This is the ultimate staking ICP FAQ guide. If these don’t answer your questions, submit them down below and we’ll continue to improve this FAQ over time.
No, you cannot login with your seed phrase directly. Your seed phrase is required if you lost access and want to recover your account. However, you can use your seed phrase to recover your account and register a new device. You can then use that device to login to the NNS app.
The official Network Nervous System app can be accessed at https://nns.ic0.app/. You will need to use your internet identity to login to the NNS app. If you don’t have an internet identity yet you will need to create one. It is quick and simple to create one. Follow the instructions here: https://icp.guide/how-to-get-started/#2_Get_an_Internet_Identity.
I don’t have a Yubikey or Ledger hardware wallet to create an Internet Identity, can I still stake my ICP?
If you don’t have a Yubikey or Ledger hardware wallet to use as a physical authentication method you will need to have a laptop with a fingerprint reader or a phone with fingerprint or face ID in order to authenticate a device with Internet Identity. If you do not have a biometric enabled device (or Yubikey or Ledger wallet) then you cannot currently login to the NNS app, which means you cannot stake your ICP yet. Yubikeys are a great option and you can buy one for $50-$100 here: https://www.yubico.com/setup/
Right now (as of July 2021) it is not possible to combine or split neurons. We believe the NNS team is working on this and we should have a functional solution to this problem over the next few months.
You can add additional ICP to an existing neuron by simply sending ICP to the neuron address. If you need additional assistance, you can follow the guide here: https://icp.guide/how-to-add-icp-to-a-staked-neuron/
Yes, you can stake ICP into neurons as often as you would like, and each neuron can have its own specific dissolve delay.
When the maturity in your neuron multiplied by the number of staked ICP is greater than 1 ICP, the “Spawn” button will become active and you can spawn a new neuron. Spawning a neuron means withdrawing the maturity (or ICP rewards) from your staked neuron in the form of a new staked neuron. This new neuron with freshly minted ICP has a dissolve delay of 7 days and is locked. If you want to remove the ICP reward from this new neuron, then you must unlock the neuron and wait 7 days.
The dissolve delay is the amount of time you set on the timer until you can get your locked ICP out of your neuron. The dissolve delay value you set has the biggest impact on your voting rewards with longer dissolve delay resulting in higher voting rewards.
Unlocking your neuron is like starting the timer. Locking your neuron is like stopping the timer. It is important to note that unlocking your neuron will reset your neuron age bonus to zero. There is currently not a warning or confirmation in the NNS app, so make sure you are aware of this detail before you click the Start Unlock button.
Maturity is a ratio of ICP voting rewards earned divided by ICP staked in the neuron expressed as a percentage.
Staking is the process by which you lock away your ICP in order to be able to govern the Internet Computer Protocol by voting on NNS proposals.
The smallest amount of ICP that you can stake right now is 1 ICP.
Rewards and Staking Strategy
Daily voting rewards are based on your chosen dissolve delay, the age of your neuron, the number of ICP you staked, the percentage of proposals you voted on for the day, the total number of ICP staked in the network, and the total voting reward token allocation dedicated to governance. The formula is a bit complex, but you can learn more here https://icp.guide/what-are-icp-staking-rewards-right-now/.
How can I get the best ICP returns? Is it better to stake 4 years and unlock immediately, or to stake 2 years and then unlock after 2 years?
The best strategy to maximize ICP return (regardless of when you want your ICP out) is to make your dissolve delay as high as possible and then compound your returns, meaning take any ICP rewards you get and reinvest them into your staked neuron. Compounding is currently a manual activity, but the Dfinity foundation has been considering automatic compounding as an NNS app feature upgrade.
If you want to maximize liquid ICP (meaning available ICP that is not staked) then the question is more nuanced and you should check out the guide here: https://icp.guide/the-best-staking-strategy-to-maximize-liquid-icp/
How many ICP do I need to stake so I could get minted new ICP and compound it daily, weekly, or monthly?
The 8 year dissolve delay staking reward right now is about 28%. This means that the daily rate of return is 0.076%, the weekly rate of return is 0.538%, and the monthly rate of return is 2.3%.
To get 1 ICP in rewards every day, you need 1 / 0.00076 ICP, which is 1,316 ICP staked.
To get 1 ICP in rewards every week, you need 1 / 0.00538 ICP, which is 186 ICP staked.
To get 1 ICP in rewards every month, you need 1 / 0.023 ICP, which is 44 ICP staked.
The best way to maximize your liquid ICP is to follow this guide: https://icp.guide/the-best-staking-strategy-to-maximize-liquid-icp/. We haven’t seen a calculator or formula to do this yet.
The “Spawn” button will not become active until your ICP rewards are greater than 1 ICP (meaning maturity multiplied by total ICP staked is greater than 1). Then you can spawn a new neuron with your newly minted ICP.
In order to earn rewards your dissolve delay has to be 6 months or longer and you have to vote on NNS proposals. A way to guarantee that you vote on all proposals is to follow another neuron that you trust will vote in a manner that is consistent with your preferences. The two most common organizations to follow include Dfinity Foundation and Internet Computer Association. If you aren’t earning rewards it is likely you have missed one of those two things.
When you have greater than 1 ICP in rewards (when maturity multiplied by total staked ICP is greater than 1), then you can “Spawn” a new neuron with your freshly minted ICP rewards.
Annualized returns are not fixed and will generally decrease over the next 8 years. The total voting reward token allocation will decrease over time. Also, as more ICP is staked, the fraction of the “total voting reward token allocation” received by each individual will decrease. You can increase your dissolve delay any time which will result in greater rewards. Also, if you have not started the unlocking of your neuron, then your neuron age is increasing, which also results in increasing rewards. All of these factors impact annualized returns and make it difficult to predict what the actual rewards will be in the future. An excellent calculator that can be used to test various scenarios can be found here: ICP Neuron Calculator.
No. Once you have earned voting rewards, they will not decrease. The amount of voting rewards you have earned is expressed as maturity in the NNS app. Rewards = Maturity * Staked ICP. There are conditions that will change your maturity, but they will not change your rewards. Adding more ICP to a neuron and spawning a neuron to collect rewards are both activities that will change your maturity, but neither will change the awards you have earned.
The dissolve delay is the amount of time that you set on the timer. This timer determines when you can withdraw your ICP from your staked neuron. When you unlock your neuron you start the timer and when you lock you stop the timer.
Total rewards divided by total staked ICP equals maturity as a percentage
A neuron is a place to lock away your ICP in order to participate in the governance of the Internet Computer Protocol by voting on NNS proposals.
A submission to the NNS that must be voted on and approved by neurons before a change can be made to the Internet Computer Protocol.
Remove rewards from a staked neuron in the form of a new staked neuron with a dissolve delay of 7 days.
The Network Nervous System. This is the staking/voting system that governs the Internet Computer Protocol.
A configuration of your neuron where you allow your voting power to follow the votes of another neuron. This helps ensure you do not miss any vote (you can only earn voting rewards if you vote). You can still vote manually on any proposal even when you are set up to follow someone else. When you cast your manual vote, you override the vote following feature for that proposal. Also, it doesn’t matter if you vote yes or no on a proposal. As long as you vote, you will get the voting reward.
Voting power is total ICP staked * dissolve delay bonus * neuron age bonus.
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