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If I start a pool with a large pledge of around 170k ADA but I struggle to get people to stake to my pool and I just end up having only the 170k pledge of ADA staked to the pool the entire time the pool is run will the rewards I earn eventually make running a pool worthwhile?

I'm thinking long term, like 5-10 years, and not considering the costs of running the pool such as electricity, equipment, and an internet bill. I'm just comparing running a stakepool with a large stake to just staking it in an already well performing pool.

I think I'd like to take the chance of running a pool but I don't want to sink my bag into a pool that makes me nothing if I could have it in a larger pool and earn rewards.

Also, I realize that cardano.org has a calculator for calculating stake pool rewards but it doesn’t give much indication on what rewards would be for smaller stakes.

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The rewards of staking on Cardano are, on average, 5% APY.

At the moment, a pool with 170K ADA of stake has a 12.89% chance of producing a block per epoch (you can check the "Rewards" tab of this pool for reference, as it has that same amount of stake: https://adapools.org/pool/34736425217f45cc1f6e59a88bd253e50b90f47ea206ec7f26afdfc5). This means that, to produce a block every epoch, you need to have a stake of 1.4M ADA at least.

In your case, and probabillistically, you'll be signing a block every 7.75 epochs (1 epoch has 5 days in Cardano's blockchain). One year has 73 epochs, so you will be signing a block in 9.41 of those epochs. Every epoch you mint a block, as an operator, you'll get 340 ADA on top of your rewards (this is the most usual fixed fee for SPOs).

I run a stake pool and I can assure you that, if you won't be promoting it or at least trying to get more delegators to join your pool, then I reckon that with that amount of stake it's better for you to join a pool. I would consider running my own pool without caring about delegators at least with a chance of 50% of minting a block each epoch. But this is just my opinion.

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  • Would the rewards and pool fees I would receive every 7.75 epochs equal or exceed the rewards of just staking?
    – Bob Loblaw
    May 20, 2022 at 12:27
  • That's not something I can answer straight away as there are so many variables in play and the performance of your pool is one of those. As per this website (cardanode.com.au/cardano-staking-calculator-rewards-ada) you'll be getting 8,713.0276 ADA each year staking on a 5% APY pool. The rewards you will receive if you mint a block in an epoch will exceed the rewards of just staking BUT you need to consider the costs of running the pool (servers) and the time you'll have to dedicate to maintain it. In my experience as an SPO, it's not profitable to run a stake pool with only 170K ADA. May 21, 2022 at 0:26

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