Staking ICP tokens on the Internet Computer is a safe and secure way to earn rewards by voting on proposals that determine how the Internet Computer operates. Neuron owners can vote actively, or choose to set a neuron to automatically follow the votes of other neurons in a form of liquid democracy. Staking is the act of locking ICP within a neuron with a dissolve delay.
Each neuron has its own identifier, and several attributes relating to its stake. These include:
- the dissolve delay (length of time it is locked);
- whether it is currently dissolving;
- and the maturity (how much reward it has accrued as a result of voting on proposals)
To create a neuron, you must lock up some number of ICP tokens for a period of time. The period of time the stake is locked can vary from six months up to a maximum of eight years. Once a neuron is locked with a minimum dissolve delay of six months, it gains the ability to submit proposals as well as vote on them through the NNS dapp. Voting in turn generates your voting rewards, based on how active a neuron is in voting on proposals.
Every day, the NNS calculates a fixed neurons reward according to a schedule, which it then divides among all eligible neurons according to their relative claims. For neurons that have participated in all votes, their relative claim derives proportionally from the number of ICP tokens locked inside and the dissolve delay remaining before the locked ICP tokens will be released. Neurons that vote automatically still receive their full share of the voting reward, as they enable the NNS to securely reach decisions quickly.
To learn more about rewards, check out the Internet Computer Wiki.