Existential Deposit and Litentry Staking

3 min readDec 20, 2023

What is an Existential Deposit

In the Polkadot (and Kusama) blockchain, the user’s account balances should always stay above or equal to a minimum value. Otherwise, the balance will be completely wiped off by the blockchain. This minimum value is referred to as Existential Deposit (ED).

In Polkadot and most Substrate-based chains, wallet accounts with low balances are automatically emptied to keep the blockchains safe and efficient. These low-balance accounts are called dust accounts and they need to be completely removed (reaped) from the blockchain and have their nonce reset to prevent them from bloating the chain state.

It is important to mention that you do not lose access to the reaped address — as long as you have your private key or recovery phrase, you can still use the address — but it needs a top-up of another existential deposit to be able to interact with the chain.

The Existential Deposit of the Polkadot blockchain is currently set at 1 DOT (and 0.0000333333 KSM on the Kusama network). Without the Existential Deposit feature, a user could create 1,000,000 accounts of 0.000001 DOT each from 1 DOT. In the event that many users do this, the network becomes congested (bloated), making it slower, unsafe, and expensive to manage — the fee also increases.

Important: For your account not to be deleted, it must be active. To keep your wallet active, you must keep at least 1 DOT or 0.0000333333 KSM on the Polkadot and Kusama networks respectively.

Here is a list of what you need to know regarding Extensional Deposit while Staking on Litentry:

  • If you are staking all (or almost all) of your funds out of an account, which will result in the remaining balance going under the ED, the account will be reaped and any remaining funds will be burned. Anyway, an account can be reactivated anytime, however, this will not bring back any previously burned funds.
  • Accounts that have never received a deposit are not discoverable on block explorers like Subscan.
  • When staking on Litentry make sure that your balance doesn’t drop below the Existential Deposit (0.1 LIT + tx fee) or that you contribute your entire balance.

Here is a detailed guide on How to Participate in Lit Staking on Litentry.

Note: You can send your entire balance out anytime. The existential deposit is NOT unspendable. It just keeps your account alive. If you decide you want to deactivate this account, you can send your entire balance out anytime.

About Litentry

Litentry is a privacy-preserving Identity Aggregation protocol that enables granular access to and control of data. Featuring a DID indexing protocol and a Substrate-built distributed DID validation blockchain, Litentry provides a decentralized, interoperable identity aggregation service that mitigates the difficulty of resolving agnostic DID mechanisms. Litentry provides a secure vehicle through which users manage their identities and dApps obtain real-time DID data of an identity owner across different blockchains.

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