Aleph Zero Blog

FAQ About Aleph Zero Nomination Pools

Dec 1, 2022

With the Mainnet successfully updated, we’re glad to present a deep dive into the frequently asked questions about the Nomination Pools. Learn about the changes introduced to staking and nominating validators. 

Here’s a short recap before we dive into the questions! Community validators are coming to the Aleph Zero Mainnet on December 5th, 2022. In order to increase scalability and ensure egalitarian access to nominations, we have opted to introduce nomination pools as well. This allows multiple users to band together to act as a single nominator. This method does not compromise network security as users are pooled together to vote on their chosen validator.

Aleph Zero Nomination Pool Infographics

Pooling nominators allows us to decrease the minimum amount of AZERO needed by each user to take part in the election process. Allowing holders to begin nominating on the network with a minimum of 10 AZERO decreases the previous threshold of 100 AZERO tenfold. The Foundation will open ten nomination pools after the update (one for each Foundation validator); users will be able to create their own pools too. The new rules for staking via a direct nomination will not work retroactively. For an in-depth look at the changes, be sure to check the latest blog article about the introduction of Aleph Zero’s nomination pools

Two new terms will be useful for users diving into the FAQ below: “direct nomination” and “pooled nomination.” The first one describes how the nominations have worked so far, whereas the latter addresses the introduction of nomination pools.

Let’s now answer the questions the community brought to the fore! Thanks for asking them! 

  1. What is a nomination pool? 

Nomination pools are a system in proof-of-stake blockchain protocols that allows users to pool their coins together on-chain to nominate validators, take part in on-chain governance, and receive staking rewards. This solution helps to improve the Aleph Zero blockchain’s scalability. 

  1. Are nomination pools safe? 

Yes, nomination pools are safe. They do not compromise user security when compared to nominating directly.  

3. Do I need to unstake?

No, you don’t need to unstake your tokens if you wish to continue staking via a direct nomination. However, moving to the nomination pools will result in eligible users being rewarded twice the coins they would make if they continued to stake normally for the duration of the unbonding period (two weeks) and will help scale the network resulting in an improved experience for everyone. 

4. I’m staking less than 2,000 AZERO. Do I need to do anything?

If you have less than 2,000 AZERO, you will not have to unbond your coins. However, we recommend switching to a nomination pool to aid chain scalability. If you do unbond your tokens by December 5th, 2022, and migrate to the nomination pool, you will be rewarded twice the coins you would normally make from staking for the duration of the unbonding period (two weeks). Rewards will be distributed on December 19th, 2022, via airdrop. 

5. I have more than 2,000 AZERO. Do I need to do anything? 

No, although moving to a nomination pool would definitely benefit Aleph Zero’s scalability. 

6. What is the new minimum bond for staking? 

The new minimum bond for staking via a direct nomination is 2,000 AZERO. After the upgrade, users with a minimum of 10 AZERO will be able to stake through the nomination pools.  

7. How do I claim the rewards? 

The rewards will be distributed via AZERO airdrop on the 19th of December, 2022 – please note that, in particular, it means that to be eligible for the airdrop, you need to start unbonding your funds on the 5th of December, 2022, on the latest. 

8. How much AZERO will I receive in rewards? 

Holders who unbond their coins and move to the nomination pools will receive twice the coins they would’ve received if they had continued to stake for the duration of the unbonding period (two weeks). 

9. If I already have less than 2,000 AZERO staked, will I be kicked out of staking once the minimum bond is updated?

No, you will not be denied staking privileges if you opt to continue staking via a direct nomination. However, we highly recommend you move to nomination pools to improve the scalability of the network and receive rewards from the December 19th, 2022, AZERO airdrop. 

10. Does this have any relation to the Common airdrop?


11. Will nomination pools have different reward destinations, including an option to auto-stake rewards?

No. After claiming the payout, the rewards will be sent to the account of the user. They will be unlocked/transferable.

12. By when do I have to unbond my AZERO coins to be eligible for the airdrop? 

You must unbond your coins by December 5th (23:59 GMT), 2022, to be eligible for the airdrop, as it takes two weeks to unbond. The airdrop will occur on December 19th (23:59 GMT), 2022—two weeks after December 5th, 2022.

13. Will I be able to use nomination pools via Nova Wallet? 

Yes, it will be possible, although please contact the Nova Wallet team for specifics.

14. Will I be able to use nomination pools via SubWallet? 

Users will be able to see the pooled staking record and claim rewards, but they won’t be able to nominate via a nomination pool. For specifics, please contact the SubWallet team.

15. Will I be able to use nomination pools via Talisman?

Talisman has shown intentions to support the feature, but there is currently no timeframe on when this will be introduced. Please contact the Talisman team for detailed information.

16. How do I leave a nomination pool?
In order to leave a nomination pool, you will need to unbond your funds. This will take 14 days.