How could pledge delegation work?

Topic for discussion: Would it be beneficial for the community if we could not only delegate stake, but also pledge to pools?

Here is why I think yes, it would:

Some pool operators lament the fact that at the current ADA price level it is prohibitively expensive to acquire enough pledge to kick-start a sustainable pool. Others, having invested early, are in a position that allows operating and growing a pool and sometimes even more than one.

I am squarely in the second category and nevertheless would like to support some SPOs with pledge. Why not simply delegate? Two main reasons:

  1. I believe that pledge signals a stronger commitment than the same amount of stake because stake is easier to move elsewhere than pledge.
  2. I’m not interested in subsidising other SPO’s income with fees and margin. If I pledge my money to other pools it should yield the same as if I would put it in my own pool.

So I am thinking about supporting other pools with pledge rather than delegated stake and I’m wondering how this could be done in practice.

Option 1: Transfer my ADA to the SPO’s pledge address and trust them to return the funds + rewards at my request. Easy but not a good choice unless I really trust the other SPO. Also has potential tax implications for both sides because I handed over money.

Option 2: Hold the funds on an address with associated stake key belonging to me. The SPO registers the stake key as additional owner address. This means that the registration certificate needs to be signed with my secret stake key. How can this be done? Is it possible to pass around a transaction file and have it signed by each key holder in turn? How to receive the pool rewards? The rewards for all owners go to a single rewards address so rewards for each owner would need to be calculated and paid out manually. Is there a better way?

Option 3: Hand over the secret stake key to the other SPO so they can use it to sign the delegation certificate. They could not steal the pledge but what other risks are there? For example, what happens to the funds if the stake address is deregistered? Also, a shared key cannot be un-shared later.

Option 4: ??? Is there any possibility I did not consider? Smart contracts are of limited use because a contract can’t sign a pool registration certificate. Or is there a way?

Anyway I would like to know what people think. Is pledge delegation something worth considering or is it an inherently stupid idea for some reason? Are people doing this already and if so, how?


both can run a cardano cli node and then the transaction should be signed by both…

or if u have a ledger u can do it from adalite

In my opinion, a 10k pool pledge with 30M stake will attract delegators… 80% not looking for a high pledge… are looking for returns and for top 100 pools :slight_smile:


This is exactly the service we run, we provision and operate pools on behalf of ADA HODLers whether it be under the SPAAS brand or your own custom brand.

As an example, please take a look at how SPAAS is configured:

  1. Rewards Wallet (operator and owner have the pub/priv keys)
  2. Operator Wallet (operator has the pub/priv keys and registered as co-owner)
  3. Pledge Wallet (pledge has the pub/priv keys and registered as co-owner) is used exclusively in the process of signing pool registration certificates, reducing the barrier to entry between Owners and SPAAS. This gives Owners security and control over their pool, no creation or modification can be made without Owner involvement and the Owner controls their own keys without sharing them with SPAAS.

A CIP we would like to make in the future: As it stands, all rewards from those wallets, including staking rewards, will be funneled into the single rewards address. This is why both parties are given access as there has to be a level of trust. Every epoch we take a share of the fee and send the rest to the Owner. In the future, we hope that Cardano can be more trustless in this setup in that staking rewards still go to the appropriate wallet and only the pool fees are delivered to the rewards address.

A second CIP in the future would be: To be able to specify multiple rewards addresses and configure how much of the fixed cost and margin goes to each.

CNTools makes this process really simple. You just have to create a pool update transaction, send it to pledger, they use CNTools to sign it with pledge key, send tx back to pool operator, sign it, and then submit to the block chain. Everyone is secure and happy.

1 Like