Stake pool random order in Daedalus and Yoroi

To support decentralization and neutrality, I would like to please request that rankings be removed and order randomized permanently for stake pools listed in Daedalus and Yoroi. Appearing in the top ~20 positions in the official wallets is the best way to attract delegators, and randomization will provide equal opportunity to all operators.

In epoch 211 when order was randomized, I gained 1-2 new delegators per day. With ranking implemented in epoch 212, I’ve gained 0 and lost 2. Meanwhile, there continues to be an increase in delegators to the largest pools and many operators are revising their fees to 0% to influence their rankings. I have 2 instances of Daedalus open and pools with 0% fees are now ranked 1-49 and 1-80. I’ve decided not to join the race to the bottom or pull a bait and switch on my delegators for short term gain.

Do other pool operators have thoughts, concerns or suggestions regarding how to establish a level playing field for all?

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I think the SPO race is not what a lot of operators expected. I think most expected a more even block distribution, not such a high buy in competition for pledge and delegation etc… so what will happen is new, smaller pools that we’re hoping to open shop and start earning are finding out that they don’t have enough Ada to compete with large holders or SPOs with long term ITN experience and social media rich ties with an audience base to solicit delegators.

What I see now is the rich get richer and the early adopters get a (well deserved) head start. For us new little fish ( I am a tiny fish SPO), don’t look at it as a disadvantage. Use this slow time to think on marketing, developing a brand and trust. Get involved in the community, learn to operate your new pool to the best of your ability.

After a few months, the pools without experience or desire to learn that just wanted a quick buck and don’t really want to be here will close up shop and things will level out. Same thing with race to the bottom, when pools get delegators for zero fees then change fees there will be a shift in delegation. When people see less return on over saturated pools there will be a shift in delegation. Everything is still way too new to gauge.

Instead of random I say get it ordered with historical data ASAP. Let people make the most informed decision possible rather than banking on green means good mentality. Use that data to make filters to help sort different ways, like sorting by pool age, amount of delegators, some kind of trust ranking?

Just my thoughts. I could be way off.

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Hi mraybin,

(Revised) After re-reading the last paragraph of your post, I misunderstood what you were saying. I agree with your last paragraph so part of what I say below is a little off topic.

I agree with most of what you state in your post. But, I don’t think integrating historical data would provide the level playing field results that smaller pools would require.

What I believe the issue to be caused by is how Pool Saturation is being calculated, The saturation value needs to be calculated / adjusted based on the actual amount of Ada that is staked, not based on the Total Ada that is available in the Cardano System. Saturation needs to be computed on a percentage basis using only the available “Live Staked Ada”.

Roughly only 43% of Ada is currently staked. This means that currently the way saturation is determined based on a quantity is flawed. I believe this is providing larger Pools the ability to acquire disproportionately higher amounts of Ada above that which should be permitted based on a normal distribution bell curve. The saturation parameter appears to be heavily skewed in favor of fewer less decentralized larger pools. This is contrary to the overall objectives of the Cardano ecosystem to achieve an effective decentralization model.

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You are absolutely right about this point. Take for instance the ITN “Badges” on PoolTool. Those badges will never be lost by the participating members, nor can they ever be gained by any new pools. On the front page there are also green tick-marks that serve the same purpose.

Generally new stakers will simply follow those cues. Between that and the force of habit from the previous several months, the historical influence establishes a “glass ceiling” with the ITN participants above the barrier and generally all the new pools below it.

As long as that branding persists, there’s no hope of truly level pegging between the old guard and new entrants to the system. We may be heading towards decentralisation, but not toward homogeneity.

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Yea, not looking for level, not looking for fair off the batt. The ones that helped build and test absolutely should have a head start amongst those of us that show up at the last minute on launch and expect to have the same following. Would it be fair to the ITN pools to penalize them with a handicap?

I think the ITN badge is totally fine. They served a purpose for the rest of us. Moving forward they could include trust badges or something for newer pools that have existed for 6+ mo, and maybe another for 1y and 5y. That would even things out over time.

But again, just my opinion.

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Another thought. I think I’d be surprised if we ever see over 65% of all available ada staked. I think we are closer than we think to the total we will actually see fully staked.

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Hi mraybin,

I don’t agree with this above statement. The ITN was “Incentivized” for the very reason that you are pointing out. Those who participated in the ITN both Pool Operators and Ada Stakers, received benefits for their early efforts. I myself included. Participation in the ITN should in no way provide any additional benefits or elevated privileges, than those that were already received during the ITN.

There should be no special classes of Cardano community members, “those who are privileged” versus “those who are not”. I also disagree with the green check box on Pooltool. This serves no purpose other than to be an exclusionary stratification within the community.

Participation in the ITN does not in any way make those ITN StakePool Operators superior or better pools compared to any later stage Shelley / Mainnet stakepool entrants. You don’t know the skill set and/or experience level of Pool Operators based on when the Stakepool was created. You don’t know the platform, or infrastructure that exists behind each pool. Many of the later Pool are develop on robust platforms.

Creating these types of special classifications will only damage the Cardano Ecosystem, as it will lead to the same problems that many other projects suffer from. Those who are in the “Privileged Class” vs everyone else. This is a big mistake if the Cardano community starts to become tribal within itself.

The goal of the Cardano community should be to focus on trying to become more inclusionary and more diversified and do everything we can, not to head down the road of destruction, by elevating and propagating an exclusionary and elitist culture.

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I can get behind most of that. I don’t see it as privileged class though. I look at it as a certification or proof of training. Are some operators better than others ITN or not? Yes, of course. Just like there are better doctors or dentists even though they all go through training. But I’d still like to be able to see some kind of proof of training before putting my faith in them. It makes me feel like I am at better odds for return. I don’t think that we should hide ITN involvement. I think we should just include other certifications along side it. I don’t think some dude that just popped up over night by following a copy paste manual should be indistinguishable from someone that participated for 6+ months.

If we were to change things though to make it more fair, just make it even across the board. Everyone delegates to the network. Not a specific pool. All active pools share same block rewards regardless of size but based on their up time. All delegators receive the same percentage across the board rather than hoping their pool makes a block. Not sure if something like that is an option at this point.

More on fairness. Are we trying to be more fair to the SPO or the delegator? We should give delegators every advantage to make informed decisions.

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Hi mraybin,

I can agree with this. If indeed it is intended to serve as some type of certification then it needs to have specified and quantifiable criteria that should be met as “Certification Standards” and it should be made available for anyone to apply. But, isn’t that what the Daedalus ranking system is supposed to be performing.

If we are really concerned about the quality of a stake pools infrastructure, then the protocol and ranking system should have some type of resiliency testing built into it, so that it can qualify the resiliency capabilities of the node universally. But, even this could become a barrier to entry as those who have more resources would be able to pay for stronger infrastructure (Rigs).

What about the 13 year old girl living down in a Brazilian slum, who takes the time to piece together a Rock Pi and learns how to deploy a node. Don’t we want to provide opportunities and a culture of growth where aspiring young people have a chance to do something meaningful.

Earning a few dollars a day in some countries by running a small stake pool could make a huge difference to those who are living in these under served markets and who may be members of the Cardano community. One of Cardano’s main target markets is to disrupt these third world economies by allowing for the inclusion of these under served markets.

I don’t want to come across as some type of political socialist, but the main point I want to make is that at this time in the life cycle and evolution of Cardano’s community, we have the opportunity to define what we stand for, and what our community values are, and equally important what we don’t represent.

We have to be very careful about what decisions are being made and what practices are being implemented. Because they may have both intended benefits and/or unintended consequences.

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Yes, not looking for barriers. That would be more of a marketing issue than anything else. People are going to delegate to that type of pool for different reasons than the delegator looking for instant highest returns.

If that is a huge concern we can always propose a fund for marketing those types of pools or even a trust that’s only purpose is to delegate to approved pools like that giving them instant delegation ranking high enough for consistent blocks. Or add a search criteria to bring those types of pools to the top of the list. I still don’t see the ITN badge as an obstacle for this.

It should be possible to put together a certification test that would qualify an SPO as ITN certified or equivalent or whatever. I don’t see it as a barrier, just an opportunity for improvement moving forward.

These are all different issues with different solutions.

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Agreed, this is why open discussion like this provide value. I very much appreciate your discussion on this topic.

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Likewise :slight_smile:

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I think it’s better to have some form of top down ranking, but we should add a saturation warning if the pool is over say 70% or something to encourage better decentralisation. Either that or reduce the k(?) value so the saturation point is lower (eg. 120m). The warning could then be at a higher point, like 90%

Ranking pools is necessary in Daedalus, Yoroi, or any other staking UI. As a delegate you want to put your money in a pool with the “best” available return on Ada. This market force is not going to go away even if the pool order is randomized; delegates will just look at rankings elsewhere for that information. I think that more transparency and education is the way to go, not obfuscation through randomization. If you know the first 10 pools are all ZZZ and represent the same entity, then you can skip past them and pick the next best pool at minimal downside.

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Other sites can do that. They spell out in papers the formula for pool ranking and the goals.

Why should their be truly level pegging? The same could be said in a year between someone trying to start a pool then and all the history that will be built up by those running now.

People will use information to decide. We shouldn’t hide it from them because it may influence their decisions.

You cut off my quote before the answer:

And I mean the answer to your question regarding my opinion, not THE answer to how to provide a robust, future-proof system that can grow to global scale. Thousands of people and billions in capital think EOS will do just fine with many aspiring bidders but only actual 21 block producers.

We ourselves have a system relying on 1000 small networks, with the same amount of fundamental work and expense required to manage each of those stake pools, with only a few dozen of them getting paid for work that sustains the whole transaction system. If homogeneity were not a vital part of decentralisation, the IOHK developers would not be drafting proposals for delegation portfolios to divert staking toward smaller pools so that economic and practical participation (as well as merit based opportunities) can be made more congruent.

We have a larger cryptocurrency system in the world mostly based on the premise that the people who arrive first are naturally the ones to cash in. That results in the usual high hopes & fortunes built & lost, and most of those coins will eventually go down the tubes. I have always understood Cardano to be different, with CH saying from the beginning that “power has to be pushed to the edges” in order to create a truly sustainable system.

Still I wouldn’t like anyone to misconstrue from my original comment that the rankings or historical data should be censored. I do feel its presentation as “branding” is currently the greatest impediment to developing homogeneity in Cardano’s network, which will need every CPU cycle and every bit of fault tolerance it can get when we launch Goguen in a few months. We won’t have these things if that branding maintains a consumer oriented message that an unchangeable handful of stake pools are the only logical choices.

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The system doesn’t currently rely on all 1000. We are using somewhere between 300-400 of them. The ones we rely on correctly are getting paid. The system is designed to reach the k parameter.

I disagree that branding based on ITN participation or otherwise is the greatest impediment. Having a rewards scheme that incentivizes pool operators to split up their pledge is far more detrimental to the homogeneity. We need to fix the part of the rewards scheme that doesn’t differentiate pledge when it is split vs together.

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