In the context of Cardano, an "epoch" is a specific time period during which the blockchain operates. It is a fundamental unit of time for the Cardano network, and many important processes are organized around it, such as staking, rewards, and protocol updates.
Each epoch in Cardano lasts five days, during which time new blocks are added to the blockchain. A crucial aspect of the Cardano network is its consensus protocol called Ouroboros, which is a proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm.
In each epoch, a set of slot leaders is selected to create new blocks and validate transactions. These slot leaders are chosen based on the amount of ADA (Cardano's native cryptocurrency) they hold and have staked, as well as a randomization process.
In the Cardano ecosystem, staking refers to the process of delegating your ADA to a stake pool.
This delegation is simply a recorded assignment on the blockchain, ensuring that your funds remain secure and untouched.
With zero risks involved, staking offers a safe and reliable means to contribute to the Cardano network.
As a new epoch begins after your delegation, a snapshot is captured, reflecting the current state of delegation registrations for all stake pools, among various other activities.
This snapshot includes your delegation as well. However, during this initial phase, your ADA stake has not yet begun actively participating in the staking process.
From this epoch onward, your ADA stake becomes active, playing a crucial role in securing the network.
As an active participant, your stake contributes to the pool's likelihood of producing blocks and earning corresponding rewards.
You can now start claiming RCADA's bonus token rewards.
Rewards for the previous epoch are calculated and automatically distributed at the protocol level, rather than by the pool itself.
You can expect to receive these rewards during the subsequent epoch. Meanwhile, your stake continues to contribute to the network, securing the Cardano ecosystem and earning rewards for the current epoch as well.
You will now receive staking rewards for epoch #2.
Rewards are consistently paid in the second epoch following block production.
Moving forward, you will continue to receive rewards in a similar manner, such as rewards for epoch #3 in the subsequent epoch, and so on.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.