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I'm ready to delegate to a pool. I know the easiest options are to do so using either Daedalus or Yoroi. But, how do I choose which pool to stake to and does it really matter?

I found this post on reddit which does a good job of describing saturation and pledge. It also discusses what the fees mean. What I'm really asking here is that I don't understand why it might matter which pool to delegate to when it seems that any one will give me about 4-6% apy over the whole year. If I'm going to get that APY no matter which pool I delegate to, why does it matter which one I delegate to?

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There are lots of reasons to choose a stake pool other than the parameters and the ranking in Daedalus.

It depends on your values. Do you value decentralization? Do you want to support a big pool operation that has multiple pools under one brand or a single pool operator? You could support a pool that gives a percentage of it's operator rewards to charity. You could choose a pool that runs on Raspberry Pi's over a pool that runs on Google servers. You could look for a pool who's operator is easy to contact and interact with, they are active on twitter and/or YouTube. They have a strong web presence with good resources for delegators. Some stake pools are offering extra rewards in the form of ADA lottery or their own Cardano native tokens that they have minted themselves.

The fist pool I delegated to ran on solar panels and was ranked in the top 10. Now, I wouldn't even look at the ranking in the wallet. I've chosen a stake pool because the operator is active in the community and creating valuable content for the community. He is running a single pool on Raspberry Pi, under 1M ADA in active stake. I value supporting smaller pools that are trying to get up and running.

It's very much a personal choice based on countless variables.

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  • How do you recommend searching for a stake pool based on values? Given your example, if I wanted to find a list of small stake pools operated by folks who have been active in the community, and/or ones powered by solar or running on a Raspberry Pi, how would I do that?
    – a-fro
    Apr 28 at 12:13
  • Go to pooltool.io
    – OakAndClay
    Apr 28 at 12:56
  • 2
    There is a choose portfolio search that can filter based on these kind of preferences. It's not comprehensive, but a good start. You can go to the analysis tab and filter based on active stake and ROS. If you want to support a small pool you could choose a pool with sub 1M active stake and a good average return. There are pool profiles on pooltool.io that have links to social media accounts and websites. It takes some research but in a short amount of time you should be able to find someone that you are comfortable supporting.
    – OakAndClay
    Apr 28 at 13:05
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There is no "right" answer to this question. It depends on your personal priorities.

The numbers matter if your sole concern is financial. In general there are not vast differences in return from one pool to another

There are a multitude of other reasons to back a pool such as:

  • Geographical location
  • Community they support
  • Projects they are working on or associated with
  • Where their profits are directed
  • Many, many, others

Most pools go into detail about what makes them special on their own websites.

1

If you go to https://adapools.org and select "Analysis" > "Cardano Donuts (Groups)" > Select "Single Pool Operators" > Filter by "ROA 1M/Lifetime" you can start the selection of a staking pool based on the following criteria (this is not the full list because you can select many more):

  • Pledge
  • Fees
  • Stake
  • Check "Last Rewards" if the pool is actively minting
  • Saturation
  • Live stake

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