If you’re a crypto investor, or just starting out in crypto, staking is a concept you’ll hear about often. Staking is the way many cryptocurrencies verify their transactions, and it also allows participants to earn rewards on their holdings.
But what is crypto staking? Staking cryptocurrencies is a process that involves committing your crypto assets to support a blockchain network and confirm transactions.
It’s available with cryptocurrencies that use the proof-of-stake model to process payments. This is a more energy-efficient alternative to the original proof-of-work model. Proof of work requires mining devices that use computing power to solve mathematical equations.
Staking can be a great way to use your crypto to generate passive income, especially because some cryptocurrencies offer high interest rates for staking. Before you get started, it’s important to fully understand how crypto staking works.
With cryptocurrencies that use the proof-of-stake model, staking is how new transactions are added to the blockchain.
First, participants pledge their coins to the cryptocurrency protocol. From those participants, the protocol chooses validators to confirm blocks of transactions. The more coins you pledge, the more likely you are to be chosen as a validator.
Every time a block is added to the blockchain, new cryptocurrency coins are minted and distributed as staking rewards to that block’s validator. In most cases, the rewards are the same type of cryptocurrency that participants are staking. However, some blockchains use a different type of cryptocurrency for rewards.
If you want to stake crypto, you need to own a cryptocurrency that uses the proof-of-stake model. Then you can choose the amount you want to stake. You can do this through many popular cryptocurrency exchanges.
Your coins are still in your possession when you stake them. You’re essentially putting those staked coins to work, and you’re free to unstake them later if you want to trade them. The unstaking process may not be immediate; with some cryptocurrencies, you’re required to stake coins for a minimum amount of time.
Staking isn’t an option with all types of cryptocurrency. It’s only available with cryptocurrencies that use the proof-of-stake model.
Many cryptos use the proof-of-work model to add blocks to their blockchains. The problem with proof of work is that it requires considerable computing power. That has led to significant energy usage from cryptocurrencies that use proof of work. Bitcoin in particular has been criticized over environmental concerns.
Proof of stake, on the other hand, doesn’t require nearly as much energy. This also makes it a more scalable option that can handle greater numbers of transactions.
How to Stake
As previously noted, not all cryptocurrencies offer staking. You need a cryptocurrency that validates transactions with proof of stake. Here are a few of the major cryptocurrencies you can stake and a little bit about each one:
- Ethereum was the first cryptocurrency with a programmable blockchain that developers can use to create apps. Ethereum started out using proof of work, but it’s transitioning to a proof-of-stake model.
- Cardano is an eco-friendly cryptocurrency. It was founded on peer-reviewed research and developed through evidence-based methods.
- Polkadot is a protocol that allows different blockchains to connect and work with one another.
Start by learning more about any proof-of-stake cryptos that catch your eye, including how they work, their staking rewards, and the staking process with each one. Next, you can look for the crypto you want and buy it on cryptocurrency apps and exchanges. More on that topic will be coming soon!
Where to Stake?
Many of the cryptocurrency websites support staking directly through their site. You can also conduct research online, and find the most reputable sites and staking opportunities with the least amount of risk compared to the reward you are seeking. One example is a site called Looks Rare. Looks Rare is an NFT trading platform that, as of the time of this article, provides over 200% interest paid in WETH (Wrapped Ethereum) and their own tokens called LOOKS. (This is NOT an endorsement of Looks Rare*)