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How to Start Staking with the Aleph Zero Dashboard

This guide will outline how to stake via the Aleph Zero Dashboard
First, you need to hold AZERO, which you can currently acquire through one of the available exchanges.
Currently, there are two ways of staking on Aleph Zero:
  • Direct nomination: You need a significant minimum stake (2,000 AZERO at the time of writing this article, although keep in mind that this bound will increase in the future). Yet, you have full control of who you nominate and are free to change your nominations without going through the unbonding period (14 days).
  • Pooled nomination: you join an existing "staking pool" that unites a group of stakers. The good things are that you can stake as little as 10 AZERO this way, and (to some users) it's convenient that you don't have to pick a validator by yourself (the pool operator makes the choice for you). However, the downsides are that currently, you cannot easily switch between pools (you need to go through the unbonding period), and the only way to auto-compound is to claim rewards manually and add to the pool from time to time.

Staking via a nomination pool

Selecting a pool (testnet)
  • Head to the mainnet web wallet and create one account as per this tutorial OR directly via one of the compatible extensions (listed below). You only need one account to join a nomination pool.
If you already have an account, you can skip this process.
  • Head to the Aleph Zero Dashboard and navigate to the Pools tab. Hit Connect in the top right corner of the page and select your extension. This should prompt a pop-up via the extension. From this pop-up, authorize the connection.
  • Hit Imported Accounts and select your account.
  • Click Join. This will direct you to the All Pools section. Click Join next to your desired pool.
  • Enter the amount that you would like to bond to the pool and submit the transaction via the extension. Depending on your settings, you may need to enter the account password here.
⚠️NOTE: It is normal for your coins to be transferred out of your account when you stake via a nomination pool. Your coins are sent and bonded to the pool, hence they cannot be accessed by the pool operator. Once you unbond (the process takes 14 days) you may withdraw the coins from the pool.
You have now successfully staked your coins via a nomination pool! The Pool Status (in the Pools tab) should be Nominating and Earning Rewards.

Staking via a direct nomination

Starting with release 12.0, the controller accounts are deprecated. This concerns only new stakers.
When bonding funds, you will be forced to set the controller account to the same account as the stash.
Starting with release 13.0, you can use Proxy Accounts
Selecting a validator (testnet)
  • Head to the Mainnet web wallet and create an account as per this tutorial OR directly via one of the compatible extensions (listed below). If you already have an account, you can skip this process. Ensure that your account has enough AZERO in it to cover fees.
  • Next, you will need to ensure that you are using a compatible browser extension. If you are already using one, you can skip this process. If not, you will need to install one and restore your accounts on it. The options (with tutorials hyperlinked) are:
  • Head to the Aleph Zero Dashboard and navigate to the Nominate tab. Hit Connect in the top right corner of the page and select your extension. This should prompt a pop-up via the extension. From this pop-up, authorize the connection..
  • Hit Imported Accounts and select your stash account.
  • Or if you use proxy accounts, select either proxy or proxied account, and Dashboard will import both for you. From this point proxy account will be used to sign Staking transactions.
  • Click Start Nominating and follow the prompts until you reach the summary. You will need to enter/select details: reward destination, validator, and the amount that you would like to stake.
  • Once you have reached the summary, hit Start Nominating and sign the transaction via the extension. Depending on your settings, you may need to enter the account password here.
You have now successfully made a direct nomination! Your status should be Waiting for Active Nominations – once the next era starts, this will change to Nominating and Earning Rewards.