You may think of staking as a less resource-intensive alternative to mining. It involves holding funds in a cryptocurrency wallet to support the security and operations of a blockchain network. Simply put, staking is the act of locking cryptocurrencies to receive rewards.
In most cases, you’ll be able to stake your coins directly from your crypto wallet, such as Trust Wallet. On the other hand, many exchanges offer staking services to their users. Binance Staking lets you earn rewards in an utterly simple way – all you have to do is hold your coins on the exchange. More on this later.
To get a better grasp of what staking is, you’ll first need to understand how Proof of Stake (PoS) works. PoS is a consensus mechanism that allows blockchains to operate more energy-efficiently while maintaining a decent degree of decentralization (at least, in theory). Let’s dive into what PoS is and how staking works.
What is Proof of Stake (PoS)?
If you know how Bitcoin works, you’re probably familiar with Proof of Work (PoW). It’s the mechanism that allows transactions to be gathered into blocks. Then, these blocks are linked together to create the blockchain. More specifically, miners compete to solve a complex mathematical puzzle, and whoever solves it first gets the right to add the next block to the blockchain.
This way, what determines which participants create a block isn’t based on their ability to solve hash challenges as it is with Proof of Work. Instead, it’s determined by how many staking coins they are holding.
Who created Proof of Stake?
What is Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS)?
DPoS allows users to commit their coin balances as votes, where voting power is proportional to the number of coins held. These votes are then used to elect a number of delegates who manage the blockchain on behalf of their voters, ensuring security and consensus. Typically, the staking rewards are distributed to these elected delegates, who then distribute part of the rewards to their electors proportionally to their individual contributions.
Simply put, DPoS allows users to signal their influence through other participants of the network.
How does staking work?
This allows for blocks to be produced without relying on specialized mining hardware, such as ASICs. While ASIC mining requires a significant investment in hardware, staking requires a direct investment in the cryptocurrency itself. So, instead of competing for the next block with computational work, PoS validators are selected based on the number of coins they are staking. The “stake” (the coin holding) is what incentivizes validators to maintain network security. If they fail to do that, their entire stake might be at risk
While each Proof of Stake blockchain has its particular staking currency, some networks adopt a two-token system where the rewards are paid in a second token.
How are staking rewards calculated?
There’s no short answer here. Each blockchain network may use a different way of calculating staking rewards.
Some are adjusted on a block-by-block basis, taking into account many different factors. These can include:
- how many coins the validator is staking
- how long the validator has been actively staking
- how many coins are staked on the network in total
- the inflation rate
- other factors
For some other networks, staking rewards are determined as a fixed percentage. These rewards are distributed to validators as a sort of compensation for inflation. Inflation encourages users to spend their coins instead of holding them, which may increase their usage as cryptocurrency. But with this model, validators can calculate exactly what staking reward they can expect.
What is a staking pool?
Setting up and maintaining a staking pool often requires a lot of time and expertise. Staking pools tend to be the most effective on networks where the barrier of entry (technical or financial) is relatively high. As such, many pool providers charge a fee from the staking rewards that are distributed to participants.
Most staking pools require a low minimum balance and append no additional withdrawal times. As such, joining a staking pool instead of staking solo might be ideal for newer users.
What is cold staking?
Networks that support cold staking allow users to stake while securely holding their funds offline. It’s worth noting that if the stakeholder moves their coins out of cold storage, they’ll stop receiving rewards.
Cold staking is particularly useful for large stakeholders who want to ensure maximum protection of their funds while supporting the network.
How to stake on Binance
Proof of Stake and staking opens up more avenues for anyone wishing to participate in the consensus and governance of blockchains. What’s more, it’s an utterly easy way to earn passive income by simply holding coins. As it’s getting increasingly easy to stake, the barriers of entry to the blockchain ecosystem are getting lower.
It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that staking isn’t entirely without risk. Locking up funds in a smart contract is prone to bugs, so it’s always important to DYOR and use high-quality wallets, such as Trust Wallet.