Staking in Cardano/ADA - Where to Start
Updated: Sep 12
ADA is the cryptocurrency that runs on the Cardano blockchain. To learn more about what Cardano go to Quest 2 here. Continue on, to learn more about staking your ADA.
Staking is a simple process that allows you to earn rewards in ADA (the native cryptocurrency powering the Cardano blockchain) just by "staking" or "delegating" your ADA in a staking pool (such as Castle Cardano). The amount of rewards you can earn are based on numerous factors but essentially it is a lottery pick amongst all pools based on the amount of ADA that is staked in the pool. On average, staking in a pool can earn you a 4% - 6% annual return but there is always an element of luck involved. There could be short term swings of more or less rewards, however over time it will generally average out.
Staking your ADA is COMPLETELY SAFE
You maintain ownership and control of your ADA
You can withdraw your ADA at anytime
The staking pool you stake in does not have ownership or control of your ADA
How Does it Work?
Simple Example: You buy 1,000 ADA and send it to a personal wallet owned by you. You then stake your wallet (holding your 1,000 ADA) with a Cardano staking pool with a historical performance of 5% annual return. You come back a year later and you now have 50 extra ADA in your wallet!
Depending on your situation there may be different steps to begin delegating. Generally, the entire process looks like this:
Navigate to the post that best describes your situation:
I don't own ADA but I want some!
You can buy ADA from the following exchanges:
Coinbase - US based exchange with higher fees than most but available everywhere in the US (including New York)
Note: You will have to create an account on the exchange and most likely go through some kind of verification before you can purchase ADA (KYC required by law). The amount of time it takes for your buying transaction to clear depends on the exchange as well.
I own ADA in an exchange but I want to delegate and earn rewards!
I own ADA in my own wallet and I want to delegate and earn rewards!
ADA - The abbreviation for the cryptocurrency that lives on the Cardano blockchain. This can be bought or sold on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Daedalus - An officially supported wallet software used to store ADA (like a bank that has accounts). Unlike Yoroi, it is a full-node wallet meaning installing it requires an entire copy of the blockchain (made up of GB's of transactional records).
Yoroi - An officially supported wallet software used to store ADA (like a bank that has accounts). Unlike Daedalus, it is a light-weight wallet that is supported on desktops, mobile, and hardware wallets. It also relies on trusted, external entities instead of keeping a copy of the entire blockchain like Daedalus.
Exchange - A website that allows you to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies. This is similar to something like the New York Stock exchange in traditional finance. There are many exchanges all over the world that offer different services for different fees.
Wallet - You can think of a wallet like a bank account. It holds all of your ADA. Just like how you can have different bank accounts at different banks, you wallets can be created from different software applications such as Daedalus or Yoroi.
Hardware Wallet - Unlike a software wallet, a hardware wallet stores the private keys for your wallet on a physical device similar to USB drive. The private keys are used to restore your wallet so you can send or retrieve your ADA. It is considered the most secure way to store your wallet. Ledger Nano and Trezor are two popular hardware wallets
Stake Pool - A dedicated server that supports the decentralization and security of the blockchain. Owned and operated by individuals of the Cardano community, it earns rewards for its contributions and those rewards are then distributed amongst the pool owners and its delegates.
Delegate - A delegate is someone who has "delegated" their ADA to a staking pool. Delegating your ADA to a staking pool allows you to earn a portion of rewards that staking pools get for contributing to the operation of the Cardano blockchain.
Stake - The amount of ADA that has been delegated to a staking pool. The staking pool "stakes" this ADA on the Cardano blockchain which contributes to the operation of the blockchain and earns rewards for all of its delegates.