Cardano is a public blockchain platform. It is open source and decentralized, with consensus achieved using proof of stake. It can facilitate peer-to-peer transactions with its internal cryptocurrency Ada. Cardano was founded in 2015 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson.
What Is Staking?
Staking is the process of actively participating in transaction validation (similar to mining) on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. On these blockchains, anyone with a minimum-required balance of a specific cryptocurrency can validate transactions and earn Staking rewards.
What Is Stake Pool?
Stake pools are run by stake pool operators. These are network participants with the skills to reliably ensure consistent uptime of a node, which is essential in ensuring the success of the Ouroboros protocol and the Cardano network as a whole.
The protocol uses a probabilistic mechanism to select a leader for each slot, who will be expected to create the next block in the chain. The chance of a stake pool node being selected as slot leader increases proportionately to the amount of stake delegated to that node. Each time a stake pool node is selected as a slot leader and successfully creates a block, it receives a reward, which is shared with the pool proportionate to the amount each member has delegated. Stake pool operators can deduct their running costs from the awarded ada, as well as specify a profit margin for providing the service.
What Is a Delegation?
Delegation is the process by which ADA holders delegate the stake associated with their ADA to a stake pool. It allows ADA holders that do not have the skills or desire to run a node to participate in the network and be rewarded in proportion to the amount of stake delegated.