Cardano Stake Pool Variables - Multiple choice

What do Cardano stake pool operator and owners have control over?

Multiple choice:

  • Cost
  • k Number
  • Desirability
  • Pledge
  • Margin

0 voters

We did a breakdown on just this, no peeking until you vote :grin:

1 Like

Good article, a few small details should be revised. Because from going through, it sounds like you got the constant k wrong.

K is simply a fixed number of, for the system, desired amount of pools. You could also say this ensures the minimum amount of pools. And it’s almost sure that there will be always more pools.

Sentences like “The goal of every Cardano public pool operator should be to get their pool into k” doesn’t make sense. (it implies that the k is some kind of secret circle or what not.)


If you read into that article that k is a secret and not a known target, then I have not explained what k is.

Sill, I’m hard-pressed as the original essays closing, the sentence you clipped, is this:

The goal of every Cardano public pool operator should be to get their pool into k, and by doing so gain the majority of delegated Ada, this is by design.

Having said that, if looking at k as a secret circle moves stake pool owners to think competitively, then mix it in. :wink:

k the exposed secret circle recipe

  • spoon of Cost
  • tsp of Margin
  • mix with plenty of Pledge

And :hearts: lots and lots of :hearts: (your stake pool reason for being)

For another look at k you might want to read this:

Okay, I wrote my answer under the assumption that it was the constant “k” from the delegation design specification. But if I understand you correctly, it’s just something you made up in the article.

No it is not, k is even cited in the article:

Cardano-SL core constants.yaml on GitHub.

Directly from that article:

A stake pool operator has three primary controls that will impact their pools disability:

  1. Cost
  2. Margin
  3. Pledge

In Cardano’s framework, a desirable stake pool is one that makes it into k.

The k variable maintains equilibrium between efficiency and decentralization, by limiting the desirable number of pools appearing to Ada holders for delegation selection.

k is not a made up number

Continuing on with the essay:

Efficiency = k
Decentralization = k
Desirability = k

k walks the line beween efficiency and decentralization.

As far as Cardano’s framework is concerned, the majority of delegated Ada must go to those competitive stake pool owners that make it into k .

Desirable Cardano stake pools will be the only ones displayed to Ada holders in their wallets .

Desirability = Delegation selection by design

The pledge variable makes the separation of operator and owner(s) possible. It’s an elegant solution that enables Cardano to reach its k target of 100 ^1 public pools while encouraging those with limited Ada to pool their holdings and pledge to a pool operator, thus maximizing the diversification of pool owners while maintaining network efficiency.

Cardano-SL core constants.yaml on GitHub.

You may want to double check the details with

compiled PDF available on

Also note that k is not defined yet. It may be 500, 800, 1000 or something else. The article says it’s 100 which is very likely wrong.

Did you miss this?

The variable k is currently set to 100 stake pools, and will likely change over time.

Perhaps I should bold it.

Remember this forum post is titled:
What do Cardano stake pool operator and owners have control over?

k is a variable like the other variables, cost, margin, and pledge, but unlike them, k is set by Cardano’s framework, not by pool operators.

I just wanted to be helpful. You are mixing all kinds of things up. The parameter “k” in constants.yaml file has nothing to do with the desired amount of pools. (except for the letter k)

What it does is basically controlling how many slots are in one epoch. Please see:


You are correct, the page version that you were referencing was a cached version, my bad.

Cardano ledger specs on GitHub.

Thanks @adatainment