Balance Snapshot complete. Setting up stake pools for testing

The balance snapshot was taken on November 29 at 12:00 UTC. If you had ada in a mainnet Daedalus or Yoroi wallet at the time, you will soon be able to delegate your stake to earn real ada rewards on the Incentivized Testnet. First, there will be a brief interim period to allow stake pool operators to set up before the Incentivized Testnet wallets are released and delegation begins. To learn how to operate a stake pool on the Incentivized Testnet, please visit our testnet website.

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Shelley
Incentivized Testnet
Welcome to the Shelley

Incentivized Testnet

The Shelley Incentivized Testnet is coming

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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  • BALANCE SNAPSHOT COMPLETE. Setting up stake pools for testing

    Testnet Status:

  • The balance snapshot was taken on November 29 at 12:00 UTC. If you had ada in a mainnet Daedalus or Yoroi wallet at the time, you will soon be able to delegate your stake to earn real ada rewards on the Incentivized Testnet. First, there will be a brief interim period to allow stake pool operators to set up before the Incentivized Testnet wallets are released and delegation begins. To learn how to operate a stake pool on the Incentivized Testnet, please visit our testnet website.

    If you are a stake pool operator and wish to have your stake pool listed in Daedalus and Yoroi during the Incentivized Testnet, you will need to register your stake pool information with the Cardano Foundation. Please see this GitHub documentation for more information.


    Stake delegation and rewards will not be available during the stake pool testing period.


Why the Incentivized Testnet?

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.

Interested in developing on the Cardano platform or running a stake pool?
Visit the testnet developer website to find out how
What is stake and stake delegation?

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. Watch our delegation summary video for more information.

What is Cardano?

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.

What is shelley?

Shelley is one of the five eras of Cardano’s development. These eras and the specific capabilities and functionality they deliver are outlined in the Cardano Roadmap.

Shelley marks the beginning of Cardano’s network decentralization and represents the most significant milestone to date. Much of Cardano is being developed in parallel, and Shelley serves as the network’s foundation: once it’s complete, much more becomes possible, including the smart contract functionality of the Goguen era.

What is the incentivized testnet?

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.

Watch our incentives summary video for more information.

What was the balance snapshot?

A balance snapshot is a record of all ada on the network at a particular point in time. That record can then be used to replicate ada balances on the Incentivized Testnet, so users can try out delegation and stake pools with an amount of testnet ada equivalent to their real ada.

The balance snapshot was taken at 12.00 UTC on November 29, and we are currently in a period of testing during which the Cardano Foundation is working with stake pool operators to help set up their stake pools and debug any network issues. Once we’re happy that the network is stable and there are sufficient reliable stake pools, the rewards phase of the Incentivized Testnet will begin for delegating users. A new version of the testnet wallets will be made available with which users can explore core functions and ensure their testnet ada balances are displaying correctly before rewards are rolled out.

For technical reasons, only ada held in Daedalus or Yoroi wallets at the time of the snapshot is eligible for use on the Incentivized Testnet.

What was the balance check?

The balance check was a practice run of the full balance snapshot. During this initial balance check, users were able to validate that the value of their mainnet ada balance had been accurately captured for use in the testnet. Participation in the balance check was optional. It will not affect your ability to take part in the full Incentivized Testnet.

How do I get involved?

Anybody that has ada stored in either a Daedalus or Yoroi mainnet wallet at the time of the balance snapshot on November 29 can participate in the Incentivized Testnet and earn rewards through delegation. If you wish to participate in the Incentivized Testnet, then ada held within exchanges, third-party wallets, or hardware wallets must be transferred into either a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet prior to the balance snapshot.

If you wish to participate in the Incentivized Testnet, then ada held within exchanges, third-party wallets, or hardware wallets must be transferred into either a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet prior to the balance snapshot.

Only ada held within a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet at the time of the snapshot will be captured as testnet ada for use on the Incentivized Testnet. Eligible ada funds can be accessed within the Incentivized Testnet – to delegate to a stake pool or operate a stake pool – using special, testnet versions of the Daedalus or Yoroi wallets that we will soon release.

Once the Incentivized Testnet is over, rewarded ada will be manually transferrable back to the mainnet, and become spendable. All that’s left is a choice: to become a delegator or a stake pool operator.