Nomination pools have arrived on Kusama! They are not yet active on Polkadot, but there are plans to implement them soon. The pools are designed to permissionlessly allow members to pool their funds together and act as a single nominator account. You can read more details about this new feature here.


Benefits of joining a nomination pool:


  • No staking minimum
  • Don't need both a stash and controller account
  • No minimum to receive rewards (as low as 1 DOT can earn rewards!)
  • More control over rewards
  • A nominator can select validators on your behalf
  • Validators can attract more staking input


IMPORTANT: You can only participate in a pool with transferable balance and the amount you participate with is transferred from your account to the nomination pool.
NOTE: The funds nominated to a pool will not be visible in the member's account balance on Polkadot-JS apps interface. This is because the member funds are transferred from their account to the pool's account. This pool account is not accessible by anyone (including the pool root or depositor) and only the pool's internal logic can access the account.



How to Join a Pool


1. To join a nomination pool, navigate to the Network > Staking > Pools page on the Polkadot-JS UI and select the + Join button. 


NOTE: An account can only be a member of one pool at a time.



2. Enter the value you would like to contribute to the pool.


3. Take the transaction fees into account, and then sign and submit the transaction.


IMPORTANT: If your account, after the application of the fees, falls below the Existential Deposit, your account will be reaped and any remaining balance will be lost!



4. Claim your portion of rewards by switching over to the Network > Staking > Accounts > Pooled tab, where you can view your pooled member account details. Here you can expand the drop-down menu to select Withdraw claimable.


 


How to Exit a Pool


Members can exit the pool at any time, by selecting Unbond funds instead, as shown in the screenshot above. This is in the same drop-down menu under Network > Staking > Accounts > Pooled.


NOTE: It takes 7 days to unbond on Kusama, and 28 days on Polkadot.

How to Claim Rewards


The member can claim their portion of any rewards that have accumulated since the previous time they claimed (or in the case that they have never claimed, any rewards that have accumulated since the era after they joined). Rewards are split pro rata among the actively bonded members.


On Polkadot JS Apps UI, navigate to Network > Staking > Accounts > Pooled, where you can view your pooled member account details. To claim rewards, click on the three vertical dots and click on Withdraw claimable.


Withdraw Unbonded Funds


Similar to nominating manually, the funds will need to be fully unlocked after the cooldown period ends. Withdrawing completely ends the relationship to the pool, allowing you to join a different pool if desired. 


To do this, select the Withdraw unbonded button from the menu above, after the necessary period of time has elapsed. In the event that you would like to unbond all funds, it is highly recommended that you use the 'all unbonded' toggle.  Doing so ensures that all funds are unbonded even some that may not display due to rounding by the UI.


Limitations


  • A member cannot vote (e.g. in Referenda or for Council members) with their nominated funds. This may be changed in the future once accounts are afforded the ability to split votes.
  • In order for a member to switch pools they must wait for the Kusama 7-day unbonding process.
  • A member can partially unbond the staked funds in the pool (at most 16 partial unbonds).


See the wiki for more information on how to create and destroy pools.