at the end of each epoch, which lasts for 5 days.
Initially there will be some delays in when rewards begin appearing in wallets, but once things are running and more of the block building is taking place among the public stake pools, your POS rewards will flow into your wallet.
What Happens to My ADA When I Delegate My Cardano Stake?
When you delegate to a Stake Pool such as ADAStrong, your ADA stays right where it is, in your wallet. First and foremost, we want to convey that when you delegate your stake, you are NOT giving anyone access to or control of your ADA coins. Delegation is facilitated using the Ouroboros protocol. This is the very first provably secure proof of stake blockchain protocol, By design, the protocol protects your ADA from being accessed by any stake pool operator or member.
Your delegation essentially translates into a vote for a specific stake pool that you select to work on your behalf to contribute to the blockchain and earn Cardano staking rewards. When you delegate your stake, your ADA is not moved out of your wallet and is not tied up or locked while it is delegated. You can still trade it, sell it, spend it, or redelegate it at any time.
Cardano Staking Wallet Options
In order to delegate Cardano with a stake pool, you need to have a Cardano rewards wallet – that is, you’ll need a Cardano Wallet that is compatible with and supports the new Shelley protocol and which will guide you step-by-step in how to stake Cardano coins and how to join a Cardano pool.
As long as you have a solid, reputable, reliable wallet, you’ll be able to learn how to stake with Cardano quickly and securely. Currently, the best ADA Wallets for Cardano staking are Daedalus, Yoroi, and ADALite. You can also join a Cardano proof-of-stake pool from select online cryptocurrency exchanges.
Daedalus is the “official” Cardano wallet, and you can download it free from Cardano.org (https://daedaluswallet.io/). You’ll want to get the latest version, which is designed to let you delegate your ADA and earn rewards.
If you want to learn how to stake ADA with Daedalus, the most straightforward way to do this is to simply download the wallet application, install it, and follow the instructions provided within the software itself.
However, very basically, staking ADA on Daedalus works like this:
- Open the app (currently called “Daedalus Mainnet). It will take a few moments for the wallet to open and sync with the blockchain.
- Navigate to the Rewards and Delegation section of the wallet using the navigation icons on the left-hand side. It will be the network icon, the second one listed.
- Once you are in the rewards section of Daedalus, you will see an option for Delegation Center. When you select this tab, you will see a list of your wallets and their delegation status.
- Select which wallet you would like to delegate from and click on the word ‘delegate’ for that wallet. A dialogue box will appear that prompts you to select your wallet and hit continue to proceed.
- Once you hit continue, you will be directed to select your stake pool. You can type in the name of a pool you want to join or you can browse the list of available pools. For example, to join AdaStrong, you would type in: ADAST or Adastrong to find our pool. To explore various stake pools, you can click on a pool’s ticker to view performance metrics, fees, and other information about that pool.
- After you find the pool you want to delegate to, simply click on the pool and hit continue.
- You will be prompted to enter your spending password to approve the pool delegation and the small fee associated with it. NO ADA will be moved from your wallet other than the nominal transaction fee.
- You can redelegate your stake to another pool at any time, though changes during an epoch will not be reflected until after that epoch completes. You can see a running real-time countdown of the epoch in the delegation center option.
These basic steps will be similar across all Cardano wallets that support stake pool delegation, though each will have its own specific setup. For most users, the Cardano Daedalus staking system offers the most straightforward and simple step-by-step process.
Daedalus does allow users to browse stake pools, their rankings, and their performance metrics from inside Daedalus instead of having to reference an outside source such as pooltool.io.
If you use the popular lightweight crypto wallet Yoroi (official link here https://yoroi-wallet.com/#/), you can now stake your ADA through the platform. (These instructions assume you have created your Shelley wallet and if applicable, have transferred your funds from a previous Byron wallet to your Shelley wallet).
- The Yoroi dashboard has rewards data integrated into it, and there is a delegation tab provided for Cardano staking. Navigate to the Delegation Center using this tab.
- Yoroi now allows users to browse the list of stake pools directly from their wallets. You can sort the list by score or alphabetically by ticker. If you'd like to explore the data on our pool, the ADA Strong stake pool ticker is: ADAST.
- You can also simply add a stake pool ID using the tab titled: Delegation by ID. If you would like to delegate to Ada Strong, you can use our pool ID: e2eed9f58a161573050ab9324252b4fcccbf9fe06e1a034b6f91d748
- Once you’ve chosen your Cardano stake pool, you can hit the delegate button on the far right and you will be prompted to verify your selection.
- To authorize the delegation and the nominal fees associated with the process, you’ll need to enter the spending password you established when you created your wallet.
Many users prefer Yoroi for its Cardano proof-of-stake pool implementation, but it mostly just comes down to personal preference of UI and UX. Yoroi is a trusted crypto wallet, is easy to use, and is a great alternative to Daedalus. It is also a little faster to access since it does not require synchronization with the entire Cardano blockchain each time it is used as Daedalus does.
When it comes to how to stake ADA Cardano on ADALite, the process is similar to the above. ADALite is the leanest of the reputable ADA wallets out there, but there are also many hoaxers who attempt to copy the look and feel of this wallet in an attempt to trick users into providing access to their funds. As such, please be sure to download the ADALite wallet only from the official ADALite website here (https://adalite.io/).
ADALite is a software wallet with hardware wallet support for select Trezor and Ledger devices. Again, please only buy these devices directly from the manufacturers themselves, as third-party sellers may have compromised their security.
Once you have installed ADALite onto your computer or hardware wallet, follow these simple ADA staking instructions:
- To create or access your wallet, you must enter your ADA pass phrase (aka mnemonic password). This allows you to log into your wallet.
- Click the “Unlock” button.
- The wallet interface is now open. To send ADA coins to your wallet, follow the instructions at the bottom of the opened page.
- Manually enter the ID number for the staking pool you wish to join (i.e. ADA Strong, which can be found at pool ID e2eed9f58a161573050ab9324252b4fcccbf9fe06e1a034b6f91d748). If you do not input a stake pool ID, your wallet will default to an AdaLite stake pool option.
- Once you have entered your preferred stake pool ID, you simply hit the delegate button and voila, you’re on your way to earning rewards.
That’s all there is to it when staking Cardano with the ADALite wallet. Many users prefer using ADALite thanks to its hardware wallet support and easy interface, but it is not any better than Daedalus or Yoroi, nor is it any safer or more reputable.
All the wallets listed here can be trusted and have passed the test of time, so you can use them to delegate your ADA with confidence.
Some ADA holders will naturally want to join a Cardano stake pool directly from the exchanges where they keep their crypto. When it comes to how to stake your Cardano at these exchanges, each will have a separate procedure to do so.
Many exchanges are still updating to the Cardano Shelley release, so you may have to wait before you can stake ADA from your chosen network. To date, the exchanges confirmed to support Shelley (or that will support it in the near future) are the following:
How To Pick The Best Cardano Stake Pool
In the beginning, rankings and performance metrics will not be applicable due to the slow and strategic rollout of stake pool involvement. Even so, there are some distinct markers that will give some stake pools who have achieved certain benchmarks a leg up. Here are a few factors that you can use initially to determine the best Cardano stake pool options. We've also listed ADA Strong’s standing with the criteria evaluated.
Stake Pool Pledge
Have the stake pool operators pledged their own ADA to prove they are committed and have skin in the game?
ADA Strong has pledged 3 million ADA – so we have a significant investment in the success of our stake pool. This level of commitment ensures that we are laser-focused and giving our undivided attention to our nodes at all times as we work to make ADA Strong a premium rewards earner.
Are the stake pool operators technically qualified to maintain the necessary performance benchmarks in order to ensure success with building blocks, including quality of servers, uptime, and know-how?
ADA Strong utilizes technologically advanced servers with specifications that exceed industry standards to power our node, including historically verified and reliable uptime. In addition, our team has extensive experience and knowledge with the technical side of programming and monitoring performance metrics to keep things running like a well oiled machine.
Is the stake pool attracting new delegates?
ADA Strong had an active stake of more than 40 million as early as Epoch 212, which is more than double the active stake we had during Epoch 211, so we are showing strong growth without being in danger of saturation.
Attracting new delegators is a vital part of the process as there are minimum thresholds that must be met for a pool to be selected as a slot leader and staying well above that threshold ensures being selected more often to build blocks.
The nature of the Cardano ecosystem will encourage the spread of delegation among the entire stake pool community as operators compete for your stake. ADA holders will bounce around and redelegate their ADA as they observe the performance success or failure within the different pools once rewards begin to flow.
We can promise you that we are committed to earning our stake pool members maximum benefits in the form of Cardano staking rewards. We are in it for the long haul, and are dedicated to working hard for you as we partner together to not only earn profitable rewards, but to join forces to change the world.
ADA Strong (ADAST) Blockchain Performance
ADA Strong Lifetime Blocks
We update this data at the close of each EPOCH and will display the stats from the most recent 8 EPOCHS because it gives a good picture of progress. You can review our live performance data in real-time here.
- ADA Strong Pool Ticker: ADAST
- Pool ID: e2eed9f58a161573050ab9324252b4fcccbf9fe06e1a034b6f91d748
- Pool Fees: 340 Minimum Fixed Fee Per Epoch And 5% Variable Fee
Cardano Staking FAQs
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).
To learn how to stake ADA Cardano (i.e. mining Cardano ADA), we’ve outlined the specific steps you need to follow in detail above.
However, the process can be briefly outlined this way: Download an ADA wallet compatible with the Shelley update (Daedalus, Yoroi, ADALite), transfer your ADA to the wallet, and then use the wallet’s crypto delegation feature to delegate your ADA coins to the stakepool of your choice. Get incentivized rewards for participating.
Yes! To learn how to stake ADA coins using the Daedalus wallet, please follow the detailed instructions on this page.
There is no Cardano proof-of-stake minimum. You can transfer as much or as little ADA to a stake pool as you wish, and you may also put your ADA in multiple different stake pools at the same time. How many ADA to stake is thus entirely up to your discretion. To stake ADA to multiple stake pools, you will need to create multiple wallets.
You can stake your Cardano any time you like, and you can also remove your coins from delegation at any time. And remember, staking your ADA does not remove the coins from your wallet, so you always have full control over – and access to – your funds. You can even still spend your Cardano while it’s staked!
However, please note that whatever amount you spend from your Rewards wallet will be automatically deducted from your stake amount, reducing your reward potential.
Keep in mind that depending on the status of the current epoch when you make changes to your delegation, they may not be reflected until the current or next epoch closes.
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 4.5% on their investment annually.
No. Paper wallets are offline crypto storage solutions. In order to take advantage of the Shelley fork and claim ADA rewards, you will have to put your ADA back online.
If you’re interested in how to earn Cardano through staking, you must first put your ADA in a compatible wallet or on a compatible exchange. It is possible this will change in the future as new
This is entirely up to you. We recommend ADA Strong for several reasons:
- Pledged amount of three million ADA coins
- High end dedicated technical resources
- Ability to attract new delegators
- Commitment to successfully earning rewards
- Dedication to making meaningful contributions to achieve true decentralization through the Cardano blockchain initiative and its world-changing financial infrastructure.
ADAStrong is dedicated to running as a completely transparent stake pool, offering live tracking of our performance data for all potential delegates.
All reputable stakepools will charge a nominal processing fee to carry some of the operational costs of running the node. This fee is only deducted from the rewards that the pool earns in each epoch. In other words, the pool’s fees are not derived from ADA delegates but are simply taken off the top before the remaining rewards are automatically disbursed proportionally among pool members.
All fees are clearly listed in the ticker box information for each pool as well as on pooltools.io and other similar sites.
ADA Strong delegation carries a 340 minimum fixed fee per Epoch, which is standard across most stake pools, and a 5% variable fee. These fees are not withdrawn from your ADA wallet but rather are applied prior to rewards disbursement.
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.
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.
We think so!
Of course, all cryptocurrencies carry some inherent risk, but Cardano is innovative and stable, seeing remarkable growth over the last several years. Today, Cardano is already one of the top 10 most traded cryptos in the world.
Of all the existing proof-of-stake coins, we believe Cardano offers by far the best and most sustainable implementation and the best opportunity for a truly decentralized ecosystem.
We also strongly support the many innovative uses that the Cardano blockchain can have in the smart contract, data storage, and digital asset security spaces, as well as the global benefits that can be realized by millions of people without financial identity.
However, we are not attempting to provide you with financial investment advice or tell you how to spend your hard-earned money. We are simply sharing why we believe Cardano is a good investment for ourselves.
In short, these are the two main models by which cryptocurrency blockchains are validated. Proof-of-work was pioneered by Bitcoin, where computers have to solve complex algorithms using raw processing power in a race to mine more BTC.
Proof-of-stake, which is the model Cardano is based on, is akin to mining, but this uses delegation to build up stake pools, with the most qualified pools having the power to validate blockchains and earn rewards for their delegates.
The technical aspects of Cardano’s delegate system and PoS platform have been five years in the making and can’t be explained in detail here. However, we have covered the basics above.
Simply put, Cardano’s proof-of-stake model allows ADA holders to delegate their ADA to larger collective pools. The bigger the pool, the greater its chance to become epoch slot leader, allowing it to build and validate more blocks on the blockchain and earn more rewards for its delegates.
To keep the platform decentralized, the biggest pools will experience temporary saturation and a proportional reduction in rewards, encouraging delegates to put their coins in other smaller pools. Once a portion of the pool members redelegate their stake, the pool resumes their status of earning larger rewards.
A Cardano proof-of-stake calculator is simply a calculator that shows you how much ADA you stand to make on a given pledge or delegation.
Some wallets have PoS calculators built-in, so you can see approximately how much new crypto you’ll acquire for a given amount pledged.