Frequently asked questions about Polkadot Staking.

Ryabina.io
5 min readOct 12, 2022

So now you have an account with some DOT or KSM tokens and you want to get more with Polkadot’s staking mechanism. The process of staking is not easy, and described in detail in Polkadot Wiki and Polkadot Support Resourse. As a validator, Ryabina gets a lot of questions about staking in our TG channel, and we are always glad to answer our nominators.

In this article we gathered the most frequently asked questions about Polkadot staking and answers and/or links to answers that might help you understand the staking process better. If there is no answer for your specific question — you are always very welcome to ask it in our TG!

Table of contents/Fast scroll

  1. How to stake via Polkadot JS and Ledger?
  2. How to use stake with Ledger Live.
  3. How to stake with Staking Dashboard?
  4. Stash and Controllers accounts. What is stash and what is a controller account? What is the difference?
  5. How to choose validators?
  6. When I will start receiving staking rewards?
  7. How to track my staking rewards?
  8. Why am I not receiving staking rewards?
  9. I sent funds to a validator instead of staking them!

How to stake via Polkadot JS and Ledger?

How to use stake with Ledger Live

How to stake with Staking Dashboard?

Recently Polkadot has introduced Staking Dashboard, a tool for staking, allowing you to bond or unbond your tokens, select which validators to nominate, see their statistics, as well as statistics of the network, view your staking rewards, and more. The Staking Dashboard directs step by step, there are tips on each item that might seem unclear and here is a detailed how-to-use instruction.

https://staking.polkadot.network/#/overview

Stash and Controllers accounts. What is stash and what is a controller account? What is the difference?

Your Stash account is the account used to hold your staked funds, whereas the Controller account is used to carry out Staking actions on the Stash account’s behalf.

Account, connected to Staking Dashboard, is a stash account; you have to choose (or create) another account as a Controller. Controller account has to contain at least 1 DOT at Polkadot parachain.
It’s highly recommended to split your Stash and Controller account for security reasons. You can read about it in detail here.

How to choose validators?

The quantity of validators is huge, from large companies to single nodes. Pick your validators carefully — if they do not behave properly, they will get slashed and you will lose DOT (KSM) as well. How to choose the best validator? Detailed explanation can be found here, and below are the short tips:

1. Choose more than one validator (up to 16);
2. Check if the validator has verified their identity;
3. Be aware of the “most profitable” option;
4. Pay attention to the quoted commission;
5. Make sure the validator is not oversubscribed;
6. See how much “skin in the game” the validator has (the size of its own stake)
7. Get some background details (era points, elected stake, rewards & slashes)

When I will start receiving staking rewards?

Staking rewards are calculated and are ready to be distributed to the validators and nominators after the end of each era. An era is a period of time during which there is a specific set of active validators. Each era has 6 epochs (or sessions). An era is 24 hours on Polkadot and 6 hours on Kusama (give or take a few seconds).
Staking rewards will only begin coming in after enough time for new validator set selection has passed, so before you get your first staking rewards, you have to wait 48 hours.

How to track my staking rewards?

There is a way to receive notifications every time you get your staking reward (and in contrary, no notifications means no reward was recieved) — Web3alert.io.

Web3alert is a free blockchain notification service that allows its users to subscribe to different types of events and whenever the event a user is interested in happens, Web3alert sends a message. Learn more.

The example of Telegram message from Web3alert.io

Why am I not receiving staking rewards?

There can plenty of reasons, as no one claimed rewards (Ryabina claims DOT rewards automatically each era, but not all validators do that) or you have chosen too few validators, or you don’t have at least one active validator, etc. In the article below there is a comprehensive list of reasons why you may stop receiving rewards.

If there is no your reason — do not hesitate to ask us!

I sent funds to a validator instead of staking them!

And last, but not least. If you made that mistake, just contact Ryabina via info@ryabina.io, or via our Telegram group and we will send you funds back.
And below is the recommendations from Polkadot team what can you do in this case:

About Ryabina

Ryabina is a validator and blockchain software developer. Launched in 2019, it has extended its activities to various Substrate-based, Tendermint-based and Ethereum-based networks. From the very beginning our team included professional builders, developers, DevOps engineers and project managers. As a validator, Ryabina runs a 100+ nodes in 17+ networks including Kava, ETH 2.0, Polkadot, Celo, The Graph with fair rates and continued support to the community.

Reach us through:
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Telegram | Twitter |info@ryabina.io|

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