Adventures in Staking: Part II - Ark, Neo, and others

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In the first part of this article, I talked about several coins I had investigated, two of which require Active Staking, which means you need to run and maintain a network node. Something that was relatively easy to do, but required the attention and computer resources that I wasn't overly interested in providing.

All of the coins mentioned in this second part of the article use a Passive Staking system. You may be required to jump through a hoop or two, such as voting for a delegate, but this is as passive as it gets.

ARK

Ark has a newer and increasingly popular form of Staking known as Delegated Proof of Staking (DPOS). In this case, you are not required to run any software. Instead, you 'loan' your coins out to someone else who agrees to keep a node up and running, and presumably, will be engaged in the network's development and ecosystem.

Loaning the coins out is done via a voting system that is available within the ARK client. Each delegate has their own system of deciding how much and how often they will make payouts to their loanees, so there is some research required prior to choosing a delegate. It should also be noted, that ARK only allows the top 51 delegates to receive rewards for forging new blocks on the blockchain.

Finding a guide was a little troublesome. Documentation for much of the crypto/blockchain world seems to be missing or hidden in git repositories which don't seem to make it to the top of the Google search results. And when I did find something official in the ARK FAQ, it had links to five different return calculators, only 3 of which worked!

After some futzing around, I elected to go with a delegate by the name of goose. Mainly because they offered daily returns, with no minimum balance required for payout. There was some risk, as he was in at the bottom of the delegates (initially ranked 50th out of 51) and if for some reason he fell off the top 51 list, I would have to spend another ARK to vote for someone else. But I like the idea of daily compounding interest, so it was to goose my vote was sent.

Withdrawal from Binance cost 0.1 ARK. and took about 15 minutes to arrive in my Ark wallet. Voting was simple, and the expense was recorded in my transaction history along with a helpful note. My delegate was even so kind as to refund the voting cost!

 

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The Ark client has since been updated many times since I started this venture, and now includes a fancier voting system (notice goose is now ranked 10th! Guess I made a wise choice those many months ago).

 

That very first day I see a return. It is small. Likely due to the fact that I had joined partway through the payout period. But two days later the regular payments start rolling in like clockwork. There are some interesting happenings along the way. My delegate changes his payout system a couple of times, but the payments still arrive at regular intervals so that doesn't bother me much. At another point there was some sort of major network issue and payments were withheld until it was resolved. But once the issue was cleared, a lump sum payment for the missing days was deposited into my wallet. None of this required any interventions on my part, or even any notice in fact. This was what I had wanted. To be able to sit back and watch my coins grow!

Speaking of which, my total returns for just under 14 months of Staking Ark has resulted in a 10.7% gain. Not bad! Not bad at all...

NEO


NEO is by far the easiest to stake. In fact, you don't even really have to do a damn thing beyond buying some coins.

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NEO works on a Proof of Ownership staking system. Simply holding any amount of NEO allows you to accumulate another token called GAS, which is used on the NEO network to pay transaction fees. 

If you hold your own NEO (rather than having a custodian control it -- such as on an exchange), you can see you GAS accumulation counter in your wallet interface or on the blockchain explorer. You can request that your GAS be delivered at any time, as often as you like, for no cost! And since the transfer of NEO itself is also free, it's very easy to transfer off of an exchange and control your money, as they say.

But if you do want to leave it on an exchange, some of them, including Binance and Kucoin, deposit the earned GAS into your accounts on a regular basis. Binance distributes it monthly, Kucoin, daily.

For this experiment, I put my NEO into a NEON wallet and have let it sit for over a year, requesting a GAS delivery every once in a while. After thirteen and 1/2 months, I've had returns of about 11.7%. Which seems nice initially, but you have to account for the fact that the returns were in GAS, which is currently running at about 1/4th the value of NEO. So in terms of value gained against the amount of NEO staked, it amounts to less than a 3% return. Not as great as other coins, but still better than a bank account. And the effort involved is negligible.



Additional Mentions


VeChain (VET) - VeChain has a staking system very similar to NEO. I had purchased some back when it used the VEN token symbol. Once they launched their mainnet, they began their regular distribution of VeThor (similar to GAS) for holding VET tokens.

I've held mine on Binance the whole time for 10 months has given me back a 14% return in VeThor (VTHO), against the number of VeChain tokens. But much like GAS, VeThor is a fraction of the value of VeChain. A price comparison shows about a 1.7% return.


Ontology (ONT) falls in the same boat and started at pretty much the same time. I've received a 10.5% return over ten months on Binance in Ontology Gas (ONG), equating to approximately a 2.7% value increase against the staked ONT.


MiracleTele - this is a coin I picked up from an Airdrop. They aim to be a a blockchain based mobile network, and provide returns for 'stacking' your coins on their website. At some point they sent out emails about staking the coins and I followed through. Rewards for staking are accumulated in £ denominations. It seems to vary a bit, but is currently slated at £3.00 per month per 100 Tele tokens.The cost of 100 tokens is currently at just under 0.09 ETH, which equates to about £21.50. (currency conversion can be a pain!) This means you're getting over 10% return a month! So far they have been steady in their payouts within their site, but I should state that I have not yet tried to withdraw my funds somewhere else. They have a £10 withdraw minimum.

So there you have it. Some true experiences and hard numbers on staking returns. Since I began this adventure, Proof of Staking has become one of the primary methods of network maintenance and coin generation for a number of cryptocurrencies. There are a number of sites that have lists of staking coins as well as other information. I received a number of suggestions from my first article and would be glad to hear of anyone's else experiences with staking.

If you do decide to purchase coins for staking, remember the Golden Rules: Always do your own research, and Never risk more than you can afford to lose!



Tales of a Cryptocurrency Newbie
Tales of a Cryptocurrency Newbie

Tales of my experiences in the cryptocurrency space

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