This guide will show you how to prepare a the two different required accounts and then start staking your KSM tokens.
This basic guide contains of three steps, all you need to do in order to stake your KSM.
- Create a KSM stash account
- Create a KSM controller account
- Set up KSM staking
What is the difference between a stash and controller account?
The concept of stash / controller account is used to enhance security by separating the bulk of your savings (your stash) from an account where you will handle a lot of commands and activities (your controller). Your Stash account is where you’ll put most of your KSM tokens for staking. Your controller account let’s you speak on behalf of you stash account, without the risk that someone gets access to your stash.
Step 1: Create a KSM stash account
- Go to (make sure that it states Kusama up in the left corner) https://polkadot.js.org/apps/?rpc=wss%3A%2F%2Fkusama-rpc.polkadot.io#/
- Click on Accounts tab -> Accounts menu
- On the Accounts page, click on “+ Add Account” button.
- On the pop-up screen that shows, write down you mnemonic seed phrase and save it in a safe place (very important!). Never share or loose this phrase! This phrase works as your back-up key to your account, with the phrase one can take control over your account. Leave all advanced options as they are.
- After you have saved your mnemonic seed phrase, check the box “I have saved my mnemonic seed safely” in order to enable the Next Button. Click Next.
- Enter the name for your stash account and create a password. Do not share this password with anyone. Also save your account address as you may need it for other purposes, but you won’t need it for what we do here.
- Once you have saved your password, click Next.
- On the next screen, verify your seed phrase. Make sure “derivation path” shows . You don’t want to derive your account from any other account to be safe.
- Once you’re done, click “+Save” button. Notice that a JSON file has been automatically created. Make sure you save this JSON file in a safe place. To re-setup your account on another computer / browser, you’ll need a combination of this backup file + your password above.
- At this point, you’re done creating your Stash account. You’ll now repeat these same steps to create your second account which you’ll use as a Controller account.
Step 2: Create a KSM controller account
- Follow the steps as above to create a second account which you will use as a controller account.
- Name this second account as Controller instead of My Stash as shown above when you create your stash account.
- Make sure you save the mnemonic seed phrase, password, and JSON backup file for this Controller account in a safe place also and do NOT share these with anyone.
- Once you have your 2 accounts, Stash and Controller, you are ready to transfer KSMs from the exchange and start Staking.
Step 3: Transfer KSM tokens and getting started with Staking
- To start staking, you’ll need to transfer some KSM funds from your exchange account to your new KSM wallets. Different exchanges handle token transfers differently so we won’t cover it here.
- For staking KSM, at minimum, we recommend you have about 0.3 KSM in your Controller account to handle fees for running commands / requests + 0.3 KSM in your Stash account to pay for any transaction fees when issuing staking request. Do NOT stake your entire KSM amount since you won’t have any remaining KSM to handle any other requests (like unbonding and transfers).
- To start the staking process, go to Network tab -> Staking menu
- Then click on Account actions.
- On the Account actions screen, click on “+ Nominator” button.
- On the next screen you will see something like below.
- Select your Stash account name in the Stash account selection box.
- Select your Controller account name in the Controller account selection box.
- You can select the payment destination type. We recommend you use the default “Stash account (increase the amount at stake)” so that as you earn new KSM, those new KSM tokens are then also staked and you get the earnings compounded over time.
- Once you have the accounts selected, click Next button to go to the last step.
- On this screen, you’ll select your validators. You can select up to 16 validators. Anywhere between 5–16 is a good set of validators. Clicking on a validator on the left box will add them to your validator set on the right. You can also search for a specific validator by entering their validator name or address in the search box. For example, you can search for Dwellir KSM and the matching validator shows up on the left candidate box.
Our validator node name: DWELLIR KSM
Validator address: DuLr6CeLXezrfumF6EkqLeAx9paMcADYU6zHpSZVB8gvjht
The validators in your nominated set will rotate around during each staking era which is a 6 hours period. You won’t be able to allocate a specific amount to a validator. In each era, the KSM algorithm will automatically select the best validator in your validator set to stake.
12. Once you’ve selected your validators, click “Bond & Nominate” to complete this step. The screen above only shows the “Nominate” button but the screen is very similar.
13. The next screen will ask you to confirm your staking selection by signing your account and submit the request. Enter the password you created for your Controller account at this step and click “Sign and Submit”.
14. Congratulations! You have now staked your KSM on the Kusama network. After you completed these steps, your validators will show as Inactive nominations or Waiting nominations. This is normal. It will take at least 6 hours (the time period for 1 era) for your selection to take effect.