You have probably heard of staking if you have been interested in cryptocurrencies for a long time. Staking can be a complex or simple concept for you, depending on how you approach it, just like any other bitcoin topic. In any case, staking can be a reliable source of passive income in the world of cryptocurrencies, as every investor and trader knows.
Therefore, today we will look at staking, how they work and what you should do if you want to make money from it. Then let’s start!
Definition of staking
Cryptocurrency owners have the opportunity to place their digital assets through stakes and receive passive income without selling them.
You “lock” your crypto assets during the staking process in order to maintain the blockchain network and use them to confirm transactions in exchange for a reward or “interest”.
A key component of the traditional proof-of-work system, staking is an alternative to mining that uses fewer resources. Staking is only possible through the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus method, so understanding PoS guidelines is a must to understand what staking is. Let’s briefly go over the definitions of PoW and PoS.
Proof of work is a consensus mechanism for confirming and recording cryptocurrency transactions or blocks. Miners around the world use a significant amount of computing power to solve mathematical “puzzles” and create long strings of characters known as “hashes” that match the target hash for the current block.
A certain amount of bitcoins is awarded to the first person to complete this work. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain cannot be extended without proof of work.
A consensus technique called Proof of Stake uses a contention-based verification process to approve transactions and create new blocks on the blockchain. PoS requires a network of investors; these investors, also known as “stakeholders”, donate their bitcoins to create new blocks on the blockchain.
For this reason, it is called Proof of Stake. “Staking” is the facilitating action in question. Investors are paid in proportion to the size of their part of the investment; the more you stake and the longer you keep digital assets in the pool, the more benefits you will earn.
The Proof-of-Stake mining algorithm promotes the creation of new blocks in the chain, similar to the Proof-of-Work mining method. Simply put, the key difference is that you must participate in staking in order to create new blocks, but there are a few specifics that should be noted.
By squandering energy, miners demonstrate that their capital is in danger. Validators accurately place money in the form of their cryptocurrency in a staking pool in the Proof-of-Stake network. The staked coin subsequently acts as collateral and can be confiscated in case the validator acts dishonestly or recklessly.
Staking requires no hardware and consumes very little power, unlike mining, which is open to anyone who wants to participate.
How do I add cryptocurrency to my staking?
As stated earlier, staking is only possible for currencies using the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. Let’s now take a look at how the whole betting procedure works and what it entails. You need to deposit your cryptocurrency into the crypto protocol before you can start betting. This protocol then selects a subset of these participants – validators – to validate blocks of transactions, and those who contributed the most are selected, while others can still participate in the staking process.
Pools often operate on a two-tier basis, with the administrator controlling the validators and making sure everything is running smoothly. After receiving the awards, they are divided between the pool operator and the pool delegates. You must deposit a large amount of coins to become a validator. The likelihood that the protocol will select you as a validator increases as you deposit more coins.
A validator is randomly selected to provide blocks in each slot. This validator must generate and transmit this new block to all other nodes in the network. The validity of the submitted block is evaluated by the votes of a set of validators, which is also randomly selected for each position.
Even when you place bets, you usually retain ownership of your crypto holdings.
Basically, you make them work, and in most situations, you have the option to cancel them if you change your mind and want your money back. However, since some cryptocurrencies and/or staking pools require you to deposit coins within a certain period of time, the cancellation process can sometimes be quick.
Staking can be done in a number of ways, including as a validator, through staking pools, exchanges, and staking through exchanges.
Validators used in staking
Transactions must be verified by validators to ensure the security of the network. To confirm transactions, you stake coins and are selected randomly.
You must wager a certain number of coins to have a chance to be randomly selected and appear on the reel as a validator. The minimum required coins can vary significantly depending on the cryptocurrency.
However, in addition to the number of coins wagered by a validator, other factors affect the chances of selection, including the size of the current set and the number of validators waiting in the pool.
But compared to the other two approaches described below, validation is a much more difficult task.
Being a validator means taking ownership of the shares of your existing nominators in addition to a significant initial investment (on the Ethereum network, this would be 32 ETH).
The validator must also be able to resolve any technical issues that arise on its own.
Staking on an exchange
Staking through exchanges is somewhat comparable to staking by joining staking pools, but it is a more convenient and even less complicated approach, since exchanges often do not require you to worry about security or reliability.
Major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase allow their users to list coins for a fee. Typically, exchanges list cryptocurrencies on behalf of their clients.
Most exchanges charge customers for staking rewards, but they also provide significant returns. The most practical method of staking may be exchanges.
The downside is that you can often only stake a small number of supported currencies on exchanges. Therefore, you should look elsewhere if you want to stake a rather unusual coin.
Another problem is that some currencies, which can only have one choice, do not allow you to choose a block time when placing stakes on exchanges.
For example, you can no longer block Litecoin (LTC) on Binance for less than 120 days.
Staking pool selection
When choosing a staking pool, it is very important to do some research, choose the one that best suits your requirements and determine if the pool is really worth it for you.
Depending on your interests, you can look for pools where you can only bet on one cryptocurrency (like Ethereum or Polkadot), or pools where you can bet hundreds of currencies. When considering joining a pool, there are a few general signs to keep in mind. So, what criteria should be used to select a staking pool?
1) Consistency. If the servers for your staking pool are always down or broken, it is almost difficult to earn interest. Try to pick one that has a lot of industry experience and 100% uptime.
2) Pool size. Smaller pools are less likely to be selected to validate blocks, but if they are, they can provide larger payouts because they don’t have to distribute the prize among more participants. However, the too small pool could not work. As a result, medium sized pools may be the best option for most investors.
3) Fees. Staking income is usually reduced by a tiny pool fee. Fees vary depending on the specific betting pool and currency you choose, however, the most typical fees are between 2% and 5%.
4) Recording tracks. Reliability is another issue that needs to be addressed. A few blocks and a few epochs can show that the pool is trustworthy and working correctly. It is important to confirm if this particular pool has been around for a while by looking at the registration date. You can also read other members’ ratings to determine if they are favorable or unfavorable.
Staking in Off-chain and On-Chain
Another important aspect of staking bitcoins is the decision whether you start the procedure online or offline. As the name suggests, On-Chain places your tokens directly on a specific blockchain network.
This is his simplest performance.
The blockchain log must be fully downloaded to your computer before you can join a staking node on the network with a compatible wallet. On-chain staking is more suitable for investors who have a deeper understanding and experience with cryptocurrencies, even if they can give you direct access to the blockchain.
If you are inexperienced or want to keep things simple, it is better to choose an offline betting provider. The platform offering offline services may be used without notice. This is because you are dealing directly with the betting site and not with the blockchain network. Once you have chosen your staking platform, cryptocurrency, and desired block duration, there is nothing more for you to do.
Best cryptocurrencies to stake
First of all, keep in mind that not all cryptocurrencies can be staked; only those that follow the PoS protocol are eligible. Use currencies that are generally stable, meaning that they have a respectable market capitalization, a significant number of holders, and a good reputation.
It is important to remember that when you place a bet, you are locking up your coins for a certain period of time. As a result, you need to be sure that the coin you choose will not depreciate during this time due to unfavorable market conditions or because their development team made a number of bad decisions.
The supply of the cryptocurrency you choose to stake is the deciding factor to consider. Once the supply of a coin is established, demand and scarcity can push the price up over time. Possible future profits from betting limited edition coins.
Last but not least, it is recommended to choose coins with practical applications. Therefore, if the project is implemented in the real world, there will still be high demand for it, indicating that its value will increase over time.
So which cryptocurrency should you focus on? Let’s take a look at the different digital currencies that might be suitable for staking:
Ethereum, which once used the PoW technique, is moving to PoS. The Ethereum platform upon which many decentralized applications are based is known as the blockchain and is home to Ethereum, the second most famous cryptocurrency in the world. You must stake at least 32 ETH or join pools if you want to be a validator (deposit any amount of ETH and earn passive income).
According to the Ethereum website, starting July 21, you can earn up to 4.2% per annum.
This is how Solana, a blockchain created specifically to support decentralized applications or dApps, differs from other well-known blockchains such as Ethereum or Cardano.
Thanks to its fast operation and affordable transaction costs, Solana was able to attract the attention of investors. Solana can handle approximately 50,000 transactions per second, as opposed to 15 for Ethereum, however this is expected to change in a future ETH 2.0 release. At the time of writing, you can bet SOL in the Socean staking pool at 6.30% per annum.
Cardano is recognized as a smart contract platform similar to Ethereun. Cardano, like Solana, was created to address scalability and reliability issues, as well as being able to process several hundred transactions per second (Cardano can currently process around 250 transactions per second). For 120-day ADA holding, Binance now provides an APR of 15.79%.
With Polkadot, any data or assets can be transferred between blockchains, not just tokens. It is the next generation blockchain protocol.
In addition, by processing a large number of transactions simultaneously, communication protocols such as Polkadot can avoid the so-called bottlenecks that occur in traditional networks that process transactions one at a time. As of this writing, Bybit is providing 3.52% APR in exchange for listing DOT on its exchange.
If your main goal when staking cryptocurrencies is to generate passive income without the volatility of other cryptocurrencies, a stablecoin like USDC is definitely the best option for you.
You can invest your money in USDC with confidence because Coinbase supports it while many other stablecoins are staking. According to Staking Rewards, you can earn 6.23% per annum by staking USDC.
Naturally, the list of cryptocurrencies that can be staked is not exhaustive. On the CoinMarketCap website, you can always sort PoS coins by market cap and choose the one you think is best for you.
Pros and cons of cryptocurrency staking
There are several benefits to staking, which are listed below. However, staking has some dangers and limitations like any other cryptocurrency activity, so you should always be informed about them before you start staking. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages of staking:
1) You can increase the supply of currency or tokens. The amount of the payment can, of course, be extremely dominant depending on the dynamics, but the basic concept is always the same: you lock your coins when you exchange them for a reward.
2) Tariffs use less power and are more aesthetically pleasing. Since mining requires a reliable mining farm and a large supply of inexpensive electricity, it is not suitable for everyone. Stakes have a much lower entry threshold because they don’t require as many resources from you.
3) Your voting power can be determined by your bid. A participant may have more influence on what happens to a particular currency in the future if they participate in the voting ecosystem or network in South America. Think of it like voting shares in a corporation.
1) Bitcoin is unreliable. As you already know, the volatility and expected browsing speed of cryptocurrencies is well known. In addition, the coin you are betting on may depreciate over time, reducing the potential payout from what you would expect.
2) Keep your lock time in mind. You will not have access to coins for a while if you freeze your money for several months or years. It is possible to unlock your money in some circumstances, but it is not always possible, so you may have to wait until the lock expires.
3) There are additional fees. You are mistaken if you think that staking has no cost. Lastly, you may have to accept a fee depending on the betting exchange or platform you choose.
This post is also available in: Русский