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I would like to run a stake pool, but don't know if I am capable to do this. What do I need for that?

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Running a stake pool requires two main components, technical ability and marketing savvy. I'll outline some of this at a high level for you below.

Technical

  • Linux server administration. You must be able to setup and administer a server that will run your pool and relay nodes. You will need to be comfortable running applications in the terminal.
  • Bash scripting (for setting up your pool, running the nodes, etc.)

Marketing

  • A pool cannot make blocks without attracting delegation. It takes around 1.2M ADA staked in the pool to average one slot per epoch (whether or not you actually forge the block at the assigned slot depends on the technical abilities).
  • Pools need effective marketing to attract enough delegators unless you own enough ADA yourself.
  • This is actually the hardest part about running a pool.

One last thing is pledge, currently the pledge only has a small effect on the rewards a pool earns. However, this is set to increase in the future. The exact amount of pledge needed is unknown but will be more than a few thousand ADA. Looking at most of the pools that are out there I would assume anything less than 50-100k ADA will not be sufficient.

There is a plethora of resources for how to setup a node, but hopefully this helps to answer the question of whether or not this is something you want to pursue. Good luck!

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    I like that you answered the politics side as much as the technical one. As a DevOps Engineer, I was thrilled with the idea of setting my own pool and helping the protocol along the way, until I discovered it's not really "random guy with good technical skills"-friendly.
    – insideClaw
    Apr 27, 2021 at 18:44
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    3. Lots of time May 1, 2021 at 16:11
  • "It take around 1.2M ADA to average one block per epoch." Can you unpack that for me? I understand you to mean that the return on investment is 1ADA per 1.2M per epoch.
    – Craig
    Nov 3, 2021 at 11:43
  • Stake pools have to make blocks in order to earn any rewards. The number of blocks a pool is chosen for is dependent on the amount of ADA staked to it. The size where a pool will average one block each epoch is around 1.2 M.
    – nalyd88
    Nov 8, 2021 at 1:59
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This is the guide that I used and also included the prerequisites from their site below:

https://www.coincashew.com/coins/overview-ada/guide-how-to-build-a-haskell-stakepool-node

Prerequisites

Mandatory skills for stake pool operators

As a stake pool operator for Cardano, you will be competent with the following abilities:

  • operational knowledge of how to set up, run and maintain a Cardano node continuously
  • a commitment to maintain your node 24/7/365
  • system operation skills
  • server administration skills (operational and maintenance).

Mandatory experience for stake pool operators

  • experience of development and operations (DevOps)
  • experience on how to harden and secure a server.
  • passed the official Stake Pool School course.

It's is the most comprehensive guide out there, IMO. I used it for setting up my own stake pool.

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something which is not mentioned.... please remember,

  1. you need 1 Block Producer (BP)
  2. and Relay(s) 1 Relays is enough, but for your Redundancy it is better and recommended to run 2 Relays minimum.

for the Redundancy and High Availability of your BP, it is recommended to run another Node. but we are not allowed to run 2 BP. if you produce a block from 2 BPs, your pool will be penalised. which means, manually or automatically, you have to prepare a second Node as BP, to run this node as Relay and only if the main BP is down to run this second node as BP, so that you dont loose an assigned Block.

for any further question, dont hesitate to ask.

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