Polkadot is a protocol that enables cross-blockchain transfers of any type of data or asset. By uniting multiple blockchains, Polkadot aims to achieve high degrees of security and scalability.
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- What is Polkadot?
- Who are the Founders of Polkadot?
- When was Polkadot launched?
- How to stake Polkadot (DOT)?
- How much can I earn staking Polkadot (DOT)?
- What are the requirements to stake Polkadot?
- Is there any risk to stake Polkadot (DOT)?
Polkadot is an open-source sharded multichain protocol that connects and secures a network of specialized blockchains, facilitating cross-chain transfer of any data or asset types, not just tokens, thereby allowing blockchains to be interoperable with each other. Polkadot was designed to provide a foundation for a decentralized internet of blockchains, also known as Web3.
Polkadot is known as a layer-0 metaprotocol because it underlies and describes a format for a network of layer 1 blockchains known as parachains (parallel chains). As a metaprotocol, Polkadot is also capable of autonomously and forklessly updating its own codebase via on-chain governance according to the will of its token holder community.
Polkadot is the flagship protocol of Web3 Foundation, a Swiss Foundation with a mission to facilitate an open-source, fully functional and user-friendly decentralized web.
Polkadot’s founders are Dr. Gavin Wood, Robert Habermeier and Peter Czaban.
Wood, Web3 Foundation’s president, is the most well-known of the trio thanks to his industry influence as Ethereum co-founder, Parity Technologies founder and the creator of the smart contract coding language Solidity. Wood is also credited with coining the term Web3.
Habermeier is a Thiel Fellow and accomplished blockchain and cryptography researcher and developer. Czaban is the former Technology Director at Web3 Foundation, with a wealth of experience across highly specialized fintech industries.
Polkadot adopted a staged rollout strategy for its mainnet launch. Polkadot’s first mainnet chain candidate, Phase 1, launched on May 27, 2020. It marked the initial step in a multi-stage rollout process detailed in the project’s mainnet launch roadmap. This early version of Polkadot operated as Proof-of-Authority (PoA) network managed by six validators belonging to the Web3 Foundation.
The network transitioned to its proposed Nominated Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system on Jun. 18, 2020 (Phase 2), which enabled DOT owners to claim validators slots and unlocked staking rewards.
Phases 3 and 4 in late Jul. 2020 introduced Polkadot’s governance functionality and handing control of the protocol over to the community, respectively. In the final phase the unlock event for DOT token happend on Aug. 18, 2020.
Delegators in Polkadot are called Nominators. Anyone can nominate up to 16 validators, who share rewards if they are elected into the active validators set.
The process is a single-click operation inside the wallet. Simply choose 1-16 validators (staking providers) who you trust and nominate them.
Please note that you must manually claim your rewards via the Polkadot Explorer. Staking rewards are kept available for 21 days only.
If you do not claim your staking rewards by this time, then you will not be able to claim them and some of your staking rewards will be lost.
If you want to run a validator node yourself to gain the maximum rewards you have to operate the required server infrastructure and make sure to online 24/7.
The current reward rate for validators is determined by the current Total Staked %. The less DOT is being staked, the higher are the rewards.
You can play with the different reward scenarios under certain network conditions in our Staking Calculator.
Validators share the rewards after deducting a fee with their nominators. You can see the individual reward rates and fees of validators in our list of staking providers.
Being a nominator does not require running a node of your own or worrying about online uptime. However, a good nominator performs diligence on the validators that it elects.
To become a Validator you need at least 350 DOT and make sure to operate a stable infrastrcuture. Anyhow the minimum stake that is necessary to be elected as an active validator is dynamic and can change over time. It depends not only on how much stake is being put behind each validator, but also the size of the active set and how many validators are waiting in the pool.
By delegating or staking Polkadot there is a risk of slashing.
Slashing will happen if a validator misbehaves (e.g. goes offline, attacks the network, or runs modified software) in the network. They and their nominators will get slashed by losing a percentage of their bonded/staked DOTs.
Validator pools with larger total stake backing them will get slashed more harshly than less popular ones, so we encourage nominators to shift their nominations to less popular validators to reduce the possible losses.