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.

network globe visualisation
Cardano logo
Incentivized Testnet

Delegate your stake

With the incentivized phase of the testnet program, delegate your stake in the 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.

Incentivized Testnet Wallets

Soon, you’ll be able to download a special Incentivized Testnet version of either the Daedalus or Yoroi wallets to create a rewards wallet, choose a stake pool, and start delegating. In the meantime, we are working to get stake pool operators up and running. For now, you can use the balance snapshot version of Yoroi to check that your balance was captured correctly during the balance snapshot.

  • Check your balance with Yoroi

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

  • After installing the Yoroi balance snapshot 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.

    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.

How do I get started?

Getting started on the Incentivized Testnet will be simple. It will begin with the balance snapshot, taken at 12.00 UTC on November 29, which is a UTXO snapshot of ada balances held across the mainnet. You will need to ensure you are holding your ada in either a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet at the time the snapshot takes place.

This is necessary for technical reasons: ada held in exchanges, third-party wallets, and hardware wallets will not be eligible for use on the Incentivized Testnet and must be moved to a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet prior to the balance snapshot.

After the balance snapshot on November 29, special Incentivized Testnet versions of the supported wallet clients will be made available. Using the new wallet clients, you’ll be able to delegate your stake in the network to running stake pools and earn 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. In addition to other variables, 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 end of the current epoch, with rewards distributed from the end of each epoch. You will receive rewards associated with the previous pool once the epoch is over, and then your stake will move to the new pool for the next epoch.

Yes. To delegate to multiple stake pools, you will need to create separate wallets. The stake associated with each wallet can then be delegated to a specific stake pool.

Yes, this will be technically possible. It can be achieved by registering a stake pool and setting the profit margins 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.

We’re working on a rewards calculator right now, which will help you calculate approximate returns for delegation. The calculator will produce an estimate for rewards, not a definitive amount. 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.

The Incentivized Testnet Daedalus wallet will feature a list of all participating stake pools directly via the UI, while Yoroi will show the same information via their Seiza blockchain explorer. These pools will be ranked and color-coded to help stakeholders make the best decision about where to delegate their stake. Ranking is based on performance, which is calculated in part based on the number of blocks the stake pool was tasked to create compared to the number actually created in a single epoch. Over time, more metrics will be added to this ranking.

A special, Incentivized Testnet version of the Daedalus and Yoroi wallets will soon be available for download. Head to the official Daedalus website or Yoroi website for more information, or sign up to our mailing list to be automatically kept up to date.

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. You will need to move your funds out of an exchange and into either a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet, prior to the balance snapshot, to participate in the Incentivized Testnet.