Nomination pools have arrived on Kusama and Polkadot! They 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 feature here.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Benefits


Benefits of joining a nomination pool:

  • No staking minimum.
  • No need for both a stash and controller account.
  • No minimum to receive rewards (as low as 1 DOT can earn rewards!)
  • More control over rewards.
  • The pool nominator will select validators on your behalf.
  • Selected validators can attract more staking input.


‼️ IMPORTANT

You can only participate in a pool with your transferable balance. The amount you participate with is then transferred from your account to the nomination pool's account.


ℹ️ GOOD TO KNOW

The funds nominated to a pool will not be visible in the member's account balance on Polkadot-JS UI. This is because the member funds are transferred from their account to the pool's account. This pool account is not accessible by anyone. It is managed solely by the protocol's logic and the owner of the funds can withdraw them any time.

How to Join a Pool


Any nominator can join a nomination pool, either through the staking dashboard (instructions on how to do it in this article) or the Polkadot-JS UI. In this article, we will go through the steps to do it using the latter.


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


IMPORTANT: Choose your wisely. Before switching pools, a nominator must wait for the unbounding process: 28 days on Polkadot and 7 days on Kusama.


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!



 

IMPORTANT: If you intend to join a nomination pool using funds that are staking directly, please note that these tokens will still be subject to the normal unbonding period (7 days in Kusama, 28 days in Polkadot)



How to Exit a Pool


⚠️ WARNING

You cannot rebond during the unbonding period with a nomination pool. If you change your mind, you must wait for the unbonding period to end before you can join a nomination pool again.


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: Funds exiting a pool will be subject to the normal unbonding period, which is 7 days 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 UI, navigate to Network > Staking > Accounts > Pooled, where you can view your pool 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 unbonding 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. If 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 unbonding period to end: 28 days on Polkadot and 7 days on Kusama.
  • Auto-componing is only possible manually.
  • A member can partially unbond the staked funds in the pool (at most 16 partial unbonds).
  • Rebond during the unbonding period is not possible.


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