Why are Cardano staking rewards decreasing, slowly going down

A lot of Cardano delegatiors are wondering why their rewards are not where they used to be, but are getting lower and lower over the years, months, epochs…

That is why we wrote this article explaining the reason and logic behind this.

Your instinct is correct. This is by the Cardano protocol design. But why is that?? Well the reason lies in the supply and demand.

Fixed supply

We could argue that one of the greatest invention in cryptoassets is limited supply of the assets.

Therefore there is only 45B tokens and that is the law/immutable. The supply will never change.

So how are the Cardano rewards paid out? Well there is a predefined fixed part of that supply that is reserved for the rewards. We could call that the rewards pot.

This is roughly true although the rewards pot can get some Cardano from the fees paid from the transactions, but given that this is such a small part of the pot we could neglect that variable for now and just say that the pot for rewards is fixed.

You could say why not just get all the rewards from the fees? Well turns out it is a nice way to bust adoption at the beginning if this is paid from the separate pot while in the initial adoption phase.

The reward pot

So given each epoch the rewards pot looses the ADA for that epoch. If this happened at the same pace the pot would be empty in a fixed number of epochs. This is not good as it has to should incentivize the adoption and should last for a long time. Therefore the idea here is that the rewards are exponentially smaller so there will always be some rewards in the pot and initial adopters will get more of the reward.

Halvening

This is nothing new as we can turn and look to the first cryptoasset every the famous BTC which kinda does the same thing. With BTC there is an event called the halvening and what it basically does is cut the rewards in half every 4 years. The goal of this system is the same… to extend the pot used for the miner rewards so it will last a long time.

Cardano half life

As with BTC, Cardano also has a half-life, which is basically the time in which the rewards will be cut in half. The difference here is this is done continuously and not in a discrete fashion. Therefore Cardano ADA rewards are slowly getting lower from epoch to epoch.

What is the advantage here is that it is not as shocking and more predictable for the users.

One minor disadvantage is that the users do not know this and maybe don’t even notice it in a small period of time, but notice it on a larger scale. That can even result in even thinking their selected pool is not working as it should.

Of course with discrete rewards halving you will notice this right away and probably google what happened.

The demand size of the equation

You could say as Cardano rewards go down as time passes people will have less incentive to run pools and stake their ADA… but there is always the other side of the equation. So if supply is fixed and if demand is growing ADA should go up. Therefore the value per reward should on the long enough time frame decreases but given ADA value increases the rewards should still be quite good. At the end there is still value in rewarding the first adopters.

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Happy staking,

AdaPointPool
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We run a Cardano staking pool - Ada Point Pool. https://adapointpool.com