Being a nominator is not a passive "set it and forget it" role as you may be used to from other networks, where you stake your tokens once and then receive ongoing staking rewards.


As a nominator on Polkadot, you have actual skin in the game and you carry part of the responsibility for the good behavior of the validators you choose. 


For example, should your active validator get slashed for bad behavior, your stake will get slashed, too. Therefore it is important to carefully select your validators from the start. You are actively contributing to the security of the Polkadot Relay Chain with your choice.


  • To educate yourself on how to select the best validators, see here
  • To understand what slashing is, see here


Another reason why you should stay actively involved is to secure the continuity of your staking rewards. 


On Polkadot, only the first 64 nominators of a validator earn rewards. (This number might increase in the future if the Polkadot community votes for this.)


Nominators are ranked by their stake, so the one with the highest stake will be in the first place. When you first decide to nominate, you should therefore choose a validator that either has less than 64 nominators or verify that you have a high enough stake to be in the first 64 nominators of this validator. 


However, you can not rely on receiving rewards from this validator forever. Other nominators with higher stakes might join after you and push you out of the first 64 ranks. If you do not regularly check this, you may stop earning rewards without noticing. 


So, to maximize your rewards, it is advised to keep track of your payouts as well as of the validators you picked regularly, to see if you have to make a new validator selection.


  • To learn how to check your incoming staking rewards, see here.
  • To learn how to verify whether you have any oversubscribed validators in your chosen set, see here.


In summary, you have two main responsibilities as a nominator on Polkadot: 


  1. To pick trustworthy validators for the benefit of the network
  2. To optimize the staking rewards payouts for your own benefit 



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