Nomination Pools: Increase Minimum Create Bond to 1000 DOT

The minimum active bond on Polkadot is currently fluctuating between 450 - 500 DOT, as shown in the following graph:

When nomination pools were launched, one characteristic we wished to maintain was the fact that they were active from day 1, and so the minimum create bond should be greater than the minimum active bond. This was the reason we increased the min create bond to 500 DOT on the last revision of the config.

Furthermore, has taken around 7 months for the min active bond to increase from ~250 DOT to ~500 DOT.

On a more anecdotal point, we will soon see a large amount of DOT being released from crowdloans, a lot of which will likely be staked and result in the MAB being further increased.

It is very likely the MAB figure will continue increasing, and that pools will loose their guarantee of being active upon creation, which is detrimental to their ease of use and UX.


To increase the minimum create bond for nomination pools on Polkadot to 1000 DOT.

Recent history would suggest this would give pools around an additional 7 months before MAB catches up with this new figure, although the above conditions could expedite the increase.

Feedback welcome!

1 Like

Perhaps, it is better to leave the pool creation bond to be 500 DOT and let the pool creator attract enough DOT to the pool to become an active nominator?

We went down this road for minimum active nomination which kept increasing the entry barrier for nominators. We should not repeat the same for pool creators, as our expectation is that pool creators are well informed on how the NPoS works and they should have minimum entry barrier to create the pool and set the pool nomination preferences. They should ideally be working towards gathering DOT for their nomination pool from others to cross the minimum active nomination threshold. They should not be required to have min active nomination funds to create a pool, IMO.


Morning @ross, I think that increasing to 1000 DOT might be a bit much as it would limit the creation of new pools. Probably a less steep but gradual increase depending on how the situation evolves might be better? It took a look at the past year and MAB increased from 200 to 500. The pattern seems to be linear, so approximately 25 DOT/month.

In my opinion, everyone staking in a pool must be assured 100% to get rewards. You cannot fast unstake, and bonding 1 DOT in a pool with 500 DOT that does not enter the active set would make stakers sad and not help the current narrative. Also, if I am not mistaken you cannot put-in-front-of pool accounts.

I suggest an increase to 600-650 DOT, so that you can ensure the situation is fine for the next 3-4 months, after which I would reassess.

1 Like

If we can clearly present in the UI which pools are inactive, would that be better?

@radha has a valid point, it is ideal to not have too high a barrier for pool creators. Since we already have a lot of pools that should be active, a new delegator has a good choice of pools to choose from (provided they are presented with stats and information about a pool clearly). It seems reasonable that a pool has an option to be in a bootstrap phase when its launched and it is trying to attract new delegators to meet the minimum active bond. Perhaps we can have multiple filters such as Bootstrapping, Stale (No activity for x period), Inactive, Trending etc.

Agree, @radha’s point is key in avoiding that MAB increases like that. Not sure if this will slow it down though. Pool creators must be doing some work to attract members and the dashboard must remove inactive pools from the filter (or disable the “Join” button for those pools) to avoid people staking in inactive pools. Kind that if you are in the dashboard you are active, and you did some work to get there?

Some additional thoughts below

The main point of pools was to enable stakers to get rewards regardless of the stake. If the minimum amount to create a pool is not greater than the MAB, this will not be true anymore. To change pool you need to wait 28 days. This will make people quite disappointed.

Not allowing pools to be active from their inception will yes require creators to attract funds, and if this does not work will likely centralize the whole thing to those pools with lots of funds.

Another angle to consider is that we do not know the real pattern of the MAB. I doubt will increase like that forever. It will likely be cyclical (as markets are). So, in this narrative makes sense that we adapt the entry level of pools to it.

My opinion leans more towards @filippoweb3 than @radha, for 2 main reasons:

  1. the appeal / magic of nomination pools is that stakers can just choose a pool (which is not locked or destroying) and start earning rewards, without having to worry about active / inactive status. This is part of what sets pools apart from nominating directly. If we allow new pools to slip into the inactive category then we are relegating the experience to that of nominating, and moving back on the progress we have made with pools since their inception.

  2. The issue of Minimum Active Bond is one that is solved by scaling the staking system itself, and we are in process of doing this with paged payouts, dynamic nominations, and so forth. It is not solved by worsening the proposition of nomination pools, even if that means a temporary increase in the creation bond. We can equally vote to decrease the minimum creation bond as well as increase it, relative to the bottlenecks of the staking system.

@ankan is correct in that the UI can filter active pools - this is what staking dashboard does by default. But there is no guarantee other UIs will do this. I’d also argue that having to worry about being inactive in a pool really does take a hit on pool perception and its underlying value proposition.

1 Like

appreciate everyone chiming in. My thoughts are twofold here:

  1. Pro the proposal, I think the process of needing to update MAB was much more severe than this, as it was time critical and dictated the only entry barrier to staking for all non-validators. This is a much more relaxed situation. Therefore, we can be more creative or lenient.

  2. Against the proposal, the mindset of “the pool needs to be active from day zero” comes from early days were the entire community was fairly traumatized about MAB related issues and we needed to tackle that without compromise. I think now we are in a position where a sufficient pool of pools (pun intended) with diverse opinions exists for stakers to join and this trauma is over. Therefore, I am open to letting the MinCreateBond remain as is, and some pools to remain inactive, possibly competing in an open market through attracting members without needing eg. 1kDOT.

In other words, I’m afraid that endlessly raising MinCreateBond is analogous to needing validators to have the 1.7 mDOT required to generate rewards out of pocket before letting nominators join them. Of course, there is a subtle difference where in nomination, you can nominate multiple inactive validators, while as a pool member you can only join one pool, and it better be active.

All in all, I am mildly leaning towards leaving MinCreateBond as-is rather then increasing it, but I find both approaches acceptable. In any case, exercising the governance discussion and tools (if we chose to alter parameters) is encouraged.

Reading the conversation in Adjusting Polkadot's Ideal Staking Rate Calculation - #9 by kckyeung, I am actually now of the opinion that in anticipation of more stakers, we should encourage more pools to be created, in order to incentivize more and more nominators to become pool members or operators.

With that, I suggest easing the pool creation metrics, not the opposite.