Now that we have gone over the basics of staking - or baking - Tezos, it is crucial to look at the different options. The first option at one's disposal is to engage in solo baking, albeit that isn't as easy.
Part II of Tezos Staking 101: Delegated Baking and Picking a Validator
Part III of Tezos Staking 101: Baking Reward Structure and Payment Cycles
Solo Baking Tezos is Possible
As is usually the case where proof-of-stake is concerned, there are numerous options to earn network rewards. A lot of people may want to bake Tezos on their own, as it is - in theory - the easiest option to explore.
In terms of requirements, it is certainly viable. One needs a computer or server connected to the internet on a 24/7 basis to stake XTZ. That is a requirement most people can adhere to without any problems.
The bigger "problem" is the required amount of XTZ. To bake solo, one needs a balance of at least 8,000 XTZ. At today's prices, that is nearly $26,000.
Although a lot of people hold a lot of XTZ - or value in other assets alike - it is certainly possible to explore this particular option.
The option so solo bake Tezos is not a solution for everyone. Those who want to experiment and learn can certainly engage in this type of activity.
For users who see this as a last-ditch effort to get rich with cryptocurrencies, such a steep investment may not be ideal. There are plenty of alternatives to explore.
Moreover, one has to keep in mind that upkeep of the baking wallet is crucial. If one has spotty internet or suffers from electricity outages now and then, this is not necessarily an in-home option to explore either.
There is also the security aspect to keep in mind. Running a service that is secure and highly available on the network requires more than just running a program. It requires constant monitoring and physical - or remote - access to the server acting as a baker.
All of this can be achieved with ease. That said, it can be very stressful for a lot of users. When one wants peace of mind, using the delegated option - which we will cover soon - is perhaps a better option.