Pool Operator Registration Trends in anticipation of the Shelley Mainnet

The stats from the Incentivised Testnet (ITN) provided clear metrics on the level of interest in Pool Operations by existing ADA holders who were part of the snapshot taken before start of the ITN. From then until today, it has been observed that interest has steadily grown as the success of the ITN became obvious and the rewards proved attractive enough to encourage new Operators.
However, we do not have any metrics on the growing level of interest for:

  1. Those who had ADA prior to the snapshot, but for whatever reason missed out on the snapshot and who at various times expressed interest in being involved, both in Reddit and this Forum.

  2. Those who are new to the Cardano ecosystem, who have become keenly interested following the positive and consistent successes of the Cardano Roadmap development as the word spreads.

Question: Can the Cardano Foundation or someone with knowledge provide current to-date metrics on the number of registered expressions of interest in Pool Operations for those who can only join after Shelley Mainnet?

As a keen supporter of the Cardano project, I believe these stats will help us have a realistic understanding of the rate of adoption and expressions of interest by the technical community who are critical in supporting the growth of the Cardano ecosystem.
Hopefully, there will be even more Operators waiting to join, in addition to those being moved from ITN to HTN.

Hi Stevod,

These are great questions, hopefully I can answer them for you:

  1. The snapshot was a copy of all the ada on the Cardano Blockchain, the snapshot couldn’t differentiate between ada held on an exchange or in a wallet for example. Therefore all available ada from the Cardano Blockchain is currently available on the Incentivised Test Network (ITN).
    It was then a matter of whether the owner of that wallet had access to it. For example, if an exchange created something that was compatible with the ITN blockchain, they would be able to stake. This is why Cardano’s message was to have ada in an official wallet prior to the Snapshot, to guarantee participation in the ITN.
    This makes it difficult to know how many people held ada prior to the snapshot but not able to participate, as their wallets are available on the ITN. The stats can show how much ada is being delegated (12.9B), but not how many people, as many can have multiple wallets.

  2. For a similar reason as above, the ITN does not know what ada on the cardano blockchain has been moved around to new people, the advice was to move your mainnet ada once the snapshot was taken. It’s impossible to know if someone is just moving ada from a wallet they own to another wallet they own, or selling and sending ada to someone else’s wallet.

So anyone can register a stake pool on the ITN, even now. I only set my pool up a couple weeks ago. Registration does cost 501 testnet ada, so people without test ada would need to source some. However, there is not a centralised or decentralised registration system in place to monitor potential pool operators who want to create a pool on the mainnet, but not on the ITN for whatever reason.

What is clear though, which you quite rightly mention… Interest in Cardano and staking on the blockchain has increased massively throughout the testnet period. This is even evident from people who held ada before the snapshot and joined in staking later on. - But I am basing a rise in interest through the activity I am seeing in the social channels.

There are currently over a thousand registered stake pools and just under a thousand stake pools with at least one ada in it, far surpassing any prediction from iohk. It will be very interesting to see how many stake pools are registered at the start of mainnet, and how they increase.

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