In Tezos community very often income newcomer questions, such as “I recently delegated and still haven't received any rewards”. It’s quite simple to start staking of purchased Tezos coins - go into the wallet, choose a delegate from the list and press one button. In this article we will try to explain the essence of the process that happens next. Watch the video tutorial or read the article
Staking vs Delegation
First of all - it's the same thing. Staking is a generalized concept of participation in the process of forming and signing blocks in any Proof-of-Stake algorithm (it is the action of producing and signing a block). Delegation is when you delegate the staking rights to another person, rather than setting your own node.
Tezos staking is called baking. Tezos validator - baker.
In Tezos, the baking process is divided into cycles - that is, the rights to confirm blocks in the network are distributed among all bakers by cycles. One cycle has 4096 blocks, a block is formed at least every minute. In total, 1 cycle is approximately 2 days and 20 hours.
Delegation in Tezos is absolutely safe - your funds are not frozen and do not move anywhere. You can spend them or change the delegate at any time.
Let’s follow the delegation process from pressing the “Delegate” button in your wallet (check out how to delegate with Atomex here) to receiving your first payment.
When you click “Delegate”, the corresponding operation is created. You can check that it went without errors in Tezos explorer.
After you delegate your status is “Pending”. That means you have to wait 2 cycles (5-6 days) before your funds start working.
Delegation: “Pending” status on Tezos explorer
After 2 cycles (~5-6 days) you get the status of “Confirmed”. It means your funds are confirmed and will definitely participate in future baking cycles and you will receive your rewards.
Delegation: “Confirmed” status on Tezos explorer
After 5 more cycles (14-15 days) - the status is “Active” and you're already in the baking process.
Baking rewards are credited to the baker and not immediately to you (delegators).
After the reward is credited to the baker, it still cannot be distributed, since it is frozen. Unfreezing occurs after 5 cycles (~14 days) after receiving rewards. And after that can be distributed between delegators. However, some bakers use an advance payment system, without waiting when rewards are unfrozen. They pay in advance with their own funds.
For the 5 cycles that your status has been "Confirmed" you have been given a number of blocks for future baking. So, you know how many rewards you will receive in the next 5 cycles.
Baking Bad dashboard: future rewards
Even if you withdraw your funds or change your baker, you will still receive rewards in the next 5 cycles.
This lifecycle of the delegation process will be applied to every new amount of Tez that comes to your wallet. This is the case if you decide to raise additional funds. Well, the same applies to rewards you've received.
So, you will receive the first payment either after 37 days or after 23 days if the baker pays in advance. It is worth noting that a baker may have a different payout schedule. Use the Baking Bad dashboard to find out and to track payments. For more information on how to check your rewards, see the How to check payouts video.
If you want to top up your wallet, you should make sure that your baker has enough free space, because it's limited at every baker based on his own deposit. You can find more information on How to choose delegate video or read the instructions on Baking Bad.