Web Links to Stake Pools: //stake or //delegate?

This issue has come up in the proposal (CIP) to add stake pool links to a draft URI standard for Cardano which will first implement address & payment links. Eventually these stake pool links will point to multiple pools in some proportion: i.e. a “delegation portfolio” for users to share, compare, analyse, and ultimately delegate to.

Since the community will use this standard for many years going forward, we formulated this as a Twitter poll between the simplest form of each alternative, to find which form the community would prefer. Please vote in this poll & re-tweet it ASAP to get a proper sized sample of community preferences:

Here are the choices in (FOO is always a stake pool reference but may be either a pool ticker or a unique pool ID):


The shortest reference to a stake pool, with the term stake always indicating a stake pool (and someday, a group of stake pools).


Enforces the association the fact that user selections of stake pools in the wallet are delegating rather than staking (the pool itself is staking the delegated ada). Not always applicable because some stake pool URIs wil be for sharing, analysis and editing rather than the implied delegation.


An even more explicit alternative: not yet explained how this will allow the “delegation portfolio” to be implemented since stake pool FOO would need a value, and in this case it is the value.

For all the subtle differences please see the last few long comments in the Github PR for this CIP, where all these considerations are explained in more detail:

Any questions & observations about stake vs. delegate are especially welcome in this thread, though if you have any opinions or questions about the URI scheme itself please post in the main thread for the CIP:


Hi @COSDpool,

I personally prefer delegate . May be worth noting here, as I have been discussing blockchain/Cardano, PoS vs PoW, staking, delegating, etc with complete novices to the ecosystem:

I find that one of the most difficult hurdles for most people is the notion that one delegates without loosing control of their funds. Once that concept has sunk in, people seem comfortable with it (I usually encourage them to try moving their delegated funds around to check what happens, but who knows if they do it).

This may be a semantic issue, but to me delegate implies trust more than stake. After all, SPOs at the most basic of levels are software runners. ADA holders must trust that we are up to the task of guaranteeing 24/365 operation, so as they can get the most out their funds.

However, stake to me suggests a level of ownership more than delegate. It gives the ADA holder a sense of belonging(?), having an active participation in the Cardano network.

Sorry about the convoluted rant,


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no problem @Adrem - everybody agrees with you that “delegate” is the most accurate word in DPoS for what people are doing when they open a link in their wallet UI to assign their stake to the referenced stake pool(s). The Cardano Foundation & IOG Marketing have both therefore insisted upon that terminology in their public communications.

Yet we’re in a different situation here because these URIs will also send information from one computer or web app to another without a delegation ever taking place. So that issue of “trust” is of general importance but specifically irrelevant if not misleading in those cases. For instance, you’re not “delegating” when you simply want to look at the expected returns of a stake pool portfolio.

Another point raised in our last CIP meeting is that we’ll soon have oracle pools in addition to stake pools. At that time //oracle will likely refer to oracle pools & operations… and perhaps other resources called literally what they are… with the exception of stake pools which might forever be called //delegate because of the business & social pressures that existed at the time.

[if I had to do it over again] “I’d spell creat with an ‘e’.”
Ken Thompson, creator of UNIX

Since people aren’t acknowledging the “last long comments” as suggested above, let me directly link this comment in particular (since Discourse infuriatingly truncates the comment reference from Github links), where there are some illustrative examples:

PR#61 #issuecomment-782664031

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Oh wow,

I had not realised how deep this was going. Please ignore my post above!


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