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Staking, Unstaking, and Redelegating Mina Tokens: The Next Level of Staking Flexibility

Mina is much more than just another proof of stake blockchain. In fact, it’s the lightest blockchain ever weighing in at a fixed size of just 22kB. And no matter how much Mina’s usage grows, the blockchain stays the same size, and this is possible because of the protocol’s use of recursive Zero-knowledge Proofs. This is an extremely powerful breakthrough that enables use cases that are uniquely beneficial to Mina participants - namely in the area of staking and the flexibility at which you can access and re-delegate staked funds. This is what we’ll focus on throughout this article. 

The consensus mechanism used to secure Mina Protocol, called Ouroboros Samasika, is an extended modification of Cardano’s Ouroboros proof of stake (PoS). This means Mina inherits a number of benefits from Cardano such as a high degree of security and decentralization and there is no limit on the number of block producers who can earn tokens from transaction fees and block rewards. That said, there are three key participants in Mina Protocol’s consensus:

  1. Verifiers: Who adds security to the blockchain - just like nodes on Bitcoin.
  2. Block Producers: Who are like miners on Bitcoin or stakers on other PoS protocols. They create blocks containing transactions and earn tokens from transaction fees and block rewards.
  3. And finally, SNARK Producers: Who generate transaction proofs to help compress data on the network, and then sell those SNARK proofs to block producers on the Snarketplace for a portion of the block rewards. 

The main difference between Ouroboros and Mina’s Ouroboros Samasika is that rather than the long-range chain checking to verify which chain is real, as seen with Cardano and other PoS protocols, Mina replaces this process with a single number that stands in for checking all the blocks on a chain. This means Mina can achieve consensus without requiring history or depending on centralized third parties to provide fork information - and this puts Mina as the first provably secure PoS protocol.

A Uniquely Flexible and Safe Staking Experience

 

With the Mina Protocol, it’s easy to become either a validator or a delegator, and there’s also no minimum stake amount required to participate. We cover how and where to stake Mina tokens here, so below we’ll focus on how to unstake and redelegate your Mina tokens. 


For starters, it’s important to know that funds staked on Mina are not locked up and they are also not subject to slashing. This means you can re/un-delegate, transfer, sell, or donate your Mina tokens anytime you want.

That said, let’s first have a look at how to unstake your Mina.

Unstaking Mina Tokens

 

One of the main things that confuses many Mina participants when it comes to unstaking and undelegating their tokens is that there is no “Unstake” or “Undelegate” command like you find in most staking protocols. Again, that’s because funds staked on Mina are never locked, and can be accessed anytime.

With that in mind, and assuming you have your Mina tokens delegated to a validator, you can do any of the following to unstake/undelegate:

  • Transfer, sell or donate your staked tokens at any time.
  • Undelegate at any time by re-delegating the stake back to the original account (technically, these would still be staked, but just to your own account and not a validator).
  • Simply redelegate your already delegated Mina tokens to another validator.

Redelegating Mina Tokens

 

As highlighted on the Mina website, delegated funds are not spendable (by the validator) and can be undelegated (or re-delegated to another validator) at any time. And once you redelegate your stake, there is a latency period of 2-4 weeks before your new stake delegation comes into effect. 

So let’s have a look at some examples of redelegating your Mina tokens below: 

Example #1: Using Clor.io

Let’s say you have Mina staked to your own address or with another Validator, and you want to redelegate your tokens to Everstake. First, be sure to take note of the correct address: B62qpYmDbDJAyADVkJzydoz7QeZy1ZTiWeH1LSuyMxXezvu5mAQi53U, and then follow the steps below.

Step 1: Access your wallet and go to the Staking Hub

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Step 2: Locate Everstake in the delegator list and click the Delegate button

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Step 3: Simply follow the prompts to choose your fee and confirm the transaction as usual.

Example #2 Using the Auro Chrome Extension or Mobile App

Step 1: Access your wallet and click on the Staking Icon

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Step 2: Click on the Change button

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Step 3: Type in Everstake in the search box, click the checkmark next to it when it appears, then click on the Next button

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Step 3: Follow the fee prompts, click Next and then confirm the transaction

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Example #3 Using a Ledger Nano S

Redelegating your MINA using your Ledger will follow a similar sequence of steps to the examples above. That means you can still use wallet interfaces such as Clor.io and Auro.

Just be sure to follow the latest news and instructions on Ledger support and procedures found on Mina’s official website.

A Deeper Look at When to Expect Rewards

 

If you want to see how much MINA you can earn when you delegate your tokens with Everstake, you can use our staking rewards calculator here. When you enter the amount of MINA you want to delegate, the staking calculator will display your corresponding daily, monthly and yearly reward amounts.

But beyond the amounts, you’ll want to know when your delegated stake will start to earn rewards, and that’s what we’ll focus on in this section.

First, some basic Mina concepts and terminology to help you understand the timing behind reward distributions:

  • Epoch: In Mina, every 14 days, the stake distribution is recalculated. These 14-day intervals are called epoch.
  • Slots: Each epoch consists of a number of slots (which lasts for 3 minutes). Each epoch in Mina includes 7140 slots (which takes around 14 days).
  • Slot 290: Staking data for the next epoch generates before or at 290 slots of the current epoch.
  • Redelegation Latency Period: Remember that once you redelegate your stake, there is a latency period of 2 to 4 weeks before your new stake delegation comes into effect. 


Mina’s Block Producers store the current state of the blockchain and send a snapshot of this state to verifiers. And it’s important to note that this snapshot is made on slot 290. So the reason there is a latency period of 2 to 4 weeks before your new stake delegation comes into effect, is that it depends on whether you made your redelegation before or after the snapshot - with the difference being 1 epoch (which is approximately 14 days).

Let’s Use An Example...

 

Let’s assume you redelegate your stake from your currently chosen Block Producer (validator) to Everstake in epoch 2, after 290 slots. Keeping in mind that in Mina you do not technically “unstake” when redelegating, you will actually continue to receive your rewards from the previous validator for epoch 1 and 2, in epoch 2 and 3 - and ultimately you’ll start to receive rewards from Everstake from epoch 5, onwards.

Here’s a high-level view to give a bit of context on how this works:

  1. The snapshot for epoch 3 is taken in slot 290 of epoch 2, and in this snapshot, you, as a delegator, are still with the previous validator (and not Everstake yet).
  2. The snapshot for epoch 3 includes the information that you are in Everstake’s list of delegators, but this only takes effect in the next epoch.
  3. Now in epoch 4, you are included in Everstake’s list of delegators and will start accruing rewards, however, you will not actually receive those rewards just yet - as Everstake has not paid them out yet.
  4. Because Everstake pays once per epoch, you will now start to receive your rewards in epoch 5, for the previous epoch, which is epoch 4 as noted above. 
  5. Continuing with the above, you’ll receive your rewards for epoch 5 in epoch 6, then your rewards for epoch 6 in epoch 7, and so on.

Mina Unstaking/Redelegation FAQs

 

Q: I redelegated my Mina stake, but don’t see it reflected. What’s going on?

A: Once you redelegate, there is a delay of 2-4 weeks before it is reflected.

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Q: I can’t find a button/command to unstake Mina inside my Mina wallet. How exactly do I unstake my tokens?

A: Delegating your Mina tokens does not lock them, so you can re/un-delegate, transfer, sell, or donate your Mina anytime you want.

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Q: I want to unstake/redelegate just a portion of a staked Mina to another validator so that I have Mina delegated with more than one validator. How do I do that?

A: When you delegate your stake in Mina, the whole balance of the account is delegated. So if for example you have 10 Mina in your account and you want to delegate 5 of them to a different validator, you’ll need to transfer the 5 Mina to a different address you generate and delegate the separate stake from there.

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Q: With other projects, I usually see that they have unbonding periods of 7 to 28 days. Is it the same with Mina?

A: Mina tokens staked to your own account or delegated to a validator are never locked. So when you want to unstake or redelegate, you can do that at any time.

Need More Support?

If you ever need additional support for how to redelegate your tokens, please get in touch via our social networks and website and we’ll be happy to help.

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