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bLd Nodes

Tutorial: how to stake Polkadot/Kusama on-chain

Polkadot network

In the Polkadot, Kusama or Parachain context, stakers are called Nominators.

All chains based on the Polkadot (Substrate) framework use the Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS) consensus protocol to secure the network: the Nominators just nominates a list of trusted Validators who will validate the blocks and do the hard work of keeping the network secure.

Being a nominator is mostly a passive role: once you set it up, you receive a regular reward. The only thing you have to care about is to manage the Validators that you elect.

There are 3 simple steps to start being a nominator: create account, bond funds and nominate. In this guide, we will see how to nominate on Polkadot, these steps are exactly the same for Kusama or any parachain.

Depending on if you have a Ledger hardware wallet or not, you have 2 options. Please refer directly to the option you’d like (since there is redundant information in each):

Beyond these few easy-clicking steps, the choice of your validators is very important for different reasons (see our article explaining why). You have to pick at least a few validators (up to 24 total) to make sure you are always actively nominating. To help you with that, we have selected a list of trustful independent validators who you can consider nominating (besides us of course :-)). The cherry on the cake, some of those validators provide service on different networks.

Edit 07/03/2021: we just added the Parity Signer mobile app steps since it is considered more secure for the stash account. You can directly review here how to sign a transaction with Parity Signer.

Kusama network

Staking with regular accounts

Create accounts

All operations here are made through the Polkadot JS app. For more details, please refer to the official Wiki page.

For a security matter, it is recommended to create 2 separate accounts:

Select the network and click the Switch button:

Select network

You can also use these direct links for Polkadot and Kusama.

Here, you can either chose to create a simple account, add a Parity Signer with QR Code or add a Ledger hardware wallet.

Account page of Polkadot’s app

Note: it is recommended to install the Polkadot{.js} extension to manage accounts. If you have it installed, just follow these steps from the extension instead of the JS app described below.

Stash account

For more security, we recommend using the Parity Signer on your old smart phone you don’t use anymore. It will act as a cold wallet to secure your stash account.

If you just want to use a simple wallet for your stash account (less secure), please refer to the Controller wallet section.

Restore your old phone to factory settings and download the Parity Signer mobile app. Then, turn off every connections on your phone: put it in plane mode, disable Wifi and bluetooth FOREVER! This will prevent any outside connection to access your wallet and sign your transactions.

Launch the application and create your identity, write down very carefully the recovery phrase:

Parity Signer create identity

Select the network and create the address:

Parity Signer create account

Back on the Polkadot JS app, click on Add via Qr:

Import Parity signer account

Point the QR code to your webcam, give it a name then save:

Save account

Controller account

Click on Add account:

Create an account 1/3

Write down very carefully the mnemonic seed and store it in a secure place. This will be the only way to recover your account in case you lose access to it.

Tick the confirm flag then click Next.

Create an account 2/3

Give your account a name and a password, then click Next.

Create an account 3/3

Click on the Save button, your account is created.

You should now have your 2 accounts created.

Accounts created

Funding the accounts

Next, you need to add funds to your stash account, from another account or from a centralized exchange (if you don’t have any, maybe you can ask your grandma to send you some :-)).

You can click on the account name to know the public address to send funds.

Account public address

Once your stash account is funded, use the Send button to transfer a small percentage to your controller account.

Transfer funds 1/2

Select the controller account and set a small amount to be able to manage the transaction fees. Then click on Make Transfer.

Note: if you created your stash account directly from the Polkadot JS app (not from the Parity mobile app), the button will be labeled Sign and Submit.

Sign the transaction with Parity Signer mobile app

Transfer funds 2/2

Click on Sign via Qr.

QR1 code to scan on computer

Now open the Parity signer app on your phone and tap QR Scanner to scan this code:

QR Scanner on phone

Scan the code QR1 from the phone, you will get a new signed code QR2:

Signed code QR2 on phone

Finally, scan the QR2 from the computer’s webcam:

You should see a confirmation message, your accounts are funded and ready to nominate.

Accounts funded

Bond funds and nominate

Go to the Network / Staking tab.

Staking tab

Go to the Account actions menu.

Account actions in the Staking tab

Click on +Nominator.

Bonding funds

Select the stash and controller account. Set the total amount you want to bond for your nominations, then click on the next button.

Select validators

Here, you have to search for the validators you want to select in the left panel and click on it to move it to the right panel that represents the accounts you nominate. See recommended validators

Then, click on Bond & Nominate to send the transaction.

And that’s it, you have successfully set your nominations, your funds work for you now!

Jump to conclusion

Staking with a Ledger wallet

If you have a Ledger wallet and you prefer to nominate with it, you will not be able to have 2 separate accounts as this function is not yet available (we are writing this guide in April 2021).

You have the choice to stake either from:

Warning: it is not yet possible to create an account for Kusama from the Ledger Live app, you can only install Kusama.

Note: it is recommended to use a Ledger Nano X which has more memory, you can only have a few applications on a Nano S.

Stake from the Ledger Live app

We will use here the staking function directly from the Ledger Live app.

Note: If you prefer watching a video, the Polkadot team made a great tutorial.

Create an account

  • Open the Manager tab in Ledger Live.
  • Connect and unlock your Ledger device.
  • Find Polkadot or Kusama in the app catalog and install it.
Ledger Live Manager

Then, open the Accounts tab.

Ledger Live Accounts

Click on Add account.

Select the network (Polkadot or Kusama) and then follow the steps to create your account.

Funding the account

Next, you need to add funds to your stash account, from another account or from a centralized exchange (if you don’t have any, maybe you can ask your grandma to send you some :-)).

Bond funds and nominate

From the Account menu, open your account details.

Account details

click on Earn rewards.

Bonding amount screen

Set the total amount you want to bond for your nominations and Continue. Once your funds are bonded, click on Nominate.

Selecting validators

Here, you have to search for the validators you want to select and tick the box on the right. See recommended validators

And that’s it, you have successfully set your nominations, your funds work for you now!

Jump to conclusion

Stake from the Polkadot JS app

A few prerequisites:

  • It is not possible to use a Ledger with the Firefox, you will have to use another browser.
  • Make sure that the Ledger Live application is closed to avoid any conflict.

All operations are made through the Polkadot JS app. For more details, please refer to the official Wiki page.

First, go to the Settings tab.

Polkadot JS app settings

select Attach Ledger via WebUSB and Save.

Create an account

Select the network in the up left corner and click the Switch button:

Select network

You can also use these direct links for Polkadot and Kusama.

Account page of Polkadot’s app

On your Ledger device, select the Polkadot menu to see Polkadot Ready on it (looks like my fingers were dirty…).

Click on Add via Ledger:

Add a ledger account

Note: if you already created an account on your ledger (with Ledger Live app for example), you have to choose an unused account in the Account type.

Click the Save button.

Fund the account

Next, you need to add funds to your account, from another account or from a centralized exchange (if you don’t have any, maybe you can ask your grandma to send you some :-)).

You can click on the account name to know the public address to send funds.

Account public address

Bond funds

Then, you have to bond your funds that will be used for staking. Go to the Network / Staking tab.

Staking tab

Go to the Account actions menu.

Account actions in the Staking tab

Click on +Stash (the +Nominator button will not work since Ledger device does not support batch transactions).

Bonding funds

Set the total amount you want to bond for your nominations, then click on the Bond button.

Sign bonding transaction

Click on Sign and Submit, then review and approve the transaction on the Ledger device.

Nominator account with bonded funds

Nominate validators

Your funds are bonded, now you are ready to nominate. Click on the Nominate button next to your account (not the +Nominator button on the top).

Select validators

Here, you have to search for the validators you want to select in the left panel and click on it to move it to the right panel that represents the accounts you nominate. See recommended validators

When you have selected all the validators you want, click on Nominate.

Click on Sign and Submit, then review and approve the transaction on the Ledger device.

And that’s it, you have successfully set your nominations, your funds work for you now!

Jump to conclusion

Recommended validators

Here you can find the list of trustful and independent validators that we know to be serious and secure.

Kusama Network

  • bLd Nodes (us)
    Hf8C626KBAjitMV7w8AhQWDCiPgUU47htEwbomq5mDMKeyL
  • Stakenode
    CuiwESD49ggEAQ9131Gt948xw11PiWQNXkuR2R2Jt7rYSck
  • Polkadotters
    VAFUJhJy9tj1X4PaEXX3tDzjaBEVsVunABAdsDMD4ZYmWA
  • PromoTeam
    Dm4uKxZJZHJbpZpfnYPiHnbgyHWKMU1s5h6X7kqjfYv1Xkk
  • Iceberg Nodes
    Eices1KaGTYqiazfjJpwyjnz5UzqTxULeYqnmeJNz49gs19
  • REPE
    FaBN1AxtJu21x2cUqvdF5VcVUAfzfqyvJPvwgsdwo3pkdr9
  • PARANODES.IO
    H3DL157HL7DkvV2kXocanmKaGXNyQphUDVW33Fnfk8KNhsv
  • CertHum
    EpeeGt1x3kju8TZmfcaHTkBwTn7eyq4Sxy8Z3dPU88chMcN

Polkadot Network

  • Stakenode
    15awHgV1np9jxyWC7pnMWAEgg8z2toLuCcJfWjtmA1cWHWQr
  • Polkadotters
    16A4n4UQqgxw5ndeehPjUAobDNmuX2bBoPXVKj4xTe16ktRN
  • REPE
    15AvEyVsAjcmWFnTNmzvF1gkvd1x1P6uFp3u8wLa6wxX3294
  • PARANODES.IO
    14hM4oLJCK6wtS7gNfwTDhthRjy5QJ1t3NAcoPjEepo9AH67
  • CertHum
    168xfZuHXv13uyrVV2vADpuMa4B3kAtj11gRNHA8YKRH9xuW

HydraDX

  • bLd Nodes (us)
    7KuRtPEceNWDryN2yPTiQ7ADYD7FTBF72TkSiAAk4DvGobN6
  • Crifferent
    7NzHitwWA5UidhXiNJSTipSwbXgDfikKefdY9kB69sBJxPS7
  • Stakenode_Powernode
    7J4gcZRQSRkKMKsHZfN6JQXXGVrhQu3QHZBb3anqmVn94cT5
  • Repe
    7K296SU5tGTCkpYntSonyohsvvCZr2wmaKzCf9Ed6rAv6ij1
  • PromoTeam
    7K9cQoUjyAZJ7PXoX4KyqJm4F1AgqgjTUn9FRWBcgPA8h2PN
  • Polkadotters
    7K296SU5tGTCkpYntSonyohsvvCZr2wmaKzCf9Ed6rAv6ij1

Moonriver

  • Crifferent
    0x693aB260de2a31c1B5D7DC9cb253B87eD9b1f385
  • Polkadotters
    0x1DED377bc421DAaE92A161A5bcE7DBA19133AB5d
  • Pathrock
    0x37006DD9D226425C901c5d7F9434C2FB8aC3f533

Centrifuge

  • Polkadotters
    4dCqn4vxVhWm15TFTUGxF6UrNx6zm2VDnS7RAHYFX3mov24q
  • Crifferent
    4e7Zq4GiS71uKaNeqhfHKwxEQ9MBCQSPQv9knapyh9JhsY54
  • Pathrock
    4gYKLcvGPG2hiAT5Hizmb2ar2JgDNKgJfFE9HaunnUV628rN
  • PromoTeam
    4cM1vhuDJUtohuzQ9bZV4zs1eEEcDUxbzP6yhkTSPJfB4goZ

More coming soon…

Conclusion

We have just seen here how to stake funds and become a real on-chain nominator in just a few simple steps.

If you are staking on centralized exchanges, we encourage you to consider staking on-chain as this gives you an active role in the blockchain ecosystem besides a better reward (CEX have to pay themselves in one way or another right?).

Please feel free to reach us with any question or difficulty you have.

Enjoy staking, you are at the heart of the blockchain now!

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We maintain and secure validator nodes for Polkadot ecosystem blockchains. Stake with us!

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bLd Nodes

bLd Nodes

Validator node service for Polkadot ecosystem blockchains. Security and reliability 1st. Actually running Kusama & Plasm Network

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