If you’re invested in Stellar, you need to be aware of inflation pools – you’re entitled to receive free XLM every week just for owning Lumens! The Stellar network has a built in inflation mechanism that increases the total supply of XLM by 1% each year. These new Lumens are distributed weekly to current holders, proportional to their XLM balance; the more Lumens you have, the more you’ll receive each week.
What many investors aren’t aware of is that you aren’t sent these Lumens by default, you first need to configure your wallet to be able to receive them. This guide will walk you through joining a Stellar inflation pool and configuring your wallet so that you can start claiming your free Lumens!
If you haven’t got any Stellar Lumens yet, follow this guide to get started.
What is a Stellar Inflation Pool?
Stellar uses a system to distribute the inflation Lumens where holding 1 XLM allows you to cast 1 vote. For an account to be entitled to the free Lumens, it must receive votes equal to 0.05% or more of the total supply of Lumens, i.e. about 52 million votes currently. If you had 52 million Lumens, you could vote for yourself and receive your inflation Lumens directly from Stellar, but for most investors an inflation pool is needed.
An inflation pool is just one central account that many users vote for to receive Lumens from the inflation distribution. With enough people, they can easily acquire the 52 million votes necessary. After receiving the inflation payout each week from Stellar, the person operating the pool distributes the Lumens from that account to all of the voters. This effectively allows investors to receive inflation Lumens without having to hold a massive 0.05% of the whole XLM supply.
Now that you know how an inflation pool works, this guide will show you how to join one.
How do I Join an Inflation Pool?
The method for joining an inflation pool depends on where your Lumens are stored. You can’t join an inflation pool if your XLM are on an exchange, though – your Lumens must be stored on a wallet where you control the private keys, such as a paper wallet, hardware wallet, or the Stellar desktop wallet.
If your Lumens are on an exchange, don’t worry; it costs practically nothing to move them. I recommend moving them to the Stellar desktop wallet, as it makes the inflation pool setup incredibly simple.
For this guide, we will be joining the Lumenaut community inflation pool. This is the best inflation pool you can join, as it pays out weekly and doesn’t charge fees like some other pools.
Method 1 – Using the Stellar Desktop Wallet
Joining an inflation pool with the Stellar desktop wallet takes less than 30 seconds. After setting up your wallet and funding it with your Lumens, all you need to do is:
1. Click on your account name in the top right of the desktop client
2. Click “Inflation Destination” in the menu on the left
3. Press “Vote to lumenaut.net”
4. Press “Save”
That’s all you have to do, you’ve joined the inflation pool!
Method 2 – Using a Paper or Hardware Wallet
For this method, you will either need to know the secret key of your paper wallet, or have your hardware wallet present.
1. Go to the Stellar Transaction Builder. This is a tool that allows you to send commands to the Stellar network.
2. Paste your public Stellar address into the “Source account” section and then press “Fetch next sequence number for account […]”.
3. Go down to the “Operation Type” section and select “Set Options” from the dropdown box. An “Inflation Destination” field should appear.
4. Paste the lumenaut.net inflation address (below) into the “Inflation Destination” field.
5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Sign in Transaction Signer”
6. On the next page, you will need to provide either your private key (if you have a paper wallet) or press “Sign with Default BIP Path” if you have a hardware wallet.
7. Press submit.
That’s it, you’ve joined the inflation pool. Now you just have to wait for the Lumens to start flowing into your wallet!
You can read more about Stellar here: 3 Reasons Why 2018 is Going to be Big for Stellar Lumens. And if you need help investing, read this guide.