Running a stake pool on the Mainnet


I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but I’m interested in running a Cardano stake pool once the transition to the Mainnet is completed.

I guess my question is, are there going to be any any barriers to entry, such as the amount of ADA held or pledged for example? Or any other factors that may need consideration?

Any help, guidance or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks…


I would like to recommend 2 channels for you that have a considerable amount of conversation surrounding the exact question you are asking.
Sometimes I just lurk in the background and use the search tool (here on the forum too).
Obviously for a non-tech person the barrier will be their skill set - as of now it is a technical process to ensure your stake pool is set up correctly and updated, etc.

Also this Reddit post is some very good reading to understand the Pledge barrier.

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@anon20038177 Thanks lot for letting me know, I’ll join the groups and check them out. I’ve been trying to avoid Reddit, but I guess I’ll have to give in :slightly_smiling_face:

The Cardano sub on Reddit is full of good info - and as this year unfolds it will be a great source of information regarding your questions!

Also it is continually updated by several of the community members that post videos on related topics :slight_smile:

This forum is also a great place, but some info does not get transferred - there is soo much!

Thanks that’s great to know, I’ll dive in, haha :blush:, and thanks again for taking the time to help me out, really appreciate it.

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The barriers can be of 2 types :

  • Technical : The testnet website clearly states that some system administration skills are required. That said, a bit of motivation should do !
  • Incentive mechanism : Will you attract enough stake to make it worthwhile. The pledge will influence that factor, but there might be other factors that can offset that. Marketing, community engagement, etc …

So to sum up, anyone with enough motivation could start a pool. The big question is, how much ada will your pool attract ? Without stake (if, of course, you’re not a whale yourself), a pool will not be worth pursuing and becoming a simple delegator is probably the best.


Well … I thaught the same way but i have to confess that i am not sure anymore - If i understood right: To run a profitable pool that has the chance to get saturated or being able to make some blocks it seems you need to pledge about 9.000.000 ADA. This is definitively to much to me! I think it might be better to team up with another pool and pledge together. I understood that this high amount is necessary to avoid a sibil attack or malicious pool activities. I wish that could be changed but if has to be - it just has to be :expressionless: Maybe this is a helpful information for you:


Thank you all, this has been very insightful and given me a lot to think about. @Psychomb I’m definitely not a whale, and @Chartie the video was interesting, but needing 9,000,000 ADA doesn’t sound like a plausible business model unless it’s being positioned for the high-net individuals.

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I would take any number out there very cautiously. Truth is, no one knows yet.


And consortiums. I expect most pool pledges will come from more than one person.

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Should an amount of 900,000 ADA prove to be true due to network security to run a competitive pool, this only changes the strategy. Instead of having your own pool, you only have to find enough people to team up to pledge a pool.

Although the optimal pledge amount hasn’t been confirmed, as the Haskell testnet will help decide and can always be fluid. This is the first time I’ve heard 9 million as a number. I would take what they say with a pinch of salt…

Also remember you don’t have to hit optimal pledge to still be a successful pool, so you can build up your pledge over time.


Well … i thought of an other solution. I think of team up smaller pools to run a single pool together might be the right thing. This is a possibility to reach the needed pledge and run a competitive pool. The pool owners only have to organize them self. And sharing the costs of the pool would make it easier to pay for it at the best location with the best hardware. It does not make real sense to me to run a pool witch can’t compete. In this case i personally would prefer simple staking without locking any ADA by pledging it.

Don’t make the mistake thinking only a pool with optimal pledge is profitable. I see many people making this assumption unfortunately. I recommend watching this episode of The Cardano Effect to better understand these parameters:


@Chartie This is an interesting idea. How would this work in practice? Would the profits of the pool go to a single reward wallet, and then have to be manually distributed amongst the operators? Or perhaps Shelley has a way for a group of strangers to pledge to a pool and then have the profits go to their respective reward wallets proportionally? Sorry if this is a dumb question… I have close to zero knowledge about operating a pool… :slight_smile:

I think pledging from different accounts should be possible. And getting the right percentage of rewards to the owners should be solvable by smart contracts. I think this probably work as far as i understand smart contracts (but i have to confess that i am not a programmer for smart contracts…)

Nope. If people join up for a pool they need to trust each other and share rewards manually between each other. So, joining up for a pool is not attractive for me because that would mean that I need to trust someone or they would need to trust me. That’s how it is now. It does not mean that in the future will be the same.

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