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Shelley’s PoS protocol requires different certificates posted to the blockhain; which will be publicly available for all participants. Those are valid until explicitly overwritten or revoked.

There are four main type of certificates in Shelley:

  1. Operational key certificates (off chain),
  2. Stake Key registration certificates (on chain),
  3. Delegation certificates (on chain) and
  4. Stake pool certificates (on chain).

Operational key certificates

The operational key certificate’s is created from a staking key used by stake pool operators for protecting their pool(s) and keys, signing bocke, participating in the lottery and not for delegating staking rights. This certificate needs for operating a node as a stake pool.

See detailed example here

Stake Key registration certificates

All participants, who want to participate in staking, need to register a stake key on the blockchain by posting a stake key registration certificate. The registration requires a key deposit specified in the genesis (400K lovelace for FnF), but do not require any signature signed by the corresponding stake signing key.

The registration is revoked when a de-registration certificate signed by the account’s stake signing key is posted to the blockchain, causing the account to be deleted (Ask what is the impact of this).

See detailed example here

Delegation certificates

Delegation certificates uses a staking key to grant the right to sign blocks to another key.

See detailed example here

Stake pool certificates

A node for operating as a stake pool must post a stake pool registration certificate signed by all the owners’ staking signing key and the pool operator’s operational signing key.

To revoke the certificate a stake pool retirement certificate must be posted to the chain signed by only the pool’s operational signing key.

No owner(s) is/are required to sign the retirement certificate.

See detailed example here