Cardano Foundation announces its delegation methodology - CLOSED

Dear Cardano Foundation,

We have only recently discovered the CF delegation methodology, did we understand it correctly, that the stake pool choice is completely random if it fits in the criteria, or there is anything that SPO can do to stand out in the selection process, please?

Thank you!

The Cardano Foundation’s delegation methodology

For stake pools to be eligible for delegation from the Cardano Foundation, they must fall within the following criteria (data sourced from a self-hosted passive node):

  • Hold between ₳25,000 and ₳2mn as a pledge,
  • Operated by a stakepool operator that only runs one pool (difficult to verify but best effort attempt),
  • Have a normal operating cost of less than 5% variable rate, and a fixed rate of around ₳340,
  • Does not have a high number of ada already staked (less than 5% saturation),
  • Have validated blocks successfully in the past,
  • Have not been delegated to by the Cardano Foundation in the last four rounds.

To randomly select stake pools to delegate to, the Cardano Foundation will use a third party randomizer to choose from eligible pools according to the criteria listed above. As and when Daedalus implements non-myopic rankings, we shall implement this approach to stake pool selection.

Going forward re-delegation shall occur approximately every three epochs. Should an epoch end on a weekend, re-delegation shall be completed the following week.

In total, the Cardano Foundation has multiple wallets from which we will delegate our ada assets. Our ada assets are equally distributed across our wallets. Single wallets will be used to delegate to one pool at a time.

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also u should know that there is another program from IOG

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Thank you very much for your insights! Refreshing IOG’s blog in search for the news of their new delegation round has been part of our daily routine through the last month. However, we have only seen CF delegation today.
There is hope to get some saturation out of it after all, not just fun (:

I suppose, you have the same understanding of when IOG is about to release the next round application, as everybody else, meaning: soon? (:

This will be hard for people in emerging countries like Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, etc. Thus true global decentralization cannot be achieved. Pools will mainly be maintained in wealthy countries.

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yes, earlier in April they should open the delegation process because around 5 May they should rotate the pools :wink:

Understand your concern and you are right but maybe they will change the criteria

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I often wonder what folks are actually asking/hoping for. The fundamentals say that the system will converge towards k saturated pools, which is thought to reach a state of equilibrium where no player has an advantage of changing the configuration - k is currently at 500.

Ok, you may think that 500 pools, with all the others eventually loosing all delegators to more profitable pools, is no good and you may want to increase k - lets say to 1.000, 10.000 or even 100.000. What you probably don’t want is hyperinflation, which would kill the project. Lets assume, you therefore would like to have the total reward to remain more or less the same i.e. 15.000.000 / epoch. You would then have to distribute that among the 100.000 (saturated) pools, each of which would receive 150 ADA / epoch. How about all those, who are not lucky enough to be among those “privileged” 100.000? Oh, and lets not forget, there are only 21.600 blocks / epoch - so every (saturated) pool would still get 750 ADA, but only once a month. Is that good use of compute resources?

Optimal decentralization is also not necessarily about an ever increasing number of nodes. There are other important factors to consider too - security and scalability for example.

Delegation grants like this may go here or there for a while and then they go elsewhere. They will likely not change the fundamentals of game theory or what research has shown to be good for most for the longest possible time. These delegations are probably more like a fleeting gift than something one should feel entitled to receive.

It is possible to run a pool totally non-profit and still be very happy about, because it’s the direction of the project what matters most IMHO.


The IOG delegation strategy does not have a minimum pledge amount, they select pools by their mission and technical solidity, so everyone has a chance.

I agree with you. I operate a small pool, but I think the “k” parameter has a reason to exist. Most of the new SPOs that arrived on the scene lately I think were attracted by the high value of ADA and the possibility of easy gains. I find myself quite shocked to see pools with almost zero pledge looking for delegators, claiming that for the sake of decentralization they should have some incentives. I find myself even more shocked when I see some of those pools actually being successful in attracting delegators because they actually pay them to join. It was very hard for me to put together a reasonable pledge and later increasing it, yet it’s tough seeing that it does not matter to most of the delegators if a pool has a good pledge or not, if it has a mission or not. It only matters if you give them money, now.

OK, enough complaining. Cardano is a solid boat that will give great satisfaction to those who have the patience and commitment in the long term.

Different strategies , that help different type of folks - the effectiveness of either methods is really just out there. The IOG method for example also could feel like how you market your pool (add glitter words about aim and goals), and does not have a place for whether or not you’re running a pool farm for example. On the other hand, randomisation can make anyone (including those who just have pool stood up without much association to project) receive the token.

There will NEVER be a happy point for most as long as they’ve not yet received the delegation :slightly_smiling_face:

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Game theory has obviously failed. There are millions sitting in oversatured pools while Binance is steadily divouring the space. Most of the small pools operators will retire sooner or later being left without any hope. New pool operators in countries where the network desires them (Asia, South America, Afrika) have even less chances to start and grow. I’m not smart enough to tell what exactly has to change. But something has to change significantly.

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It would be great if the age of the pool had some weight in the choice.
For example, my pool (HYPE) has been operating since September and has never received any support. Thank you in advance.

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Hi Viper, How can we get FOX Pool in this list? we received delegation from CF from epoch 232 to 239

Added your pool :slight_smile:

Dear Cardano Community,

As some of you may be aware, with the recent new release of Daedalus, there have been some issues with syncing progress. This also affects our redelegation process. We apologize for this delay, but please rest assured that this is very high on our agenda. We are working hard on a resolution and we will have more information for you as soon as this situation changes.

Thank you for your patience in this regard,

The Cardano Foundation


Thank u for the update!

Thank you for the update.

However I believe the process of delegation has failed this round.
2 months the stake has been with the selected pools 12 epochs(instead of 5), this is over double what occurred in the previous rounds…

I do understand unforeseen impacts and knock on effects but it has really dragged on…


Thanks for the updates. :pray:

That’s a nice idea to be added as well. A weight parameter of the pool’s age added to the pickup mechanism makes it more fair against newcomers…

We’re on the same boat MarcoM, needs strong patience :smiley:

Cheers evr1

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