What is a stake pool?
On Solana, stake pools provide a way to delegate SOL to a validator delegation strategy rather than directly to an individual validator. Deciding which validators to delegate to requires technical skills and ongoing maintenance. With a stake pool, delegators can task a “pool manager” with deciding how to best delegate their SOL. Once delegators identify a stake pool manager or particular strategy they find favorable, they can deposit their SOL into that stake pool and let the stake pool do all the work. In return, delegators receive a stake pool token representing their percentage ownership of the pool.
How does it work?
After delegators deposit their staked SOL into a stake pool, validators in the stake pool will be delegated SOL according to the strategy chosen by the stake pool manager. Delegators who deposit into the stake pool receive stake pool tokens, which represent their proportional ownership of the stake pool. These stake pool tokens represent a delegator’s fractional ownership of the stake pool, and can be treated as a liquid token.
Why should someone use stake pools?
Stake pools can help decentralize the network by allowing for an easier way to delegate stake across many validator nodes. Assuming the chosen delegation strategies by stake pool managers favor an even distribution of stake, the delegation across many validator nodes will reduce the concentration of stake on any given validator node, and in turn, reduce the likelihood of a halting event. Stake pools can also be seen as insurance against any single validator’s downtime that may arise from performance or other issues.
Why should I become a stake pool manager?
Stake pool managers are important stewards of staked SOL in the ecosystem. By running a stake pool, managers can not only help decentralize the network, they can also earn rewards! By running a stake pool and using a delegation strategy that promotes decentralization managers can ensure the network stays decentralized and promotes censorship resistance.
What do the economic incentives for running a stake pool look like?
Stake pool managers can earn fees from running a stake pool. Certain managers may also be eligible for additional rewards from the Solana Foundation. If you meet any of the following criteria you may be eligible for a grant*:
- If you launch a stake pool by December 30, 2021 that promotes your definition of censorship resistance (you tell us what your definition of censorship resistance is and how you think your stake pool accomplishes this), whose deposits reach at least 10,000 SOL, and lists at least 20 distinct validators**, you may be eligible for a grant of 100 locked SOL***
- If in addition to meeting the criteria in , your stake pool deposits reach 100,000 SOL, you will be eligible for an additional grant of 200 locked SOL***
- If in addition to meeting the criteria in , your stake pool deposits reach 1,000,000 SOL, you will be eligible for an additional grant of 1,000 locked SOL***
What is a delegation strategy?
How SOL gets delegated across all the validator nodes in a stake pool is called the delegation strategy. For example, if a stake pool has 10 validator nodes, 100 staked SOL is deposited, and 10 SOL is delegated to each validator node, this might be called an even distribution delegation strategy.
How do I become a stake pool manager?
In order to run a stake pool, you would follow this documentation: Stake Pool Program | Solana Program Library Docs.
What are the requirements to run a stake pool?
There is a small upfront cost to running a stake pool. There is an initial deposit required of less than 0.5 SOL to create a pool with a max capacity of 1,000 validators, and an additional cost of 1.0023 SOL to add each validator.
Is there a minimum or maximum SOL that can be staked to a single stake pool?
There is currently no minimum or maximum SOL that needs to be staked in a single stake pool, though rewards grow for the delegator, validator, and stake pool manager as the size of the stake pool grows.
The Solana Foundation’s goal is to incentivize the ecosystem to build tools and start stake pools that promote censorship resistance. If anything in this post is not clear, please do not hesitate to reach out on Discord at #stake-pool-feedback or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any and all deployment(s) or usage of the stake pool contract is subject to the Solana Foundation’s license and policies. Nothing in this document or any related materials posted by the Solana Foundation about stake pools should be construed as an encouragement, solicitation, or inducement to deploy a stake pool or to deposit SOL into a stake pool, or as an endorsement of any given stake pool manager or strategy.
*The Solana Foundation reserves the right to cancel this incentive program at any time. In order to receive these rewards, stake pool managers must be non-US persons, pass through Solana Foundation’s KYC/AML process, and satisfy the terms of the grant program to be determined at the sole discretion of the Solana Foundation. All awards are contingent on the stake pool manager running the stake pool for at least one year with the requisite number of delegators and validators and are subject to future restrictions and requirements.
**Note that all validators must be outside of the superminority group.
***Locked SOL is subject to a one year lockup