​Cardano is determined to keep delivering as it now has made history: the higher-stake staking pools, also known as SPOs, on the new Shelley network mined blocks on epoch 211, carried out by staking whale 1 Percent Pool, which is now running 28 SPOs on Shelley.

Staking Pools Have Made History

IOHK has congratulated all the staking pools that were able to mine a block, with Cardano’s creator Charles Hokinson pledging to fund some commemorative goods for these staking pools.

SPO operators and ADA delegators will now enjoy their first-ever earnings from Shelly mainnet. The pool rewards are calculated as a percentage of the blocks versus the blocks they could have made, and also the total amount of transaction fees.

Cardano assigned 10 percent block mining responsibility to staking pools by positioning its decentralization factor (d) to 0.9; however, the developer is planning to reduce the number to zero. At zero, staking pools will have 100 percent responsibility to mine blocks in every epoch.

The news comes after a new record for Cardano’s SPOs, which has registered 1,000 staking pools with a total of $12.9 billion in ADA distributed by more than 29,236 addresses.

Why is the d Value Important to SPOs?

Shelley went over to epoch 211 at 21: 44 UTC on August 13th, and intends to keep the d value at 0.9, in a gradual unraveling process that will most likely see epoch 212 reduce to 0.8. When the d value decreases to 0.8, it will allow for even more staking pools with less ADA to earn rewards.

“After holding d at 0.9 for epoch 211, assuming all goes well, we’ll likely lower d straight to 0.8 in epoch 212, thereby expanding community responsibility to 20 percent of all block production,” the developing team said.

The high d value means that only 20 to 30 percent of staking pools, which have at least 4.72 million ADA, managed to create a block throughout epoch 211. This leaves the rest of 75 percent of staking pools waiting for lower d values in order to start earning staking rewards, as per an analysis carried out by an SPO that goes by the name of ViperStakePool.

“The stake snapshot for epoch 212 just occurred today (8/13), and it’s more of the same story. A stake pool needs at least 4.49M ₳ to expect to make a single block during the epoch. Only the top 25 percent of pools can expect to make a block every epoch with the current parameters,” he said.​

Testing Under Voltaire

Besides a recent impediment from a node update that made Cardano issue an emergency shift for stake pool operators to an earlier variant, Shelley’s development appears to be advancing without a hitch.

When it comes to the governance part, things are also starting to develop, with the release of Project Catalyst that rolled out Fund 1 to test on decentralized governance under Voltaire. Still, ADA’s price has not shown a memorable reaction to both of these advancements and is currently trading at $0.14.

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