Retiring Your Stake Pool

If you no longer want to operate your stake pool, then you can deregister the pool. Deregistering the pool retires the pool.
To retire your stake pool, your stake pool does NOT require valid KES keys. However, you must ensure that your nodes are fully synchronized with the blockchain.
To retire your stake pool:
First, generate the protocol-parameters.
block producer node
cardano-cli query protocol-parameters \
--mainnet \
--out-file $NODE_HOME/params.json
Calculate the current epoch.
block producer node
startTimeGenesis=$(cat $NODE_HOME/shelley-genesis.json | jq -r .systemStart)
startTimeSec=$(date --date=${startTimeGenesis} +%s)
currentTimeSec=$(date -u +%s)
epochLength=$(cat $NODE_HOME/shelley-genesis.json | jq -r .epochLength)
epoch=$(( (${currentTimeSec}-${startTimeSec}) / ${epochLength} ))
echo current epoch: ${epoch}
Find the earliest and latest retirement epoch that your pool can retire.
block producer node
poolRetireMaxEpoch=$(cat $NODE_HOME/params.json | jq -r '.poolRetireMaxEpoch')
echo poolRetireMaxEpoch: ${poolRetireMaxEpoch}
minRetirementEpoch=$(( ${epoch} + 1 ))
maxRetirementEpoch=$(( ${epoch} + ${poolRetireMaxEpoch} ))
echo earliest epoch for retirement is: ${minRetirementEpoch}
echo latest epoch for retirement is: ${maxRetirementEpoch}
Example: if we are in epoch 39 and poolRetireMaxEpoch is 18,
  • the earliest epoch for retirement is 40 ( current epoch + 1).
  • the latest epoch for retirement is 57 ( poolRetireMaxEpoch + current epoch).
Let's presume that you want to retire as soon as possible, in epoch 40.
Create the deregistration certificate and save it as pool.dereg. Update the epoch to your desired retirement epoch, usually the earliest epoch or asap.
air-gapped offline machine
cardano-cli stake-pool deregistration-certificate \
--cold-verification-key-file $HOME/cold-keys/node.vkey \
--epoch <retirementEpoch> \
--out-file pool.dereg
Copy pool.dereg to your hot environment.
Find your balance and UTXOs.
block producer node
cardano-cli query utxo \
--address $(cat payment.addr) \
--mainnet > fullUtxo.out
tail -n +3 fullUtxo.out | sort -k3 -nr > balance.out
cat balance.out
while read -r utxo; do
type=$(awk '{ print $6 }' <<< "${utxo}")
if [[ ${type} == 'TxOutDatumNone' ]]
in_addr=$(awk '{ print $1 }' <<< "${utxo}")
idx=$(awk '{ print $2 }' <<< "${utxo}")
utxo_balance=$(awk '{ print $3 }' <<< "${utxo}")
echo TxHash: ${in_addr}#${idx}
echo ADA: ${utxo_balance}
tx_in="${tx_in} --tx-in ${in_addr}#${idx}"
done < balance.out
txcnt=$(cat balance.out | wc -l)
echo Total available ADA balance: ${total_balance}
echo Number of UTXOs: ${txcnt}
Find the tip of the blockchain to set the invalid-here after parameter properly.
block producer node
currentSlot=$(cardano-cli query tip --mainnet | jq -r '.slot')
echo Current Slot: $currentSlot
Run the build-raw transaction command.
block producer node
cardano-cli transaction build-raw \
${tx_in} \
--tx-out $(cat payment.addr)+${total_balance} \
--invalid-hereafter $(( ${currentSlot} + 10000)) \
--fee 0 \
--certificate-file pool.dereg \
--out-file tx.tmp
Calculate the minimum fee:
block producer node
fee=$(cardano-cli transaction calculate-min-fee \
--tx-body-file tx.tmp \
--tx-in-count ${txcnt} \
--tx-out-count 1 \
--mainnet \
--witness-count 2 \
--byron-witness-count 0 \
--protocol-params-file params.json | awk '{ print $1 }')
echo fee: $fee
Calculate your change output.
block producer node
echo txOut: ${txOut}
Build the transaction.
block producer node
cardano-cli transaction build-raw \
${tx_in} \
--tx-out $(cat payment.addr)+${txOut} \
--invalid-hereafter $(( ${currentSlot} + 10000)) \
--fee ${fee} \
--certificate-file pool.dereg \
--out-file tx.raw
Copy tx.raw to your cold environment.
Sign the transaction.
air-gapped offline machine
cardano-cli transaction sign \
--tx-body-file tx.raw \
--signing-key-file payment.skey \
--signing-key-file $HOME/cold-keys/node.skey \
--mainnet \
--out-file tx.signed
Copy tx.signed to your hot environment.
Send the transaction.
block producer node
cardano-cli transaction submit \
--tx-file tx.signed \
Pool will retire at the end of your specified epoch. In this example, retirement occurs at the end of epoch 40.
If you have a change of heart, you can create and submit a new registration certificate before the end of epoch 40, which will then overrule the deregistration certificate.
After the retirement epoch, you can verify that the pool was successfully retired with the following query which should return an empty result.
block producer node
cardano-cli query ledger-state --mainnet > ledger-state.json
jq -r '.esLState._delegationState._pstate._pParams."'"$(cat stakepoolid.txt)"'" // empty' ledger-state.json
In two epochs, after retirement completes:
  1. 1.
    Verify that your pool is retired using a block explorer such as
  2. 2.
    Your pool deposit of 500 ADA is returned to your stake address (stake.addr) as a reward.
  3. 3.
    Claim your stake pool rewards.
  4. 4.
    As needed, send funds to another wallet.
  5. 5.
    Optionally, de-register the stake key to re-claim your 2 ADA stake deposit.
  • Do NOT de-register your stake key before your pool deposit of 500ADA is paid back to your rewards address. Nonreturnable pool deposits are sent to the Cardano treasury.
  • If there are multiple pool owners, communicate your intention to retire the pool and ensure they do not remove pledge funds until the pool is retired.
  • As a courtesy to your delegators, provide advanced notice of your intention to retire so that they may re-delegate their stake.