The Rewards phase of the ITN has now come to an end. If you have been taking part in the program, we have captured records of all the ada rewards you have earned during your time in the program. You'll be able to reclaim your rewards closer to Shelley mainnet deployment in July/August. Thanks for your support. Please follow IOHK's social media channels for further updates and all the latest developments on the rollout of Shelley.

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Incentivized Testnet

Delegate your stake

Delegate your stake in the Shelley network to earn rewards, help us learn, and become part of the Cardano journey.
What Is 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.

Although this is a testnet, the ada rewards for delegating your stake are real and will be transferable to the mainnet once the Incentivized Testnet has ended. To ensure the fair and successful long-term operation of the system, IOHK reserves the right to limit rewards.

Incentivized Testnet Wallets

Fully-featured version of Daedalus and Yoroi are now available for the Incentivized Testnet, from which you’ll be able to restore your testnet ada balance, browse stake pools, and delegate your stake to earn real ada rewards.

For a more detailed breakdown of terms used in the Incentivized Testnet wallets, see this glossary.

  • Daedalus for the Incentivized Testnet

  • If you had ada in a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet when the balance snapshot was taken at 12.00 UTC on November 29, 2019, you can now check whether your balance was successfully captured, browse stake pools, and delegate your stake using the Daedalus rewards wallet client.

  • After downloading and installing the Daedalus rewards wallet client, 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 a balance wallet, which is created as part of the wallet restoration process. Follow the instructions in the Daedalus UI to create a rewards wallet, from which you’ll be able to delegate your stake to a stake pool and start earning real ada rewards.

    To learn how to delegate your stake using Daedalus, see these step-by-step instructions.

    This is a testnet, designed to help IOHK improve the Cardano platform and test the network ahead of the Shelley mainnet release. As such, we expect there to be bugs, minor issues, and edge-cases, and we will continue to update the rewards version of Daedalus with fixes, improvements, and new features accordingly.

    Your feedback is valuable to us. If you experience any issues with this early wallet release, please report them directly through the help menu in Daedalus, or log a support request on the IOHK support portal.

  • Yoroi for the Incentivized Testnet

  • If you had ada in a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet when the balance snapshot was taken at 12.00 UTC on November 29, 2019, you can now check whether your balance was successfully captured, browse stake pools, and delegate your stake using the Yoroi rewards wallet client.

  • After installing the Yoroi rewards 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 use the Yoroi rewards wallet to check your testnet balance, browse available stake pools, and delegate your stake directly from your browser to start earning real ada rewards.

    If you have any issues while using the Yoroi rewards wallet, please contact the Yoroi team on the wallet support page.

How do I get started?

Getting started on the Incentivized Testnet is simple. It began with the balance snapshot, taken at 12.00 UTC on November 29, 2019, which was a UTXO snapshot of ada balances held across the mainnet. If you had ada in a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet at that time, then you can participate in the Incentivized Testnet – all you need to do is download one of the Incentivized Testnet wallets above to start delegating your stake and earning real ada rewards.

For more information on best practices and safety tips, see this support portal article.

Interested in developing on the Cardano platform or running a stake pool?

Visit the testnet developer website to find out how.


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.

Yes. Mainnet ada will not be affected by the Incentivized Testnet. After the balance snapshot, ada owned on the mainnet can be spent and exchanged freely.

Yes. Delegated stake can be re-delegated to another pool at any time. Re-delegated stake will remain in the current pool until the epoch after next (from the point of re-delegation), after which your delegation preferences will be updated on the chain and your stake moved to the new stake pool. Rewards are distributed from the end of each epoch, so you’ll continue to receive rewards from your original stake pool for two epochs before your new delegation preferences are applied.

In Yoroi, it is possible to delegate to multiple pools using a single wallet, but not in Daedalus. To delegate to multiple pools in Daedalus, you will need to create separate wallets. The stake associated with each wallet can then be delegated to a specific stake pool.

It is worth noting that multiple-pool delegation using a single wallet will not be supported on the mainnet.

The performance metric is an indicator of how well a stake pool is performing. It is given as a percentage, and is measured by how many blocks the stake pool has produced compared to how many it was expected to produce. For example, if a pool only produces half the number of blocks that it was nominated for, its performance rating is 50%. This could happen because the pool has a poor network connection, or has been turned off by its operator.

Performance ratings make more sense over a longer period of time. If a pool has not yet been selected to produce a block in the current epoch, its performance rating will be 0%, even if it is likely to produce blocks later in the epoch. Performance ratings of over 100% are possible if a pool creates more blocks than it was nominated to produce.

Since this is a testnet, performance ratings should only be used as a guide, and may be affected by network uptime, updates, or parameter changes. In Daedalus and Yoroi, performance contributes to a stake pool’s ranking.

Saturation is a term used to indicate that a particular stake pool has more stake delegated to it than is ideal for the network, and once a pool reaches the point of saturation it will offer diminishing rewards. The saturation mechanism was designed to prevent centralization by encouraging delegators to delegate to different stake pools, and operators to set up alternative pools so that they can continue earning maximum rewards. Saturation, therefore, exists to preserve the interests of both ada holders delegating their stake and stake pool operators.

The goal is to avoid any single pool becoming too large – thereby disincentivizing delegation to other pools – and receiving a disproportionate amount of the rewards. The health of the network is partly determined by having a high number of active stake pools with a balanced amount of stake delegated to them. The more numerous and geographically diverse the network’s pools, the better.

Each stake pool’s saturation percentage is shown within the Daedalus stake pool selection menu.

Desirability measures how desirable a stake pool is to an ada holder seeking to delegate their stake. It is influenced by a number of factors – including a stake pool’s margin, fee, performance, the total reward available in the current epoch, and saturation percentage – and contributes to determining a stake pool’s ranking.

Stake pools are ranked through a combination of their desirability and performance, in addition to other factors.

The Incentivized Testnet Daedalus wallet features a list of all participating stake pools directly within the UI, while Yoroi shows the same information within the Seiza blockchain explorer. These pools are ranked and color-coded to help stakeholders make the best decision about where to delegate their stake.

Yes, this is technically possible. It can be achieved by registering a stake pool and setting the operator rewards percentage to 100%, so that anybody that delegates to your stake pool will not receive any rewards. This will disincentivize delegators from delegating to your stake pool, but provide you with the ability to stake your ada and singly reap the rewards, while testing your stake pool operations.

You can use the Incentivized Testnet rewards calculator to get an idea of how much you will earn in rewards on the Incentivized Testnet. It’s important to note that the calculator produces only reward estimates and shouldn’t be considered definitive or a guarantee of reward amounts. Over the course of the Incentivized Testnet, we will likely test different parameters that may affect reward margins. Amounts calculated are therefore subject to change, but represent a realistic and sensible level of return.

Both Daedalus and Yoroi wallets are supported for the Incentivized Testnet. You can download your preferred wallet client using the links above.

For technical reasons, only ada held in Daedalus or Yoroi wallets at the time of the snapshot in a few weeks can be restored 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.

When you first restore a wallet on the Incentivized Testnet, a balance wallet is created containing all your testnet ada. Balance wallets are copies of mainnet wallets, and as such do not support stake delegation. To participate in delegation on the Incentivized Testnet, you’ll need to create a rewards wallet and transfer funds from your balance wallet to your rewards wallet.

Both available testnet wallets (Daedalus and Yoroi) will display a total of rewards earned throughout the Incentivized Testnet. Once the Incentivized Testnet is over, we’ll provide you with a manual procedure to transfer ada earned to the mainnet.

No. Only ada that was in a mainnet Daedalus or Yoroi wallet at the time of the balance snapshot (12.00 UTC, November 29, 2019) is eligible for restoration on the Incentivized Testnet, and restored testnet ada can only be delegated via the Incentivized Testnet versions of Daedalus and Yoroi.