Run a dedicated Polkadot managed controller with Coinbase Cloud

November 8, 2021

Coinbase Cloud’s managed controllers take the hassle out of managing Polkadot nominations for large-scale DOT holders

Coinbase Cloud provides multiple ways for DOT holders to earn participatory rewards on Polkadot. To optimize their participation on Polkadot, large-scale DOT holders may want to distribute their stake to delegate and/or run multiple validators. That’s because Polkadot rewards every validator equally.

“Coinbase Cloud offers a unique way for large-scale DOT holders to optimize Polkadot participation. Coinbase Cloud’s managed controllers can nominate your own Polkadot validators and fall back to a staking-as-a-service node in the event that you don’t have enough DOTs to run your own validator in a given epoch. This relieves one of the most challenging parts of managing your Polkadot nominations and is a huge benefit for easily optimizing your participation on Polkadot.”

— Aaron Henshaw, Head of Engineering Coinbase Cloud

Learn more in our guide to Polkadot’s Token Economics.

Controllers + Polkadot

A controller is a 1:1 proxy for your stash (where your tokens live). It acts on behalf of the DOTs in your stash to nominate validators and participate in consensus, but can’t access your funds. Using a controller means you can participate in staking and securing the network without accessing the stash account that controls the custody and movement of your funds.

Setting your stash as the controller introduces an unnecessary risk, given that controllers on Polkadot allow you to manage your nominations while keeping your stash account offline. 

Managing a Polkadot controller yourself, however, is time-consuming and difficult; it requires you to take frequent actions to properly maintain, distribute, and manage your participation.

Self-management may put your funds at risk of slashing, due to Polkadot’s liveness requirements. Slashing is a penalty enforced at the protocol level associated with a network or validator failure.  This risk can occur during times of severe network instability.

Using a Coinbase Cloud managed controller can help you avoid these pitfalls.

Coinbase Cloud managed controller

A dedicated Coinbase Cloud managed controller is non-custodial and helps optimize your Polkadot participation. It provides you with two options that are unique to working with Coinbase Cloud:

1. Run your own Polkadot validators

Automatically scale validators and distribute DOTs in your stash to increase your presence in the elected validator set. You can fall back to the Coinbase Cloud active Polkadot validators if you don’t have enough DOTs to run your own validator because of changing network conditions.

2. Easy nomination management for a staking-only approach

Running your own validator is not for everyone. But if you’re staking with Polkadot you’ll still have to monitor the validators you’re nominating, to make sure your DOTs remain in the active set. 

Coinbase Cloud managed controllers look after this for you, without ever taking custody of your DOTs. You can provide a list of public validators, or just choose Coinbase Cloud's public validators. We take care of the rest.

Benefits of using a Coinbase Cloud managed controller 

  • You retain custody and control of your stash and nominations.

  • Your DOTs stay in cold storage, where they’re safest.

  • Stakes are automatically distributed across multiple validators, to optimize your participation and ensure you are earning as many DOTS as the protocol allows. This also reduces the risk of slashing.

  • You participate with your own validators with the automatic fallback option of switching to your choice of SaaS providers (in case the volume of DOTs required to participate in the active set changes).

  • Delegations from your community are enabled. If you’re in the active set, community delegations to your node receive participatory rewards, and you receive a percentage.

Contact us today to set up your managed controller.

Get started

  • Coinbase Cloud’s managed controller helps optimize large-scale DOT holders’ participation on Polkadot. Reach out to set up your managed controller for delegation or to run dedicated validators with Coinbase Cloud.

You can also delegate directly to one of Coinbase Cloud’s Polkadot public nodes yourself by following these instructions.