What does it mean to stake your ICP utility tokens?

For Internet Computer blockchain participants to be able to engage in network governance and vote on proposals, they need to lock up a stake of ICP utility tokens for a given period of time to create a voting “neuron” within the Network Nervous System (NNS), the open algorithmic governance system that governs the Internet Computer.

Because neurons represent a stake of ICP utility tokens, they also represent an identity with a ledger canister smart contract account and a principal that controls the ledger account. Staking ICP in a neuron provides participants voting power and helps to determine the future of the Internet Computer ecosystem.

Neurons provide the stability required for responsible governance of the Internet Computer by ensuring that the ICP utility tokens they represent cannot be exchanged for a specific period of time, which is referred to as the lock-up period. This period of time can range anywhere from 6 months to 8 years.


For more information on staking, check out the Internet Computer Wiki and the Internet Computer Docs.