You have just delegated your first wallet of Cardano ADA coins to a stake pool. You eagerly anticipate the rewards that are sure to come. You know that the Cardano network will pay you for participating in the network by staking your coins. You wait one day… two days… but still see no change in your wallet balance. At the end of the week you check again. Surely it should have come by now. Still, you find no change in your balance. What is going on? Did you make a mistake?
Before you get a heart attack wondering if you made an error or if you got scammed, first you understand Cardano’s rewards schedule. Check out this simple diagram for reference:
For more details, read on.
The Cardano block making schedule is grouped into 5 days which are collectively called an epoch. The state of your delegation is captured during epoch boundaries. More details on what happens during each epoch are below:
Epoch 1: Delegate. When you delegate to a stake pool any day within an epoch, your stake will only be registered at the end of the epoch. This phase is also sometimes called Registration.
Epoch 2: Wait. This is an extra epoch created to protect you from operators who may suddenly raise their fees right before the end of the epoch. With this wait, delegators have time to move out of a stake pool if the fees are suddenly increased indiscriminately.
Epoch 3: Make Blocks. Your delegation is live at this point and if your chosen pool was selected as slot leader, it will be minting blocks during this epoch.
Epoch 4: Calculate. Your rewards are computed by the network.
Epoch 5: Get Paid! The network will pay your rewards directly into your wallet.
You get your rewards 15 to 20 days after you first delegate, and every 5 days thereafter. This assumes that you never moved your delegation to another pool.
This schedule also assumes that your stake pool was selected by the network to produce blocks. Note that if you are staking to a small pool, it is possible that the pool is not able to mint a block every epoch. If you believe in what the pool is doing, stick with them and your rewards should average out over time. Keeping small pools alive will also greatly improve the decentralisation of the Cardano network.
Hope this has been informative. I will delve deeper into Rewards and Delegation concepts in the future. For now, we wish you all good health and good wealth!
If you like this article, please consider delegating your ADA to WISH Pool. You will be earning interest rewards while indirectly helping the lives of disadvantaged children. This is because at WISH Pool, we pledge to give at least 10% of our own profit to educational charities so that successful students can help get their families out of poverty.