At the end of last month, during our monthly live show we shared the full roll-out plan for Shelley. This is the next era for Cardano when we’ll move from a federated network towards a decentralized one; with stake pools, delegation and ada rewards. That’s all rolling out now, over the summer, with staking on mainnet beginning in August.
Since May, we’ve been operating what we call the Friends & Family testnet, working closely with a group of skilled and trusted community ‘pioneers’. This is a handpicked group of experienced stake pool operators, helping us set things up and refine the documentation that every other new stake pool will need.
Equally importantly, we’ve been building a community of knowledge; our pioneers are now acting as mentors, supporting new pools as they come on board.
Today, we’re entering a new phase, as the Shelley testnet opens up to anyone who wants to set up a Cardano stake pool, ready for staking and delegation on mainnet later this summer.
If you have been running a stake pool on the Incentivized testnet - the ITN - now is the time to come and join us on the Shelley Public testnet. It’ll still be a learning curve - the set up is different from what you’ll have done on the ITN. And it’s still a testnet, so there will be bugs and a few bumps in the road. But our pioneer community has made an excellent start bashing and smoothing things out and they will all be around to help. We’ve set up this dedicated section in the Cardano forum for all new pools to feedback, share knowledge and ask questions. We also expect that the long-established and vibrant Telegram best practice group for stake pool operators will also be even more lively over the weeks ahead.
To set yourself up as a pool on the Shelley mainnet later this summer, you should start by setting one up on the Shelley Public testnet. Once you’ve done that – and we have done all the work required behind the scenes – creating a mainnet pool will be nice and straightforward; set up will be the same, you’ll just need to change a few configuration files, and suchlike.
You’ll find the setup documentation you need over at IOHK’s testnets site. We’re now uploading the guides and docs that our pioneers have helped us develop and refine. We’ve also provided a handy shortcut to some of the excellent community content that has been developed by our pioneers. The testnet site is also where you will find the faucet, where you can download some test ada tokens. You will also need to update the topology files to identify your pool and enable your connection to the public testnet network. Coming soon, we’ll also be implementing a new staking calculator (follow IOHK on Twitter – @InputOutputHK – and we’ll let you know as soon as that lands.
If you are an ADA holder reading this, and you don’t wish to set up a pool, you don’t need to do anything right now. You’ll have the chance to get involved when we release our first testnet wallet, later this month. This first release will be simple at first (for example, no delegation functionality initially) and reclaiming your ada rewards from the ITN will come later down the line. But the first wallet release will iterate fast and give you a taste of what the experience will be like later this summer. Expect more news and instructions on how Daedalus fits into the overall process soon. For now, just sit back while all the stake pool operators do the heavy lifting on your behalf.
Things are now accelerating as we head towards the deployment of Shelley onto mainnet. We’ll be keeping you posted so you can follow our progress as we get closer. Make sure you subscribe to IOHK’s YouTube channel and you can follow regular video updates on how things are progressing.