Staking Pools

Hey guys, I think I’m getting confused with regards to the whole staking pool, and full nodes aspect, and was wondering if someone could help me out.

Anyone can with a small amount of ada can have run their own stake, however, the profits for this probably wouldn’t be worthwhile, right? So, therefore, it would be advantageous for them to join a stake pool.

So my question… can those users then form their own stake pool, and join together with other ada owners and then start to see returns on their stake? or do different stake pools have to be run by separate full nodes in which there are only going to be 100 different stake pools that are run by the 100 main nodes that are envisaged?

What I think I’m trying to get at is… is there a physical difference between the 100 full nodes and stake pools, or are stake pools just going to be run on the 100 full nodes?

The reason I’m getting to is that I’d be interested in setting up a Staking pool, however if there is only going to be 100 different staking pools because there is only 100 full nodes then my chances are slim of being granted as a running a stake pool?

Also is there a difference in nodes and full nodes, I see both terms being used and I’m struggling to differentiate between them??

Thanks for your help guys hope these questions aren’t too silly!

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dipping-toe-in%20the%20water stake me to the water

1a. yup
1b. yup
1c. you lost me
2.100 is for the testnet.

  1. node is a node is a node right now

There is no standard definition for nodes.
In general, the “Full node” simply means that it has a full copy of blockchain and is validating transactions and blocks.
So, the full nodes are the subset of nodes.
But, Cardano and other CCs have some other definitions. E.g. In Cardano (mainly) there are three type of nodes:

  • Edge nodes (Daedalus wallet as an example),
  • Relay nodes (priviledged and unpriviledged) and
  • Core nodes.
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Can you tell me if all these nodes can be run from Daedalus or they need special software.

How would the nodes that decide to validate transactions without joining the pool be classified?

I think only the Edge Nodes are run by Daedalus wallet, which keeps the full copy of Cardano blockchain. But transactions are not validated by Daedalus (so no Ada minted there). You may join a pool using Daedalus in the future when this feature be developed, and you may get some return by voting the pool. In this case you don’t need to worry about matters like validating transactions. If you want to run a pool or validate transactions in Cardano blockchain, well, the team has not reach it yet, and too much to say and beyond my current knowledge.

Not really.

  • Daedalus is a full (Edge) node, which validates the transactions and blocks, meanwhile
  • Stake pools (1Core + N Relay nodes) do the same (however they cannot generate transactions but validate them) + generate blocks. Cos, to validate the blocks the transactions must be consistent.

Nope, nodes are simply the Cardano-SL and therefore:

  • Daedalus = GUI frontend + full node (Cardano SL)

In brief, a node represent a full node (at the moment, as there are no SPV nodes in Cardano).
Different type of nodes (Daedalus Wallet, Cardano (Block) Explorer, Core node, relay node) can be thought of some kind of:

  • frontend (if there is any)
  • plus backend (Cardano-SL software)
  • plus node type specific config file(s).
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From what I hear in the videos, there will have to be another configuration of a node that isn’t a pool but can create blocks. That’s why I thought it would have to be through Daedalus. Maybe they will add a switch to make it a core node.

That’s when individuals decide to mint blocks without joining a pool.

I think Cardano’s simulations assume that around 20% of the total stake will be minting blocks as individuals, ie without joining the pool.

Individuals staking has always been part of the picture but IMO that should be doable without running Daedalus, eg on a headless server, because it only makes sense to run it 24/365. Maybe the same setup as for pools but the pool facility simply isn’t utilised?

As long as it is easy for someone with no coding skills can set it up, that could work.

That’s why my default assumption was—Daedalus. But maybe I just love that bull.

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@werkof thinks it shouldn’t be too easy because that would lead to the network depending on too many servers owned by a small set of large companies, eg Amazon and their AWS.

I thought the whole point was to set up a node at your home with some 10 year old pc that you never use :slight_smile:

I’m afraid Charles & Co value node reliability very highly! That idea should probably be relegated to the old, wild west days of crypto. :frowning:

So when the network goes live there will be more than just 100 staking pools to chose from, and potentially other parties who would want to run a stake pool will have the chance too?

partially yes.
I have nothing against easy setup and especially smooth and automatic updates.
But when the current CF/IOHK/EMURGO nodes and testnet runs on such cloud VMs I expect and fear the published images for decentralized testnet and mainnet operators will be prepared and run smoothly on exactly these virtualization systems (docker containers).

In order to not let too much pool operators choose the easiest way and finish in a 90% AWS “virtual decentralisation”, I would see it a good strategy to prepare packages for standard Linux systems and if possible also Windows binaries.

IMO when it comes to choosing pool operators (or when they start promoting themselves) it shouldn’t be only this one “who offers the most staking revenue” criteria, but also things like global distribution, infrastructure independence (network, hardware, the variety of operating systems, DDOS prevention and monitoring systems, …)


I believe around 100 is the number expected not just for the testnet but for the eventual system. However, that will be determined by the incentive structure, and anyone will be able to setup and run a node if they’re not concerned about profitability.

I agree I also feel this is how things should operate! Nicely put!

But is it reasonable to expect a substantial proportion of stake holders to know and care about all these things?

Yes, the core nodes are validating and generating blocks and the registered core nodes are the pools. The non-registered ones are the simple nodes that are allowed to generate blocks.

Just think of it. How can we be sure that the majority of the individual nodes are on-line when it’s required when the wallets are used for that purpose. The honest nodes (means on-line and correctly validating generating blocks when it’s required) secure the network, means they need infrastructure for 7/24 which is kind of hard to expect from the Edge nodes (usually a node behind a router as it requires incoming connection from the kademlia). The majority of block generating nodes must be on-line and honest, which cannot be guaranteed from the wallets.

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To be honest no. I’m pretty sure this will be like

  • 80+% will look only at the “most reward” number. stop
  • 15% will also consider some marketing show effects
  • 5% will look into real details

But if there is nothing else then this one docker image available, there wouldn’t be that much choise. Of course every other operator running his own infrastructure can also set up a docker environment. Question is how compatible it is, and where to get support in case it doesn’t exactly how it was planned. Having a all on docker means easier deployment and handling for thus who develope the services/daemons and compile the binaries. On the other side it smells a bit like a monopole on both SW as well as operators.


I think at the end of the day, when it comes down to an Individuals valuable Ada, they will pick stake pools that offer the best service, and if those users are not familiar with how to go about picking the best stake pool then I feel Cardano will need to release a guide on how to identify good stake pools