Staking and delegating for beginners. A step-by-step guide by Cardano Foundation
When can I start delegating my ada to a stake pool?
The hard fork will begin a new epoch on Cardano — a period in which new blocks are created through slots. Slots occur every 20 seconds within an epoch, and each epoch lasts exactly five days. The first of these blocks will be epoch zero on the new Shelley mainnet. We recommend watching this video to learn more about slots and epochs.
Technically, delegation will be possible as soon as the hard fork from Byron to Shelley has concluded — at 21:44:51 UTC on the 29 July 2020 to be precise. However, in practice, eager delegates will have to wait a while until registered stake pools become visible on the Shelley mainnet before ada can be delegated to them.
For stake pool operators that participated in the incentivized testnet, the registration process should be completed fairly easily — but those looking to delegate their stake should remember that new stake pools will become visible on the blockchain at different times.
Therefore, if you delegated to a pool during the incentivized testnet and it is not yet available on the mainnet, we recommend that you check back later.