What is Polkadot (DOT)?
Polkadot is a layer-0 protocol and multichain network founded by Dr. Gavin Wood, co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum. Polkadot provides security, scalability, and interoperability to a diverse ecosystem of use-case specific layer-1 blockchains and their dapps. Polkadot offers open governance, seamless upgradeability, energy efficiency, secure cross-chain interoperability, and more. The token that powers the Polkadot network is DOT and it is exclusively used for trading, staking, nominating, paying transaction fees, and governance votes on the network. This tutorial will show you how to stake your DOT tokens on the Polkadot network.
- View the current Polkadot staking APR here
- Use the Polkadot Staking Calculator to estimate your rewards
- Lockup: 28 days
- Average commission rate: 6.31%
- Minimum amount required for staking: 100 DOT or 1 DOT for pools
- Estimated time needed to stake your DOT in your wallet: 5 minutes
- Recommended Polkadot staking wallets: Ledger, Subwallet, Talisman Wallet
- Steps to stake:
- Go to Polkadot Staking Portal and connect your wallet
- On the left side of the dashboard, select ‘Pools’ and then click ‘Join’.
- Select a pool then click ‘Join’.
- Confirm and happy staking 🤘
Where to buy Polkadot (DOT)
You can get DOT tokens at a cryptocurrency exchange or within select wallets. You should always do your own research when selecting a reputable cryptocurrency exchange. For best security, it is not recommended to leave your tokens on an exchange, but transfer them to your non-custodial or cold/hardware wallet after procuring them. You can buy DOT here:
Polkadot (DOT) wallets
Polkadot has a variety of non-custodial wallets for you to choose from. We recommend that you use a hardware wallet such as Ledger otherwise we suggest using Talisman wallet because it has the best UX and is well respected in the Polkadot and Kusama community. Compatible wallets include:
- Parity Signer Companion
- Nova wallet
- Fearless wallet
- Polka wallet
How to connect Polkadot (DOT) to Talisman wallet
When setting up your Talisman wallet, it will automatically create a Polkadot account for you.
How do I choose Polkadot pools?
Please refer to the FAQ section titled ‘How do I choose Polkadot pools’ on this page when selecting Polkadot pools. Also, you may want to utilize our criteria for verifying providers through the Staking Rewards Verified Staking Provider (VSP) Program.
How Staking Rewards for Polkadot (DOT) are Generated
Learn how rewards are generated in the FAQ section titled ‘How are the staking rewards generated?’ here.
How to stake Polkadot (DOT)
There are four ways to stake Polkadot (DOT) natively:
- Joining a nomination pool (Beginner)
Have less DOT or don’t want to manage your own nominations? Join a nomination pool with as little as 1 DOT. Pool members split rewards and penalties proportionally.
- Nominating directly (Intermediate)
Nominators select trustworthy validators and earn rewards in return. Nominators can lose a portion of their staked DOT if a chosen validator misbehaves.
- Opening a nomination pool
Confident in your ability to select trustworthy validators? Open your own nomination pool and allow others to join and pool their stake. Build a community and reputation as an expert nominator.
- Running a validator
Validating is for more technical users who secure the network and produce blocks on the Relay Chain. Validators are rewarded for good behavior, and can lose DOT for bad behavior.
This tutorial will walk you through how you can join a nomination pool.
Step 1: Make sure you have a Talisman wallet
As a popular wallet in the Polkadot ecosystem, Talisman offers users the ability to stake tokens, access blockchain apps, and manage multiple tokens in one wallet. Simply connect your Ledger to Talisman wallet or use Talisman wallet directly to stake DOT. Install the Talisman browser extension and deposit your tokens into this wallet before continuing onto step 2.
Step 2: Go to the Polkadot staking portal and choose a validator
After entering your wallet, start staking and select validators. We recommend choosing validators from our Verified Staking Provider (VSP) Program. VSP validators have a blue tick on their logo here.
If you are unsure of how to choose a validator, please see the FAQ section named ‘How do I choose Polkadot pools?’ above this one to help you decide.
- To join a pool, navigate to the ‘Pools’ tab and click ‘+ Join.’
- Navigate to the pool you would like to join and select the ‘Join’ button.
- You can only participate in a pool with transferable balance and the amount you participate with is transferred from your account to the nomination pool. The pool account is controlled only by the pool’s internal logic and no one else.
- An account can only be a member of one pool at a time.
- Choose wisely. Before switching pools, a nominator must wait for the unbounding process: 28 days on Polkadot and 7 days on Kusama.
Step 3: Finalize the transaction
Enter the amount of DOT you want to stake, press confirm and approve the transaction.
- Next, enter the number of tokens you’d like to bond and click ‘Submit’. Take note of the transaction fees.
- After the transaction completes, the Overview section will be presented again, displaying which pool is occupied.
Congratulations! You have now staked your DOT tokens and will start earning those juicy staking rewards.
Step 4: Track your staking portfolio
- Track your Polkadot staking rewards on the Polkadot staking dashboard
- Monitor governance proposals on Polkadot network that may impact the staking mechanism
- Track the current and historical reward rates, validator count, number of unique Polkadot staking wallets, and staking ratio of the Polkadot network by visiting the Polkadot asset page. To make better staking decisions, it’s essential to understand these relevant data points. To learn how these data points could impact your staking rewards, please read more in the FAQ sections named ‘How do I choose Polkadot pooled’ and ‘How are the rewards generated’ on the Polkadot asset page.
Step 5: How to unstake Polkadot (DOT)?
To unstake your DOT tokens, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to your nominations on the ‘Nominate’ tab, and click the ‘– button.
- Choose whether you’d like to unbond all or just some of your tokens.
- Sign and submit the transaction.
- After the unbonding period has concluded, select the ‘unlock icon’ to fully withdraw the unbonded tokens.
- Sign and submit.
- The tokens should then show up again in your transferable balance.
Maximizing Staked DOT
Now that you have staked your DOT, you have four options which can be used to change your position. These options appear on the Polkadot Staking Portal. The options are:
You can increase your bond in the pool by nominating more DOT.
If you select your staking rewards to be re-staked. When you first start nominating, you can select a rewards destination, either increasing your stake (thus compounding) or not.
Rewards are split pro rata among the actively bonded members. Therefore, the staking rewards for members will be the same as if they were nominators. Slashes can also be applied proportionally to members who have been actively bonded.
A member can claim their portion of any rewards that have accumulated since the previous time they claimed (or, in the case that they have never claimed, any rewards that have accumulated since the era after they joined). Adding to your bond, unbonding, or making a change to your stake in the pool in ANY way, will automatically trigger your rewards to be claimed.
Members can choose between three options when it comes to unbonding from the pool:
- “Unbond”: Remove a portion of your tokens from the pool
- “Unbond to minimum”: Unbond all but the minimum amount needed to remain a member.
- “Leave pool”: Use this option if intending to unbond all funds.
Note that you cannot rebond during the unbonding period with a nomination pool. If you change your mind, you must wait for the unbonding period to end before you can join a nomination pool again.
Staking is essential to Proof-of-Stake blockchains and comes with many benefits for investors and the network:
- Investors earn yield from token emissions and/or transaction fees.
- Stakers become eligible for airdrops as many networks prioritize granting these benefits to them.
- Staking helps to secure the network
- Staking from multiple participants helps decentralize the network
- Stakers can participate in governance, as many PoS networks allocate governance rights based on the amount of tokens staked.
Congratulations! You are now not only getting the most out of your investment with compounded returns. YOU are also (in-)directly contributing to the decentralization, and the network security of Polkadot and thus contributing to the long-term success of your investment! Polkadot needs active stakers like you to become successful long-term.
Now share the tutorial with your friends so they can get to start staking as well!