How does total Cardano delegation % affect rewards?

Current total delegation is 68%. If it were to go up to 78%, or fall further to 58%, or 1%, do rewards change?

I’m getting conflicting answers from different people.

If I understand correctly, rewards per staked ADA should be higher if total active stake is lower.

Which is also kind of logical, since the rewards are distributed among less participants.

I agree with your conclusion, but I got a lot of push back from others. I did read your linked page before posting, and without loading up that formula with numbers, I was still unsure and not able to confirm.

Aargh, sorry, had a closer look now.

One important part is: “Note that z0, σ and s are all relative, so they are fractions of the total supply, as they all lie between zero and one.”

Since they are all relative to total supply – not to actively delegated supply – the result of that large formula should stay the same.

But that is then modified by “we multiply by β/σₐ, where β is the fraction of all blocks produced by the pool during the epoch and σₐ is the stake delegated to the pool relative to the active stake”.

I thought that with less stake delegated in total, a pool should get more blocks and then also more rewards (if its stake remains the same), but that σₐ requires the pool to get more blocks in that situation to get the same rewards. As the page says: “For an optimally performing pool (that is, a pool producing all the blocks that it can produce), this factor will be 1, on average.”

So, sorry again, my revised reading would be that rewards per pool should stay the same, although the pools have to produce more blocks on average to get them (so, rewards per block even go down).

According to, unclaimed rewards go back to the reserve, so with less ADA staked the reserve should deplete slower.

Need to on occasion take a closer look at that thing. For example, I don’t immediately see if it really ensures that all pools together never get more than R. Would also be interesting if there is a consistent reward per block independent of the pool, although the development is done with individual pool performance.

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Great write-up. You’re right, that diagram shows rewards going back to the reserve. Thank you!