Neuron Management and ICP Tokens

What is a neuron hotkey and how do I use it?

A Hotkey is a tool that lets you use a different controller to see the balance, maturity, dissolve delay, and other details of a neuron. These keys can be used to perform actions with limited privileges, such as voting, without exposing the secret key corresponding to the principal (e.g., could be a WebAuthn key).

Hotkeys can be used to manage a neuron and provides an alternative to using the principal’s cold key to manage the neuron, which might be more difficult to keep secure, especially if it is used regularly. A hotkey could be a WebAuthn key that is maintained inside a user device, such as a smartphone.


The following actions can be initiated using the principal or a hotkey that has been configured:

  • Vote
  • Have the neuron vote to either adopt or reject a proposal with a specified ID.
  • Follow
  • Add a rule that enables the neuron to vote automatically on proposals that belong to a specific topic, by specifying a group of followee neurons whose majority vote is followed.