I do not understand well how the coins are distributed among top staking pools (validators).
How many staking pools owns 33%, 51% and 67% of the coins? According to this website, about 33% of total stake is owned by 2 pool operators (2327 delegator/counts), about 51% of total stake is owned by 8 pool operators (2439 delegators/count) and about 67% of total stake is owned by 18 pool operators (2572 delegators/count). Is it correct?
For instance, the Single Pool Operators has 5.36 B and 2327 delegators so an average of 2.21 M of stake per delegators.
Moreover, I read about max delegated stake that should saturate around 68 M coin. However, according to this web site, the saturation should be 32 M, but only a few pools meet this constraint.
I’m a bit confused.
First stake pools do not ‘own’ all the coins. The are delegated to stake pools (unless they are private pools).
Second in that Adapools link you posed the 21.73% part is actually composed of 2252 pools run by single pool operators. You can just hover over that green part and it will tell yo how many pools are in that group. So, definitely NOT 2 pool operators.
Actually that website says saturation is at 68 million at K 500. However they also show K1000 to compare. They are just advising to delegate to 32 mill or less stake pool (such as their own) in anticipation of K going to 1000. As per their site:
Also, important to note that because of the “Single” in “Single Pool Operators”, the 2252 for that group has a totally different meaning than the 62 with Binance (and similar numbers with the other groups). Binance’s 62 pools are all controlled by one company, while the single pool operators are 2252 individual entities. Totally different thing. A problem for decentralisation are only the large groups controlling multiple pools, not the single pools.
(We cannot completely exclude the possibility that someone controls mulitple pools posing as single pools, but it’s not that likely, I think.)
about 33% from 2 pool operators (Single Pool Operators and Binance)->2327 delegators
about 51% from 8 pool operators (Single Pool Operators - New Girl)-> 2439 delegators
about 67% from 18 pool operators (Single Pool Operators - Bloom) ->2572 delegators
What is the meaning of the Single Pool Operators? It resembles a mining pool of a PoW blockchain, where different users join in order to increase the chance of success.
At the moment Cardano has no on-chain governance, but in the future the majority could be achieved by only 8 pools.
Correct me, if I’m wrong.
About 33% from 2314 pool operators (Single Pool Operator and Binance) → many, MANY delegators
I do understand that the way Adapools presented that information may a bit confusing.
Each Single Pool Operator is equivalent of individual Bitcoin miner. Each Single Stake Pool Operator resembles a mining pool of a PoW blockchain and they can do it themselves of have different users join (delegate) to increase a chance of success.
So that metric you saw that states Single Pool Operator 21.73% is same as 2252 different mining pools in PoW blockchain.
Cardano at the moment is most decentralized crypto in existence. There are few hundred pools that are across bunch of groups that compromise 51%. You can read below what independent research by Kraken exchange concluded about Cardano decentralization using the same info you are looking at from Adapools in a clip below:
I think you are overthinking it. Not sure if you are trying to fit some assumptions into the idea of PoS or if you are trying to make 1 to 1 comparison with other system that is not representative. There are no double levels.
Let me try to clear it up:
Stake pools are servers that produce blocks.
Stake pools (servers) are operated by stake pool operators (humans).
Every time stake pool produces a block they get a rewards for stake pool operator and delegators, so they are equivalent to miners.
Delegators (humans) are anyone holding ADA that has chosen to delegate to a stake pool (server).
Delegators (humans) get % return on their delegated ADA as a reward for supporting a stake pool (server).
Stake pool has a higher chance to produce a block if it has more ADA delegated to it up to a maximum amount (currently at 64 million).
Delegators (humans) can choose to support any stake pool they want.
Delegators are not locked in and can choose to change stake pools any time they want.
In PoW the resource to enable a miner to get blocks is hash rate.
Hash rate is directly proportional to computing power for block creation of each miner.
In PoS the resource to enable a stake pool to get blocks is staked token (ADA in case of Cardano).
Staked token is directly proportional to delegated power for block creation of each stake pool.
Thank you for the clarification. So my calculations in my question are correct, but several users have stated otherwise and made me doubt.
Cardano is no different from a generic PoS blockchain with validators and delegators/nominators in this respect.
No, they are horrendously wrong – from “stake is owned" over not getting that the numbers are pools, not delegators, up to counting the 2252 pools in the “Single Pool Operators” group as one “operator”.