Earning Polkadot bonding rewards

Earn Polkadot 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

Bonding your assets

To earn rewards, you need to bond your assets first then you will be able to nominate validators. Your bonded assets can be unbonded at any time. Once you’ve requested to unbond your assets, your DOTs remain locked for the 28 days that follow.

Minimum staking amount

To be eligible to receive rewards, it’s recommended to bond at least 200 DOT according to the Polkadot team. Note that this amount is an approximation and can still vary.

  1. On your Polkadot account page, click on the Earn rewards button.

  2. After reading the information window, click on Continue.

  3. In the Bond assets window, select which way to receive 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 DOTs to bond. Then click on Continue.
      Note that you need to bond at least 1 DOT the first time. 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.

  5. Verify and confirm the bond operation 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 bond operation is confirmed, you can click on the Nominate button in the confirmation window. This button is enabled after 60 seconds.

Nominating validators

You can earn rewards by nominating validators. Only the top validators with the most stake are elected and able to distribute rewards.

How Election works

Validators are chosen during the election. Only elected validators can participate in the validation of blocks for which they earn block rewards. This election happens every day at 12 pm - CET. During this election, all staking operations are unavailable for 15 minutes at most.

To nominate validators:

  1. On your Polkadot account page, click on Manage assets > Nominate.

  2. In the Nominate window, select one or more validators.
    • You may choose up to 16 validators.
    • You may choose an oversubscribed validator but you will only earn rewards if you are in the top nominators with the highest bonded amount.
    • Validators take an arbitrary commission between 0% and 100% on the received rewards. The commission can slightly change but it won’t significantly increase suddenly. 

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

Receiving rewards

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.

Your rewards have 84 days to be claimed. Validators usually claim them for you within this time period. Your rewards appear in the Latest operations section on the Polkadot account page.

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

Clearing nominations

You can remove all nominations and stop earning rewards. Your bonded assets will remain bonded.

  1. On your Polkadot account page, click on Manage assets > Clear nominations.
  2. After reading the information window, click on Continue.
  3. Verify and confirm the clear 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.
       Note that “Chill” is displayed under “Staking” since “Chill” is the technical term for this type of transaction.
    • Press both buttons to Approve and send the operation. Choose Reject to cancel the operation.

You have successfully removed all nominations and you no longer earn rewards but can still receive any pending rewards that have not yet been claimed.

Unbonding your assets

To make your bonded assets available again, you first need to unbond them.

  1. On your Polkadot account page, click on Manage assets > Unbond.
  2. In the Unbond assets window, enter the amount to unbond. Then click on Continue.
     Note that the minimum balance for the bonded balance is 1 DOT. All the bonded assets will be unbonded if the bonded balance is lower than 1 DOT.

  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 all operation details: Staking, Value.
    • Press both buttons to Approve and send the operation. Choose Reject to cancel the operation.

You have successfully unbonded your assets. Once you’ve unbonded your assets, you need to wait for 28 days before you can withdraw your bonded assets to make them available again.

Rebonding your assets

You can rebond some or all the unbonding or unbonded assets. 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.

  2. In the Rebond assets window, enter the amount to rebond. Then click on Continue.
  3. Verify and confirm the rebond 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, Value.
    • Press both buttons to Approve and send the operation. Choose Reject to cancel the operation.

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

Withdrawing your unbonded assets

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

  1. On your Polkadot account page, click on Manage assets > Withdraw unbonded.
  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.

Was this article helpful?
213 out of 266 found this helpful