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Earning Polkadot (DOT) staking rewards in Ledger Live

 Important note regarding Polkadot staking rewards

Earn Polkadot (DOT) rewards by bonding assets first, and then nominating validators in Ledger Live. The validators you nominated will use your bonded assets to stake and collect rewards for you. Learn how nomination works >

Before you start

  • Update Ledger Live through the notification banner or download the latest version.
  • Open Ledger Live, connect your Ledger device to My Ledger and make sure your device is running the latest firmware version and Polkadot (DOT) app.
  • Add a Polkadot (DOT) account. Learn more

Bonding your assets

To earn DOT staking rewards, you first need to bond your DOTs.

Your bonded DOTs can be unbonded at any time but please note it takes 28 days for a DOT balance to fully unbond.

 Minimum bond

  • You need at least 10 DOT coins to be able to bond your balance in Ledger Live.
  • Please note that Ledger Live will not let you create transactions to bond less than the minimum 10 DOT coins.
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  1. On your Polkadot account page, click on the Stake button.

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  2. Select Bond.

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  3. If prompted, select where you would like to receive your staking rewards:
      • Available balance: Rewards are credited to your available balance.
      • Bonded balance: Rewards are credited to your bonded balance for compound earning.

     Note that Ledger Live doesn’t allow you to change the rewards destination later. To change the rewards destination, you can use the third-party wallet Polkadot.js. For detailed instructions, please refer to the Polkadot guide.

  4. Enter the amount of DOTs to bond. Then click on Continue.
      Note that you need to bond at least 10 DOT.
    Make sure to keep enough DOT in your available balance to pay transaction fees for other operations such as nominating validators, unbonding, or withdrawing assets.

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  5. Verify and approve the bonding transaction on your Ledger device.
    • Open the Polkadot app on your device after you've connected and unlocked your device.
    • Press the right button to review all operation details: Staking, Controller, Value, Payee.
    • Press both buttons to Approve and send the operation. Choose Reject to cancel the operation.

Once the bonding transaction is confirmed on the Polkadot network, your bonded DOT balance will appear here:

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Congratulations, you've successfully bonded your DOTs.

The next step is to nominate validators.

Nominating validators

In Polkadot, staking rewards are earned by nominating validators.

Validators are private entities that are providing a service to the Polkdaot network and earn DOT rewards in return. You can learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a validator here.

Every 24 hours (also called an era) a new set of validators is elected to produce blocks and add them to the Polkadot blockchain. The Polkadot network then automatically rewards elected validators for their work by minting new DOT coins.

The validators will then share a portion of this reward with DOT holders that are nominating them. This is how rewards are shared across the Polkadot network.

To nominate validators:

  1. In your Polkadot account, click Nominate.

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  2. In the Nominate window, select up to 16 validators.
    • Avoid nominating a validator that is oversubscribed.

      Oversubscribed?

      • A validator is oversubscribed when it receives too many nominations.
      • In Polkadot, only the top 256 nominators of each active validator receive rewards.
      • So if a validator is active but over-subscribed, you must be a part of the 256 highest bonded nominators to receive rewards. If not, you will not receive any rewards.
      • If, however, an active nominee is not over-subscribed, you will receive staking rewards normally.

    • Validators take an arbitrary commission between 0% and 100% on the received rewards. The commission can change over time. Make sure to select nominators who charge less than a 100% commission otherwise you will not receive any staking rewards.

       Still unsure which validators to choose? This guide can help.

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  3. Click on Continue.
  4. Verify and confirm the nomination operation on your Ledger device.
    • Open the Polkadot app after you've connected and unlocked your device.
    • Press the right button to review all operation details: Staking, Targets.
    • Press both buttons to Approve and send the operation. Choose Reject to cancel the operation.

You have successfully nominated validators.

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You can view the list of current nominations in the Nominations section on the Polkadot account page.

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Receiving rewards

It takes at least 2-3 days to begin receiving DOT staking rewards.

Eligibility for staking rewards will only begin after enough time for new validator set selection has passed.

It is not possible to claim rewards on Ledger Live. You can only receive rewards when your validator or a nominator with the same validator claims rewards.

Rewards need to be claimed within 84 days but validators will usually claim them for you within this time period. Your rewards will appear in the Latest operations section in your Polkadot account.

To claim rewards yourself or track pending rewards, please use the third-party wallet Polkadot.js.

Unstaking your DOT funds

 In Polkadot, unstaking a bonded DOT balance is a multi-step process. Each step requires a transaction which you need to confirm on your Ledger device.

Steps to unstake your funds:

  1. Your bonded balance must first be chilled. In Ledger Live, chilling is called clearing nominations. 
  2. Your chilled balance must then be unbonded. Unbonding takes 28 days to complete.
  3. Finally, your unbonded balance can be withdrawn back to your available balance.

Once your DOT has returned to your available balance, it can be freely traded or transferred to third-party accounts

You can find a detailed breakdown of each step below.

Clearing nominations

Clearing nominations (also known as chilling your nomination) is the first step towards unstaking your DOT funds . Your DOT will remain bonded but you will stop receiving staking rewards

  1. Connect your Ledger device to your computer, unlock it and open the Polkadot (DOT) app.
    Your Ledger displays: Polkadot Ready.
  2. In your Polkadot account, click on the Stake button.

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  3. Then select Clear Nominations.

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  4. Read the information displayed in the popup then click on Continue.
    Your Ledger device displays: Please review.
  5. Using the buttons, review the transaction on your Ledger device. If all looks good, select APPROVE and press both buttons simultaneously to sign the transaction.
    Ledger Live displays: Transaction sent successfully. 

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You have successfully cleared/chilled all nominations and you will no longer earn staking rewards. However, you can still receive any pending rewards that have not yet been claimed.

Unbonding your assets

To make your bonded DOT available again, you now need to unbond them.

  1. In your Polkadot account, click Stake > Unbond.
  2. In the Unbond assets window, enter the amount to unbond. Then click on Continue.
     Please note that the process to unbond a DOT balance takes 28 days to complete.

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  3. Verify and confirm the unbond operation on your Ledger device.
    • Open the Polkadot app after you've connected and unlocked your device.
    • Press the right button to review the transaction.
    • If all looks good, select APPROVE and press both buttons simultaneously to sign the transaction to unbond your DOTs.
      Ledger Live displays: Unbond transaction sent successfully.

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When will my DOT become available to transfer?

  • The process to unbond a DOT balance takes 28 days to complete.
  • Once the unbonding is complete, you'll need to create another transaction to withdraw your unbond DOT balance back to your available balance.
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  • Once your DOT is withdrawn back to your available balance, it becomes available to transfer and trade freely.

Rebonding your assets

You can rebond an unbonding or unbound DOT balance at any time. These assets will be transferred from the unbonding or unbonded balance to the bonded balance. Assets you have most recently unbonded are first rebonded. DOTs in the bonded balance are locked and actively used for staking.

  1. In the Unbonding section, click on the Rebond button.

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  2. In the Rebond assets window, enter the amount to rebond. Then click on Continue.
  3. Verify and confirm the rebond transaction on your Ledger device.
    • Open the Polkadot app after you've connected and unlocked your device.
    • Press the right button to review the transaction.
    • If all looks good, select APPROVE and press both buttons simultaneously to sign the transaction to rebond your DOTs.
      Ledger Live displays: Assets succesfully rebonded.

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You have successfully rebonded your assets. Your bonded assets can be unbond at any time.

Withdrawing your unbonded assets

This is the final step for unstaking your DOT funds.

After the 28-day unbonding period, you can withdraw unbonded DOTs from your Unbonded balance to your Available balance.

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  1. On your Polkadot account page, click Stake > Withdraw.

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  2. After reading the information window, click on Continue.
  3. Verify and confirm the withdraw operation on your Ledger device.
    • Open the Polkadot app after you've connected and unlocked your device.
    • Press the right button to review all operation details: Staking, Num slashing span, Chain.
    • Press both buttons to Approve and send the operation. Choose Reject to cancel the operation.

You have successfully withdrawn your assets from the unbonded balance. You can track this operation in the Latest Operations section on the Polkadot account page. Once the operation is confirmed, your assets will be sent back to your available balance.

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