Staking Platforms and services for Defi

Staking Platforms and services for Defi

By fblauer | Yield Hacking with Defi | 28 Jul 2020


Introduction

Time to start getting ready. "Proof of stake" networks have been around for a while, but have entered the spotlight more recently since most of the "next generation" of blockchains will be using this method of consensus, instead of proof of work, like Bitcoin. The one with the highest profile right now is Ethereum 2.0, but there are many others. 

​If you bought a coin like Polkadot, or Kava for example that you really believe in, you might as well stake it to earn extra rewards, especially if the network is in the early stages, and you don't need it for gas or voting, while you are waiting. You can outsource the "validation" services to one of the staking validators listed blow. Otherwise you will be losing money to inflation, since other tokenholders will be earning staking rewards, and the supply will increase. The first few services below will be of interest to investors, and the last one is more for IT companies that want to be nodes or validators themselves. 

You can utilise these services to delegate your network validation, and receive a share of staking rewards. Certain networks use the node or validation processes (like Tezos "baking" for example). But you have to invest in the coins first. The estimated staking returns are published, but will only be profitable if the coin goes up in value. This type of service will benefit you if you don't want to have to worry about infrastructure, security, maintenance, slashing rules, depending on the particular process involved etc. But, you are still subject to any lockup periods that the coins might impose, with the exception of the innovative Keysian project discussed below, since they have found a way to get around the lockup restrictions.

You can get a list of staking rewards by asset, and also staking providers (validators) at stakingrewards.com. 

Providers

Staked.us

"Staking and lending are both non-custodial. You are always in complete control of your private keys and funds throughout the staking and lending processes. You are free to undelegate or withdraw your funds at any time, subject to the lock-up requirements for each protocol." There is a different process for each blockchain network, which is documented when you go into the staking section. You can use their "reporting" section to monitor your staking (like a dashboard). They also have a Robo advisor for aggregated Defi lending services, called RAY, which I will cover in another post. 

 

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Chorus One

Acts as a validator, similar to staked.us. You might want to try them if your coin is not supported by one of the other similar services. Again, the staking process for each network is documented. 

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Figment networks

Another alternative to Staked.us, and Chorus.one, but they support more coins, and have a few other tools for monitoring. 

Rocketpool

This is a decentralised pool, specifically for Eth 2.0 staking which hasn't been launched yet. So, you don't have to acquire and keep a minimum of 32 eth to get involved with eth staking. "You can stake as little as 0.01 ETH and instantly receive rETH, a tokenised staking deposit, or you can stake 16 ETH on your own node in the network and earn a higher return". 

Xio

"Through the XIO Dapp, users can earn instant upfront interest on various ERC tokens for staking. In short, it’s like Uniswap, but for staking instead of trading". I am on the waitlist to test the beta platform, but it will be interesting to see what kind of rates they are able to pay out vs. other alternatives like lending, providing liquidity etc. It seems to be designed for projects that are in the early stages, and looking to design their token staking strategy using the Xio platform. I also talked about them in my previous article on low market cap coins with good growth potential. 

Ankr

These are virtual servers pre-configured for staking nodes. You have to pay a monthly fee to provision a virtual server and maintain it. 

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"One of the Ankr’s major use cases is to make it easy and affordable to run PoS nodes and stake assets to earn passive income. With most PoS protocols, staking means locking your tokens inside a node, reducing the users’ liquidity on the secondary market."

In addition, they have teamed up with another project called "Keysians" to offer a very innovative service: 

"This is different with Keysians node operators. As a node operator, you can:

  • Issue derivatives in the form of synthetic tokens
  • Sell staked assets with a time threshold
  • Users for the first time to earn from staking/issuance of underlying assets’ derivatives at the same time"

More details in the Ankr medium blog announcement

Coins

Eth 2.0 - Best alternative is probably Rocketpool (see above)

Kyber network (KNC):

Anyone can stake KNC, vote on proposals, and claim rewards at the official web platform kyber.org. Kyber.org is the only official platform managed by the Kyber team. The platform is optimized for mobile and works on any web3 and DApp browser. This means you can indirectly stake KNC on crypto wallets such as Trust, Enjin, imToken, Status, and many others, etc.

Step 1: Open Kyber.org
Step 2: Connect your wallet
Step 3: Stake KNC

In addition, there are other 3rd party staking service providers (e.g. StakeWithUs, Stake Capital, RockX, Hyperblocks) that you can use to stake KNC. These include both non-custodial and custodial (e.g. centralized exchanges) options, and they have their own trade-offs and requirements.

Conclusion

Rocketpool and Xio simplify the staking process for users. Rocketpool will be very good for Eth 2.0 staking, and Xio will be more of a defi lending alternative, since the rewards will be more predictable. Ankr is more of a bare bones approach, and leaves you with the responsibility of configuration, maintenance, backups and security. So, it will be of interest to companies who have these kinds of resources and expertise. The other 3 (Staked.us, Chorus.one and Figment) are intended for coins that require validator nodes as part of their staking process. 


fblauer
fblauer

Self styled crypto enthusiast. Unbank yourself


Yield Hacking with Defi
Yield Hacking with Defi

This is a blog about the intersection between crypto currency and finance. I have been testing and evaluating various defi (decentralised finance) and opfi (open finance) projects. This includes lending and borrowing markets, decentralised exchanges, automated market making, smart contract wallets, and tools for measuring and monitoring return on investment. All enabled by blockchain technology, with decentralised, opensource and audited smart contracts. These systems are interoperable and composable.

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