We are preparing for the Incentivized Testnet phase of Cardano’s Shelley era, which will mark the very first steps towards the network’s decentralization. This testnet is designed to test incentivization in a real-world context and allow you – the ada holder – to earn real rewards by either delegating your stake or running a stake pool.
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The balance check snapshot was taken at 12.00 UTC on November 12. If you had ada in a mainnet Daedalus or Yoroi wallet at that time, you can now check your testnet balance via special balance check versions of Daedalus and Yoroi.
Participation in the balance check is optional. It will not impact your ability to participate in the Incentivized Testnet.
If you had ada in a Daedalus wallet when the balance check was taken at 12.00 UTC on November 12, you can now check whether your balance was successfully captured using the Daedalus balance check wallet.
After downloading and installing the Daedalus balance check wallet, use the wallet restoration functionality to check that your testnet balance matches your mainnet balance. You’ll need to enter the wallet recovery phrase associated with the mainnet wallet that held your ada when the snapshot was taken.
You can check that your mainnet balance was accurately captured using the balance wallet, which is created as part of the wallet restoration process. In future phases of the Incentivized Testnet, when delegation rewards are available, you’ll need to create a rewards wallet (and transfer funds to it) to participate in stake delegation. Rewards are not available yet, but you can test your ability to create a rewards wallet and transfer funds as part of the Daedalus balance check wallet.
For more information on how to check your testnet ada balance in Daedalus, watch this tutorial video.
If you have any issues while checking your testnet balance, please submit a request to the IOHK support portal.
If you had ada in a Yoroi wallet when the balance check snapshot was taken at 12.00 UTC on November 12, you can now check whether your balance was successfully captured using the Yoroi balance check wallet.
After installing the Yoroi balance check wallet browser extension, use the wallet restoration functionality to check that your testnet balance matches your mainnet balance. You’ll need to enter the wallet recovery phrase associated with the mainnet wallet that held your ada when the snapshot was taken.
For more information on how to check your testnet ada balance in Yoroi, watch this tutorial video.
If you have any issues while checking your testnet balance, please contact the Yoroi team on the wallet support page.
The Incentivized Testnet will allow us to test something our earlier testnets couldn’t: real behavior – and real behavior requires real rewards. On the Incentivized Testnet, ada holders will be able to participate in the network and earn real ada through stake delegation or operating a stake pool.
We are building a decentralized network of globally distributed participants. The information gathered from the Incentivized Testnet will be crucial in creating a fair and balanced incentive mechanism, which will ensure reliable and honest network participation long into the future.
You can learn more about the Incentivized Testnet, and the reasons behind it, in this blog piece and AMA video. Alternatively, IOHK’s whitepaper is available to those interested in learning more about the methodology behind Cardano’s incentive mechanism.
Ada held on the Cardano network represents a stake in the network, with the size of the stake proportional to the amount of ada held. If you hold 10% of all available ada, you have a 10% stake in the network.
The ability to delegate that stake is fundamental to how Cardano works. There are two ways an ada holder can earn rewards, and thus be incentivized to keep the network running: by delegating their stake to a stake pool run by someone else, or running their own stake pool. The amount of stake delegated to a given stake pool is one of the ways the Ouroboros protocol chooses who should add the next block to the blockchain, and get a monetary reward for doing so. The more stake is delegated to a stake pool (up to a certain point), the more likely it is to make the next block – and then the rewards are shared between everyone who delegated their stake to that stake pool.
Stake pools are nodes delegated to by ada holders that do not have the knowledge, resources, or desire to run a node. Conversely, stake pool operators are those with the expertise and resources to reliably operate a node 24/7.
Cardano is a groundbreaking proof-of-stake blockchain – home to the ada cryptocurrency – with a strong focus on sustainability, scalability, and transparency. Developed by world-leading academics and engineers, it will serve as a stable and secure platform for the development of enterprise-level dApps and a staging point for global change.
Shelley is one of the five phases of Cardano’s development. These phases, and the specific capabilities and functionality they deliver, are outlined in the Cardano Roadmap. Shelley is the beginning of Cardano’s network decentralization, and represents the most significant milestone to date. Much of Cardano is being developed in parallel. Shelley serves as the network’s foundation; once it’s in place, much more becomes possible, including smart contracts.
A lot of work has gone into creating an incentivization mechanism that will ensure the long-term health of the network, but the game theory which underpins the incentivization only works if real rewards are available for users. The Incentivized Testnet is a way to test the theory in a sandbox environment to make sure it works as intended. The ada rewards earned for delegating a stake or running a stake pool are real and, once the testnet is complete, spendable. We’re using real rewards to gauge real responses, and to assess how the mechanism works in a real-world setting.
The balance check is a practice run of the official balance snapshot. During the balance check, users will be able to validate that their mainnet ada balance has been accurately captured for transfer to the testnet.
Participation in the balance check is optional and will not affect a user’s ability to take part in the Incentivized Testnet – but it is an excellent opportunity to make sure your ada balance is in one of the supported wallets and can be accurately recorded before the official balance snapshot.
A balance snapshot is a record of where all the ada on the network is at a particular point in time. That record will then be used to replicate ada balances on the Incentivized Testnet so that users can try out delegation and stake pools with an amount of test ada equivalent to their real ada. For technical reasons, however, only ada held in Daedalus or Yoroi wallets at the time of the snapshot will be eligible for use on the Incentivized Testnet. Any ada held in exchanges, third-party wallets, or hardware wallets must be moved to either a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet prior to the snapshot if users wish to participate in the Incentivized Testnet. For more details on supported wallet formats, see this infographic.