Delegating stake to a pool - any risks?

As staking approaches in big steps one question.
Is there any risk of making any fatal mistake causing one can lose holdings as far as delegating to stake pool is considered ?

Delegating your ada is a safe thing if you keep a few things in mind:

Only use a wallet that you trust and that you have loaded from a legitim source like, or

Delegation has nothing to do with sending your ada. If someone or something requires to send your ada it’s a scam.

The worst thing that can happen is that your selected pool does not perform well in terms of rewards. You should check your rewards after x epochs, maybe even every epoch at the beginning.


Afaik, staking reguires a new address and the most common error is mistyping but this time this activity is up to pool owner, right ?

Yes, this is true. I’m not sure how the wallets in the “incentivized testnet” will handle this, but I expect for the mainnet lunch that the wallets take care of the needed migration for you. We’ll have to wait for details on this.

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But might it be possible, that a bad pool actor, even just by mistake, uses invalid (new) address (out of control) or changes reward settled scheme ?

The “risk” I see it possible the cost of a pool to stake outweighs the rewards… granted this is highly unlikely as everyone would leave the pool… really not sure what Risk’s there are.

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yes, it would undermine the whole system, but I think more about whether there is a guarantee and protection against any errors (accidental or intentional) committed by the pools if they can occur

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I would firstly advise you not to openly disclose your ADA holdings…!

Your comment is very much inviting a scammer to privately contact you in order to ‘Help’ you move your ADA Safely.

  1. Disclosing an amount of ADA gives someone the Reward

  2. Disclosing your fear and experience (or lack of) in Crypto indicates an Easy Target

  3. Finally, due to your ‘advertisement’ of the amount of ADA you hold, the fact you don’t know what you are doing and fear the process, gives someone the ‘Job’ in an attempt to take your ADA from you.

I feel this is a good opportunity to remind you of some basic Internet Safety.

If you don’t read the link, please remember NEVER give your Seed Phrase to anyone, never move you ADA to an address that someone else has access to, or access to the seed phrase. Anyone asking you to move crypto currency is most likely trying to scam you.

(Don’t lose your ADA)


You are absolutely right @Lgbeano about all necessary precautions. But the point is, many have accumulated their ADA through long time, step by step in small amounts and kept them for any reason on exchange. Now, if one wants to stake, needs to move it to wallet. And it is tempting to be done in one or just few moves instead of say hundreds small transactions. That may unfortunately cause a certain number of mistakes, considering a significant number of ppl who decide so. But there is probably nothing that can be done except taking extreme caution. For me this is another argument to keep holdings in the wallet from the start.
However, the essence of the thread is the question, what risk may be on the pool side
and during delegating process.

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I would definitely recommend double checking the address before sending. It may be a good idea to send a small amount on the first transaction, to confirm the ADA arrives at the desired address and everything was done correctly.

It is never recommended to keep any crypto asset on an exchange. Once staking is released it would be down to each exchange to decide if they will allow staking.


Yes, we all know those neccessities, address double checking and so forth, I hope …
As far as staking through exchange pools I am not so sure if they can do that. Staking is done within your wallet and you only give a right to represent you through delegation.

I’m not sure if I got your question right, but there is nothing a pool can do (intentionally or accidentally) to put your delegated ada (in your wallet) at risk.

On the other side, there are many things a pool can do (intentionally or accidentally) to put your rewards at risk. This includes server outages, shutting down services, messing up updates, internet problems, attracting you with a small fee and then raising the fee. (wallet will track such actions)


That’s exactly what I meant by asking and these are the answers I was looking for. Thanks for the clarification. To sum up, as I understand it now, you can’t lose your ADA in any way in process of delegating your stake, what ever activities it requires, but you may have sometimes problems with rewards if you choose a weak pool.


I know this is an old post, but I have one related question.
Is there any risk of loosing your ADA as a consequence of the penalty of a malicious stack pool operator ? …I mean if you by “what ever reason” or even mislead … delegate all your ada to a malicious pool …is there any risk involved in this ?

If a pool acts in a way detrimental to the network it will not be selected to process blocks. You always maintain your control over your ADA and it cannot be taken by a pool operator. If the pool you delegate with shuts down, your wallet will simply revert to an undelegated wallet until you select a new pool. The delegating downsides are staking to a pool that has trouble staying connected to the network. If the node has trouble doing its job because of operator error it will not be selected which keeps pool operators competitive.

There is as much involvement delegating as you would like. You could find a pool with low fees and 99.999% uptime but it becomes over saturated with delegates and you get a smaller reward. You could delegate to a smaller pool that only processes a few blocks a month but your ROS might be way higher than with a bigger pool. If you set a delegation and then bugger off for a few months you could potentially loose ROS due to over saturation and you not delegating to a smaller pool.

I like the fact that I can change my delegation if the pools I have chosen do not live up to my expectations. I also know the pool operators and spent some time before launch reaching out and learning about them as people.

Here are four pool tickers that kind of cover the whole gambit of small-large scale pool operations, check them out if you would like (I delegate to all four of these so I do have a personal motive for sharing them).


All great pools with competent and knowledgeable pool operators who are in it for the long haul.

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Your question is answered already in @basia’s post immediately above your own.

To sum up, as I understand it now, you can’t lose your ADA in any way in process of delegating your stake, what ever activities it requires, but you may have sometimes problems with rewards if you choose a weak pool.


@RobJF, hmm I am not sure, perhaps I am not clear in my question. What I am worried about is that if there is a malicious stake-pool operator will his/hers penalty effect us?.eg. assume that this node get caught, what is the penalty for this/his/hers “crime” ?.

As I understand then a deterministic (malicious) pool wont get selected for producing a block but assuming the worst then … is there any penalty opposed on these pool that may effect the delegated ADA … or is the preventing the pool not being selected for producing the next block the only “Penalty measure” ? this case then I am all in as my ada will be safe :slight_smile:

I’m sorry, “you can’t lose your ADA in any way” seems pretty clear to me. Applies to both your original stake and any rewards already received. Rewards you merely expect are a different matter.

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@RobJF, my apologizes for disturbing, I am just worried and want to be clear before I stake my savings, I am a bit relaxed now.
Thank you for your reply anyways :slight_smile: cheers and happy staking :wink:

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