You made it🎊! Yes, you made it to the last part of this series. This final part will cover the most frequently asked questions among delegators.
Are there any fees for depositing or withdrawing your stake from a validator?
No, there are no ‘withdrawal’ or ‘deposit’ fees. In fact you never ‘deposit’ your stake – unlike a bank deposit your stake remains in your position, and cannot be touched by the validator. Your stake is effectively a ‘vote’ that you trust the validator to confirm transactions on the network, rather than a deposit. By spreading the vote across a wide number of validators it ensures there is no risk of foul play in the system. Do note that while there are no transaction fees on staking directly with a validator, it is possible that some independent ‘stake pools’ might have a different set of rules and fee schedules.
How long is my stake ‘locked up’ with a validator?
As you are paid rewards based on the funds you have staked during an epoch, during that epoch you cannot withdraw your stake. In practice, the timescale from staking, to earning rewards, to unstaking can vary depending on when in an epoch you instruct a validator.
- When you first delegate a stake to a validator you must wait for it to become active. This happens at the end of the current epoch. For example, Given an epoch is ~2.5 days long, depending on when you stake it may take 2 days, 2 hours or just 20 minutes for your stake to become active. An epoch could be 1 day,2 days or more depending on the network.
- Once your stake is active it will begin earning rewards each epoch.
- Should you wish to withdraw your stake, you must first undelegate it. Just as when you delegate it, the instruction is handled at the end of the epoch. Undelegation for networks usually ranges from 7-28 days. Although some networks take lesser days for staked assets to be undelegated.
- Once you have undelegated your stake and the epoch has ended, you can then withdraw it back to your wallet, or redelegate it with another validator or stake pool.