Staking Pool Operators

Do you Guys know what information will be made public regarding the Staking Pool Operators? (Company, Name, Address, Credit Rating, etc.?)

I thought about an interesting aspect of having 1000 pools distributed in the Community and another 1000 among the very experienced, top IT companies in the world, well the ones who would have the interest, passion for Cardano & commit to certain SLAs & KPIs. IMO such a mixture would be an interesting balance between “ideology” & practicality.

Having top, public IT Companies participate would allow for a Proof-of-Reputation quality beyond the Proof-of-Stake. For instance having Accenture run a few Staking Pools, they would never ever allow themselves the risk not to have the best security, performance and other operational qualities, their reputation at stake is worth much more then any ADA they would “lock into” the pool.

Does anyone know what is the selection criteria IOHK is using for Staking Pool Operators? Will such qualification assessment for the various staking pool applicants be public?

There was the possibility to register for Staking Pools for literally anyone, but were there any invite only parties brought to the candidate list whom IOHK reached out?



It won’t be all the 1000 stake pool launched at once …
I think ( more intelligent way! ) is to open the stacking process gradually
First the stakepool that has an amazing infrastructure and talent to do their job, then a second group which are good stakepool but not optimal for the system and finally opening the staking to mostly everybody once the protocol is stable, followed well by most operators

I think it’s wiser to do it this way


@SebastienGllmt could you please help us with these questions?

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I suppose a centralized infrastructure at the beginning of Shelley would appear to make this all roll out with less complications, yet I feel like to go to a decentralized protocol it is best to trust the community pools and simply decentralize it with no if and or buts and allow for failures or leave it as a centralized protocol, makes no sense to allow a central figure to make decisions on who can or cannot run a stakepool.
Either it will be decentralized or it will not be, if the roots are set in the process you describe then it will have a foundation that is not decentralized.

Just some random observations as I’m sitting in a bar waiting for a flight and came across this post, so there’s that:

Dobbs: “If you’re the police, where are your badges?”

Gold Hat: "Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!


  • Standard and Poor’s rating agency are paid by the banks to rate the securities the banks sell
  • Raj Rajartmn ( billionaire) made nearly one-million a minute by getting inside information from Goldman
  • HSBC was too big to indict, money laundering for Mexican drug cartels to the tune of $881 billion according to the Justice Department
  • Citigroup with bailout in hand gave employees $5.33 billion in bonuses in 2008

Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.
~ Steve Ballmer

I’m wondering if pool operators can screen their delegators/members/participants of a pool before allowing them to delegate to them?

Pool operator: Do you currently have a Chase card?

Delegator: Yes

Pool operator: We are at capacity :wink:

All pool operators will hereby be rated on how much their infrastructure bounces:

Did I mention I’m writing this at a bar, well I am, so take it with a grain of salt.


There will be some metadata posted on the blockchain for stake pools. We obviously can’t put a huge amount of information since that would bloat the chain but we also don’t want to run a centralized off-chain repository of stake pool information.
There are a few different solutions but possibly the one that will win is putting a URL to a website run by the stake pool into the blockchain. Minimal on-chain bloat but still a way to get rich info. No system is perfect though so IOHK will probably have a public decision soon.


Yes in part you’re right yet I much prefer achieving decentralisation gradually as the system at first will be less robust it need to grow in a stable way
I don’t think it’s appropiate today cardano is federated and tomorrow is totally decentralised, it’s madness ( EOS problem )

Gradually is better

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The website URL sounds like a good idea!

I think there should be some official guidelines set for what information should be shown on the front page of the pool operator’s website. It’s a guideline, not a must, but it would hopefully influence people who stake with the operator.

Such as company name, address, registration number, tax number, full name of owners / major shareholders and maybe quarterly / yearly financial reports, Customer Support Number / Email with SLAs provided (and corresponding reports), security audit reports, staking performance reports (number of delegates, staked ADA, costs, profit, reward, etc.), incident reports, staking node infrastructure characteristics (cloud or on-premise, geographic location, HW capacity, etc.).

The increased publicty and insight of operations of stake pool operators brings a Proof-of-Reputation flavor / nature to the Proof-of-Stake protocol. The owners / major shareholders have their reputation at stake to provide a good quality service for the pool.

IMO transparency & good quality of service is highly desired for pool operators and proper incentives should be put in place.

I would personally even not mind in this context if a 50+ reputable Nasdaq companies (selected & invited) would operate pools as well along the Community pools to have a nice mix.


Just realized that IOHK is thinking actually about brining the “stake of reputation” into the Proof-of-Stake protocol: “We have also started thinking about replacing the dependency of rewards on the pool leader’s stake with a reputation system.”, here

This would be a very nice advancement, and justify the initiative for having such transparency on the website of the Stake Pool Operators beyond having their ADA pledged to the pool.


Since availability to process transaction is the only security risk for pools/stakeholders, I think they would be interested in three major things:

  1. Pool fees
  2. Reward levels
  3. Security (I.e. reward consistency)

Of the theee the last one is hardest to assess for an average stakeholder. Therefore, I suggest we have some easily verifiable, general security checklist for pool operators (redundancy, geographic distribution, qualified staff to maintain the equipment, etc).

If you tick all the boxes you are a good pool. If not then you are suboptimal but you may then complete on pool fees.

There will be a spectrum of combination trade offs that people will be able to choose from.

If we have a way to consistently capture data on these three metrics across all pools we would have a nice organic reputation system in place.

The one that will converge on pools that provide best rewards for the price of security.

Say it is 2021 and you bought some Ada. You want to stake but want to optimize your rewards.

If the chain tracks and gives you the realized historical rewards per pool, which would then be a function of security and their fee levels, then you would have a neat organic reputation scheme right there to help you make a decision.

This would encourage pools to build their track record and defend it like crazy… think of it like a credit score for pools.

I think this would level the playing field against big names that sort of want you to stake with them. They may just be as good as the next guy who has no name but does just as good or better. I want the data to speak to me, not marketing labels.


May be what I am writing is redundant because you probably already watched Charles’s update about stake pools.

The transition from federated nodes to stake pool nodes will be gradual, won’t be a big bang.


Sounds interesting, I wonder how the reputation of a pool will be measured objectively!

It should not be based on how many likes or dislikes they get in manual rating systems in social media. We can see how that works on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to knowing whether the pool produced all the blocks it was supposed to produce, it should also depend on throughput. I am not sure how that will be measured.

Additional metrics with respect to quality could be whether the pool has an issue tracking system. How many issues occurred, how quick was response to it, how long it took to resolve etc.

However, capabilities like these will make the pool expensive. So when to introduce such measures will have to be timed properly.

With the current price of ADA, more bells and whistles will cost the pool all of the staking reward and then some.

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