A Beginner's Guide to Staking Cardano (ADA): Step-by-Step Instructions
Congratulations on purchasing Cardano (ADA)! This guide will walk you through the process of transferring ADA from an exchange to a wallet, selecting a stakepool, and staking your ADA. We will cover the best practices to ensure you have a smooth experience while earning rewards through staking.
1. Choose a Cardano wallet:
First, you need a Cardano-compatible wallet to store your ADA securely. Wallets are either software or hardware, and each has its own benefits. Software wallets are free and easy to use, while hardware wallets are more secure but require a purchase. Popular Cardano wallets include:
Daedalus (Software, Full node)
Yoroi (Software, Light wallet)
AdaLite (Software, Web-based wallet)
Ledger Nano S/X (Hardware)
Trezor Model T (Hardware)
Research the options and choose a wallet that suits your needs. Download and install your chosen wallet, then create a new wallet and follow the prompts to back up your recovery phrase. Store your recovery phrase securely, as it's the only way to restore your wallet if you lose access. Tips: Simply click "Wallets" from the top of this website menu and choose your ADA wallet.
Related: Which ADA Wallet to Use to Store Your ADA?
2. Transfer ADA from the exchange to your wallet:
Once your wallet is set up, it's time to transfer your ADA from the exchange to your wallet. Follow these steps:
a. Log in to the exchange where your ADA is held.
b. Go to your ADA wallet on the exchange and click on the 'Withdraw' or 'Send' option.
c. Open your Cardano wallet and find the 'Receive' option. Copy your wallet address.
d. Paste your wallet address into the 'Withdrawal address' or 'Recipient address' field on the exchange.
e. Verify the address is correct and enter the amount of ADA you wish to transfer.
f. Complete any additional security steps, such as entering a 2FA code.
g. Confirm the transaction and wait for the ADA to arrive in your wallet. This can take several minutes.
3. Research and select a stakepool:
Stakepools are responsible for processing transactions and creating new blocks on the Cardano blockchain. When selecting a stakepool, consider the following factors:
Pool performance: Look for pools with a history of producing blocks consistently.
Pool fees: Each pool charges fees, so compare fees to maximize your rewards.
Pool saturation: Over-saturated pools can offer lower rewards. Aim for pools below 100% saturation.
Pool pledge: A higher pledge indicates the pool's commitment to the Cardano ecosystem.
To research stakepools, use tools like CExplorer (cexplorer.io) or PoolTool (pooltool.io) and filter stakepools based on your preferences.
4. Delegate your ADA to a stakepool:
Now that you've chosen a stakepool, it's time to delegate your ADA. The delegation process varies slightly between wallets, but the general steps are as follows:
a. Open your Cardano wallet and find the 'Staking' or 'Delegation' section.
b. Click on 'Delegate' or 'Join a stakepool.'
c. Search for your chosen stakepool by entering its pool ID or pool name.
d. Select the stakepool and confirm your delegation.
e. Pay the necessary fees for delegation (a small amount of ADA).
Tips: Simply click the "Stake Now" button at the top right of this website.
5. Monitor your staking rewards:
After delegating, it takes around 15-20 days to start earning rewards. Subsequent rewards are distributed every 5 days, known as an 'epoch.' You can monitor your rewards through your wallet dashboard. Note that your ADA remains in your wallet and is never locked or transferred to the stakepool during the delegation process. You can freely spend, transfer, or re-delegate your ADA at any time.
6. Optimize your staking:
To maximize your staking rewards, periodically review your stakepool's performance and consider re-delegating to another pool if necessary. Keep an eye on the stakepool's saturation, fees, and performance to ensure you continue earning optimal rewards.
By following this step-by-step guide, you have successfully set up a Cardano wallet, transferred your ADA, and delegated your ADA to a stakepool. Enjoy your staking rewards and welcome to the Cardano ecosystem! Remember to keep your wallet and recovery phrase secure, and continually monitor and optimize your staking strategy to make the most of your ADA investment.