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I started staking yesterday and staked to TSC, which is a new pool started by a YouTuber whose Technical Analysis I appreciate. But after staking I realized... well, a lot of things. It's complex. But chiefly it concerns me that the pool hasn't produced any blocks (pool only a week old, so that's maybe a good reason why), but also isn't participating in the current epoch apparently (if the Yoroi dashboard is right), and actually won't participate until epoch 293. Why isn't this pool participating yet? Is there a delegator threshold? Minimum stake threshold? Waiting period after inception of the pool?

The pool: https://adapools.org/pool/da23e855d5e0a1b72bd384c4adb93ff9e0deba6861233d53cbf4daf2

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Pools are allowed to participate in block production based on the amount of ADA deligated. If the amount is less than around 1Million the pool may not produce blocks every epoc( every 5 days). This may not affect your reward in the long run which will be around 5% per year on average. Since if the deligation is low your % of reward from the pool will be higher. Please read about this. https://cardano.org/stake-pool-delegation/ . If the pool has low delegation it may not get blocks for a long time but when it gets your % will be high and that's how generally the return stays around 5% . If the deligation is too low there may be no rewards at all.

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When you stake your ADA with a pool, your stake will be included in the snapshot at the end of the current epoch (let's call it epoch x). This snapshot, which includes your Ada delegation, will be used as part of the calculation during epoch x+1 to determine how many blocks each pool mints during epoch x+2. During epoch x+3, your rewards, if any, will be calculated. Those rewards will then be paid during epoch x+4.

A pool with a delegation of about a million Ada will produce, on average, about 1 block per epoch. It is normal for a pool of that size to have several epochs where no blocks are produced, and several epochs where more than one block is produced. A pool with a delegation of 20 million Ada will produce, on average, 20 blocks per epoch. It is very unlikely that such a pool would experience a blockless epoch.

Your pool, TSC, currently has around 700k in delegations, and appears to be growing quite quickly. This should plenty enough to ride the waves of luck and average out at roughly 5% per year which is the expected return of any pool.

A pool with a small delegation, let's say 100k, would expect to mint about one block every ten epochs, which may not be enough to overcome the swings of luck in order to average out at 5% - it may be quite a bit more or quite a bit less at the end of the year, but over a long enough period of time, it would average the same return as every other pool.

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