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 16 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.

Kusama network

Staking with hot wallet accounts

Create accounts

All operations are made through the Polkadot JS app**. **It is recommended to install the Polkadot{.js} extension to manage accounts. For more details, please refer to the official Wiki page.

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

  • Stash account: where you keep your funds for nomination
  • Controller account: to manage common operations of start/stop nomination and nominate validators

*Note: if you want to use a Ledger wallet for staking, please refer to the the last section of this tutorial.*

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 regular account or use a Ledger hardware wallet.

Account page of Polkadot’s app

Click on Add account:

Create an account 1/3

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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.

Repeat the same steps to create your Stash account.

You should now have your 2 accounts created.

Accounts ready for nomination

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.

Transfer funds 1/2

Click on Sign and Submit.

Your accounts are funded and ready to nominate.

Bond funds and nominate

Go to the Network / Staking tab.

Staking tab

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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](https://youtu.be/obZyGeHrm_M).*

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.

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Account details

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click on Earn rewards.

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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

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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.

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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

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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: Hf8C626KBAjitMV7w8AhQWDCiPgUU47htEwbomq5mDMKeyL
  • REPE: FaBN1AxtJu21x2cUqvdF5VcVUAfzfqyvJPvwgsdwo3pkdr9
  • Polkadotters: FVAFUJhJy9tj1X4PaEXX3tDzjaBEVsVunABAdsDMD4ZYmWA
  • PromoTeam Validator: Dm4uKxZJZHJbpZpfnYPiHnbgyHWKMU1s5h6X7kqjfYv1Xkk
  • Stakenode_Powernode - CuiwESD49ggEAQ9131Gt948xw11PiWQNXkuR2R2Jt7rYSck

Polkadot Network

  • Polkadotters - 16A4n4UQqgxw5ndeehPjUAobDNmuX2bBoPXVKj4xTe16ktRN
  • REPE - 15AvEyVsAjcmWFnTNmzvF1gkvd1x1P6uFp3u8wLa6wxX3294
  • Stakenode - 15awHgV1np9jxyWC7pnMWAEgg8z2toLuCcJfWjtmA1cWHWQr
  • PromoTeam Validator - 12BkPLskXyXrHhktrinLxVFkPzzvCzCyVCaqHkUEoxMwSzeq

StaFi Protocol

  • PromoTeam: 31dAkYPQWqLooi8STtH4u91ybv3DBtyT4Tdn8VZbkGYtPFfQ
  • pathrocknetwork: 32yfaVgxp2bArkKotgiVrdqhbP17Lwc6KkmtgSZRazjuwpae
  • oceanblock-ov: 35pwfNAzJKnnSxjbdoN8DdNPvXE2ChXiHL4Z4N5oDFdhMPoU
  • STAKENODE_POWERNODE - 31tyuA9tSMdUasMS7zPycu8vnYkEmpNHdC37ELuhKtxkMXTK
  • STAKENODE - 353SjE5jZNE3HsQxJr42QAazGzQ4KThwwR6U8sfzYjQpuSiv

HydraDX

  • Polkadotters: 7K296SU5tGTCkpYntSonyohsvvCZr2wmaKzCf9Ed6rAv6ij1
  • STAKENODE /01 - 7J4gcZRQSRkKMKsHZfN6JQXXGVrhQu3QHZBb3anqmVn94cT5
  • STAKENODE - 7LiWT1bdaZy4JhQSzNdcL1WV4DfAU3cbY9KXcHtqtFhm8fNa
  • PROMOTEAM VALIDATOR - 7NaMA63jMwq73dZXQtShsU67GhfaPJDhrWjkj2oFxn13rg9j
  • pathrocknetwork - 7KpbZwX3eFC8TSRwV1igsfBDDWSVRu7gvNxgotEBeDxb7rP2

Darwina

  • Polkadotters (Darwinia): 2q2y8DBhaTmgC2Au9tSXSshCkDXhmj9rPW945yxqBf52rGRK
  • Polkadotters (Darwinia Crab): 5DvoL2BNoSm7wRt2tfZ6WW5QFrxm68GLv5SCrPQ4JBLjbvpL

Centrifuge

  • Polkadotters: 4dCqn4vxVhWm15TFTUGxF6UrNx6zm2VDnS7RAHYFX3mov24q

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.