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SUBMIT AN ISSUElast edit: Feb 20, 2024



See also Staking.

TAO holders can delegate any amount of their stake to a subnet validator through a process called delegation. Delegation on Bittensor network works like this:

  • A TAO holder, i.e., a delegator, also called a nominator, stakes with a subnet validator, making this subnet validator a delegate of the nominator. This provides support to the delegate as the delegate's effective stake becomes larger, which increases the delegate's impact on the network.
  • The delegate (the subnet validator) then pools all such delegated stake, along with their own stake, and uses this total stake to perform validation tasks in one or more subnets. Daily staking rewards, in proportion to the total stake of the delegate, are credited to the delegate as a result of such validation tasks.
  • After deducting a percentage for the delegate, these staking rewards are given back to the delegate's nominators.
Delegate take %

The default value of the delegate take is 18%. As a delegate you can set your own delegate take % by using the btcli root set_delegate_take command. See Setting your delegate take.

  • The above percentage of the staking reward is distributed among the delegate's nominators in proportion to the nominators' staked TAO amount with this delegate.


Consider the below example:

  • A delegate holds their own TAO of 800.
  • Three nominators delegate 30, 70 and 100 TAO to the delegate.
  • The effective stake of the delegate is 1000 TAO (30+70+100 of the delegated TAO plus their own 800 TAO), comprising of 80% of delegate's own and remaining 20% from the nominators.

When the staking dividends are received, the dividends are shared in the following way:

  • The delegate would keep 80% of the dividends, based on their 80% proportion of the total stake (0.8).
  • In addition, the delegate would also keep 18% of the dividends earned on the delegated stake (delegated stake is 20%). This is the delegate take.
  • As a result:
    • Total dividends to the delegate are: 0.8 + 0.2*0.18=0.836 of the received dividends.
    • Dividends for each nominator are: 0.03*(1-0.18)=0.0246, 0.07*(1-0.18)=0.0574 and 0.1*(1-0.18)=0.082, of the received dividends, respectively.
A nominator is a delegating authority

A nominator is the same as a delegating authority. Typically a nominator is an owner of TAO funds, looking to invest in Bittensor network without doing any validating tasks.

Delegate examples

Becoming a delegate

If you are a registered subnet validator, you can become a delegate. To become a delegate:

  1. You must make your hotkey available for the nominators.
  2. You must provide your delegate information and sign it.

The nominators will then delegate their TAO to this hotkey, i.e., the nominators will use your delegate hotkey as a wallet destination for their delegated TAO transfers.

Step 1: Nominate yourself as a delegate

Run the below command (for self nominating as a delegate):

btcli root nominate YOUR_WALLET_NAME
--wallet.hotkey YOUR_HOTKEY_NAME

Step 2: Provide your delegate information

Next, provide your delegate information, such as your delegate name, URL and description. This information will then be available in the list of active delegates, for example, when a nominator runs btcli root list_delegates to see available delegates.

To provide this information and sign it, follow the instructions on this Bittensor Delegates repo.

Setting your delegate take

As a delegate you can set your delegate percentage by running the below command:

btcli root set_delegate_take my_wallet --wallet.hotkey my_hotkey --take 0.1

where the value for the --take option is a floating point number between 0 and 1. In the above example, --take 0.1 sets the delegate take as 10%.

Nominator examples

Viewing available delegates

If you are looking for trusted delegate(s) to delegate your funds to, start by seeing a list of delegates who are already active on the Bittensor network. Run the below command on your terminal:

btcli root list_delegates

You will get an output like this (click on the image to zoom):

List Delegates

See below for an explanation of the column headings in the above terminal output:

INDEXDelegates with larger total stake are higher in the list.
DELEGATEThe name of the delegate. Click on the name to visit the delegate website. Only shows if the delegate has registered.
SS58The SS58 hotkey of the delegate.
NOMINATORSThe number of nominators, i.e., delegators, who have delegated to this delegate. This is also the number of unique cold keys (i.e., number of nominators) who have nominated to this hotkey (i.e., to this delegate).
DELEGATE STAKE(τ)The amount of delegate's own stake (not the TAO delegated from any nominators). This is the the amount of stake that the delegate-owned coldkey has delegated to this delegate's hotkey (distinct from TAO delegated from others).
TOTAL STAKE(τ)The total amount of stake delegated to this delegator's hotkey.
CHANGE/(4h)The percent change in the total stake delegated to this delegate within the past 4 hours.
VPERMITShows the subnets for which the validator permits are held by the delegate.
TAKEShows the delegate take percentage.
NOMINATOR/(24h)/kτStake reward distributed to this delegate's nominators within the past 24 hour period (per 1000 TAO).
DELEGATE/(24h)Stake reward cut taken by this delegate within the past 24 hour period.
DescA description of the delegate.

Delegating tao

The below command will show a list of delegates sorted by their total stake. Select a delegate from this list to send your stake to.

btcli root delegate

Show your delegations

To show all your previously made delegations:


Use --all option to show delegations across all your wallets.

btcli root my_delegates