Kusama is a canary network for Polkadot.

Delegation Instructions

Before you start

Before you begin, please be sure you have claimed your KSM. If you need help claiming your token, follow this guide.

Kusama Delegation
Delegating to the validator

1. Bond Your KSM

  1. Go to Polkadot UI
  2. Click STAKING in the left-hand navigation
  3. Select the account actions tab at the top of the screen
  4. Select New stake at the top right of the screen
  5. In the modal, select your stash account and, if applicable, controller account
  6. In the value bonded field, input the amount of KSM you’d like to bond
    If you’d like to bond all of your KSM, leave 5-10 KSM in your stash account for transaction fees
  7. Select your preferred payment destination:
    - Select Stash account (increase the amount at stake) to compound your rewards on your Stash account (most common), or
    - Select Stash account (do not increase the amount at stake) to leave your rewards un-bonded and spendable in your Stash account
  8. Click Bond
  9. Confirm the correct amount of KSM is being bonded
  10. Enter your password
  11. Click Sign and Submit


  1. Go back to Account Actions screen
  2. Click NOMINATE
  3. Search for and select the Bison Trails validators, BisonTrails and BisonTrails2. This will nominate both of the Bison Trails Kusama validators, distributing stake amongst them evenly.
  4. Click NOMINATE
  5. Enter your password
  6. Click Sign and Submit

Congratulations! You are now nominating the Bison Trails validators.


What is Kusama’s Reward Rate?

Kusama has two participatory reward mechanisms. Its native rate of participatory rewards is determined by the staking rate of the protocol, capping out at 10% when 50% of the protocol’s tokens are staked.

Additionally, 1% of DOTs (native to Polkadot) will be distributed as rewards to Kusama participants. The reward distribution mechanism has not yet been determined, as the Polkadot protocol is still under development.

We maximize participatory reward earnings by enabling customers to easily scale their validator count and distribute stake to maximize presence in the active validator set.

Does everyone who delegates to the validator receive rewards?

In Kusama, only the 64 largest delegators to a validator will receive rewards. You can see the list of all delegators on Bison Trails’ validators in the Polkadot UI when searching for Validator 1.

What are the risks associated with delegating?

If a validator doesn't follow protocol rules, Kusama slashes their bonded tokens as well as the KSM delegated to them.

Slashing primarily happens for one of the two reasons outlined below.

  • Double signing: If someone reports on chain A that a validator signed two blocks at the same height on chain A and chain B, the validator will get slashed on chain A.
  • Downtime: If a validator’s signature has not been included in the last X blocks, the validator will get slashed by a marginal amount proportional to X. If X is above a certain limit Y, then the validator will get unbonded.

Bison Trails’ takes these risks extremely seriously and have built our infrastructure to protect our customers and minimize slashing risk.

How does Bison Trails’ commission work?

Bison Trails charges an 10% commission on all rewards earned by tokens delegated to our validator. The commission is paid to Bison Trails automatically by the protocol. You can then withdraw your rewards from the protocol directly.

Anything else I should know?

Learn more about Bison Trails and how our platform minimizes the risks of slashing. Please also review our full Digital Asset Rights Delegation Agreement.

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If you have questions, or if you are interested in running a validator on the Bison Trails platform, please contact us. Our protocol specialists are happy to assist you.