Staking ADA on Cardano - A Step-by-Step Guide

Staking your ADA tokens on the Cardano blockchain can be a great way to earn passive income while supporting the network. Cardano uses a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, which means that token holders can "stake" their ADA to help validate transactions. In return, stakers earn rewards in the form of additional ADA tokens over time.

Staking doesn't require any special hardware or technical knowledge. All you need is a Cardano wallet with some ADA tokens in it. The process is relatively straightforward, but there are some key steps to follow in order to start earning those staking rewards. Here is a step-by-step guide to staking your ADA on the Cardano blockchain.

1. Get an ADA Wallet

The first step is to get a cryptocurrency wallet that supports Cardano. There are various options out there, including:

  • Daedalus wallet - This is an open source wallet developed by IOHK specifically for the Cardano blockchain. It offers maximum security and gives you full control of your private keys.
  • Yoroi wallet - A light Cardano wallet built by EMURGO. It's available as both a browser extension and a mobile app.
  • Adalite - An open source light wallet that runs directly in your browser. No download required.
  • Atomic wallet - A multi-currency wallet that supports ADA and many other coins. Available on desktop and mobile.

For staking ADA, any of these wallets will work. The Daedalus or Yoroi wallets are generally recommended for the best user experience. Once you've installed a wallet, create a new wallet and save your wallet recovery phrase in a safe place. This phrase can restore your wallet if needed.

2. Fund Your Wallet with ADA

Next, you'll need to transfer some ADA into your new wallet in order to stake. You can buy ADA from a cryptocurrency exchange and then withdraw it to your wallet's public address. Exchanges like Binance, Kraken and Coinbase all support ADA.

The minimum amount of ADA required for staking depends on which staking pool you join. Many pools have a minimum of around 10-100 ADA. You may want to deposit at least 500 ADA so you have room to choose from different pools. The more ADA you stake, the greater your rewards will be.

Double check that you are sending ADA to the correct wallet address to avoid losing funds!

3. Pick a Staking Pool

Now that your wallet is funded, you need to pick a staking pool to join. Staking pools are groups of ADA holders who combine their tokens to increase their chances of validating blocks and earning rewards. There are over 1,000 active pools to choose from.

Some things to consider when picking a pool:

  • Higher saturation = lower rewards. Avoid very large pools.
  • Look for pools with good performance and reliability scores.
  • Consider pool fees - usually between 0-10%. Lower is better.
  • Check whether the pool donates to charity. Some give a portion of fees to good causes.

A few reliable pools to consider include SESH, ONE, LOVE, OCEAN, ADAP; but do your own research to find one that fits your preferences.

4. Delegate Your ADA

Once you've chosen your preferred Cardano staking pool, it's time to delegate your ADA tokens to that pool so that you can start earning rewards.

To delegate in Daedalus or Yoroi wallet, simply find the "Staking" section, select your desired pool from the list, and click delegate. A small transaction fee will be deducted from your wallet, and then your ADA will start contributing to the pool.

In Adalite and other light wallets, you may need to copy and paste the staking pool ID into the delegation form.

Within one epoch (5 days on Cardano), your delegation should become active and you'll see your first rewards trickling into your wallet!

5. Track and Claim Your Rewards

As your delegated ADA earns block rewards for your staking pool, your share of the rewards will slowly accumulate in your wallet.

You can track your rewards in the staking section of your wallet. Most wallets will even estimate your expected annual rewards rate based on the pool's historical and current performance.

The rewards are automatically compounded and reinvested - they will be added to your wallet balance over time. But in order to move or spend the rewards, you'll need to manually claim them.

For wallets like Daedalus, this just means clicking the "Claim Rewards" button periodically. Other wallets may do this automatically for you when you make transactions. It's up to you how often you claim - you'll still earn the rewards regardless.

And that's it - you're now officially staking ADA! Just sit back and watch your Cardano rewards accumulate.

"I was skeptical about crypto staking at first. But once I delegated my ADA tokens, the passive income began rolling in. Now I'm a believer!"

Should I stake my ADA on an exchange instead of a wallet?

Some cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase also allow users to stake ADA and other proof-of-stake coins through their platform. This avoids having to use an external wallet and delegate to a pool yourself. However, staking on an exchange carries some downsides:

  • You don't have custody or control of the ADA yourself - the exchange holds the tokens.
  • Exchanges typically offer lower staking rewards and take a larger cut off the top.
  • If the exchange is hacked, your staked ADA could be at risk.

For maximum security and rewards, it's best practice to create your own crypto wallet and stake ADA in your own custody. But exchange staking can provide a simpler solution for beginners.

How often should I claim my staking rewards?

There's no definitive answer here, as the optimal frequency for claiming staking rewards depends on your personal preferences:

  • Claiming rewards more often (e.g. every few days) means you'll compound them faster and put your rewards to work earning more rewards.
  • Less frequent claiming (e.g. once a month) avoids lots of small transactions that incur more fees.
  • Some wallets let you set reward reinvestment to automatic. Others require manually claiming.
  • Tax reporting may be easier with less frequent claims.

Many ADA holders claim and compound their staking rewards every 5-10 days. But find a schedule that suits your needs - Cardano rewards will accumulate regardless of when you claim them.


Staking ADA is a great way to support the Cardano network while earning passive crypto income. By delegating your ADA tokens to a staking pool, you can earn around 5-6% APY rewards that will automatically compound in your wallet over time. Just remember to:

  • Set up a Cardano wallet and fund it with some ADA
  • Browse pools and choose one that fits your preferences
  • Delegate your ADA to the pool to start earning rewards
  • Claim your rewards periodically to compound them

The staking process is relatively easy and risk-free, so there's no reason not to put your ADA to work! Over time, those staking rewards can really add up. So sit back, relax, and watch your Cardano wealth grow. Happy staking!

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