This testbed is a test environment where ada users and developers can experiment with stake pools and help build up a collection of pools on Cardano. With the release of this stake pool testbed we move into the Shelley phase of development.
We encourage our community members to practice setting up stake pools in this testbed. This will allow us to gradually build up the set of pools and then use these pools to form the basis of our controlled move to the decentralization of Cardano. Once a certain threshold of stake pools is reached it will be rolled onto the mainnet.
Staking is the process by which stakeholders combine their wealth to form a pool - or single entity of stake - on Cardano. By having a combined stake pool, more entities can engage in the protocol and contribute to maintaining the ledger. Stake pools incentivize stakeholders to be online when they have to participate in the protocol, for example, to create a block. People who lack the interest or technical knowledge, or simply do not have the time to be online when needed, can still participate and reap rewards by delegating their stake to a stake pool. Each stake pool has a nominated pool operator who is in charge of processing transactions on behalf of the pool, and any member of the stake pool can become a pool operator. Operators are rewarded with higher rewards for their efforts. We encourage you to use this testbed and look forward to hearing your feedback on trialling staking on Cardano before it is officially released.