Crypto staking is a perfect way to open up an extra revenue stream while investing for the long term. It might not counteract the volatility seen in most cryptocurrencies, but it’s an easy way to earn some extra tokens without much work. One of the keys to staking success is only staking tokens that are likely to retain or increase their value in the long run.
This article shows you what you need to know before you get started. You’ll also find out what is believed to be some of the best cryptos to stake and why they’re likely to retain their long-term value.
What is Staking?
Staking refers to the process of locking up your tokens in order to validate transactions on a proof-of-stake (PoS) network. In return for your role in maintaining the security of the network, staking offers rewards. These are typically expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR), similar to interest earnt on a bank’s savings account.
Before PoS, many blockchains operated on a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, like Bitcoin or Ethereum (before the recent upgrade). This not only required a hefty investment in high-tech mining equipment but used an incredible amount of energy. The BBC reported that in 2021 Bitcoin mining used the same amount of energy as required to power the entire country of Argentina!
With PoS networks, energy emissions are typically less than 0.01% of PoW networks and only require you to HODL your tokens as you were probably already doing. Rewards for most PoS networks range anywhere from 0.2% to 100%+, depending on the token. As a rule of thumb, the more speculative a token, the greater the staking rewards, and vice versa.
In general, you want to strike a balance between choosing tokens with solid fundamentals and attractive staking rewards. There’s no point in earning 50% APR on a token if it’s likely to drop 80% and never recover! As such, you’ll find most of the tokens on this list offer somewhere between 2-20% APR and have a good chance of appreciating in the long run. And that’s just what this list is for.
1. Metacade (MCADE) - The Best Staking Crypto for Play-to-Earn Gaming
Metacade is a community hub that’s positioning itself as Web3’s home of play-to-earn gaming. It’s a place for like-minded gamers to link up, play the latest GameFi titles, and have a say in the games they’ll be playing for years to come.
Part of Metacade’s mission is to open up the world of play-to-earn to everyone, no matter their gaming background. That’s why you’ll find dedicated forums for the latest games, live chat, leaderboards, reviews, and spaces for learning how to maximise your play-to-earn income all on one platform. To encourage experienced players to offer up their GameFi knowledge, Metacade rewards its users with the MCADE token whenever they post reviews, tips, or other helpful content for the community to learn from.
If you’re not a play-to-earn veteran or still learning the ropes, don’t worry. You can still earn by sharing reviews, testing games for Metacade’s developer community, or competing in tournaments. In 2024, users will even be able to find permanent roles with the launch of Metacade’s job board, where you’ll be able to discover a whole host of jobs in the Web3 industry to suit your skills.
One of the most exciting features of Metacade is the Metagrant which offers funding to developers producing the very best play-to-earn games. To win a Metagrant, developers first enter their idea into a pool of competing ideas. Then, MCADE coin holders vote on their favourite project, with the winner receiving financing from Metacade’s treasury to develop their game with the support of its most avid fans. Finally, the polished title is added to Metacade’s virtual arcade for anyone to log on and enjoy.
Metacade’s ultimate plan is to turn the platform into a virtual arcade that’s run, owned, and operated by the players. Metacade’s goal is to become a full DAO in late 2024, handing over leadership positions to community members and giving MCADE holders the final say in each decision that’s made.
If you choose to stake your MCADE tokens, you’ll be able to earn passive rewards while directly supporting the world’s first community-owned virtual arcade. All rewards are paid in stablecoins, mitigating the inflationary impact typically seen in other staking cryptos and preserving the value of your tokens. Above all else, staking your MCADE is a quick and easy way to earn even more from the projected growth of Metacade’s native token.
Overall, the project itself holds plenty of promise and seems likely to attract a large crowd of gamers and crypto enthusiasts alike. Considering the rapid pace at which GameFi has been growing over the past couple of years, Metacade is definitely one to look out for and is voted our best crypto to stake for 2023.
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2. Binance Coin (BNB) - Deflationary Coin With a Bright Future
Binance Coin (BNB) is the native coin of Binance, the world’s most popular crypto exchange. It powers the BNB Chain, a smart contract platform that’s home to thousands of decentralised apps (dApps). It’s currently the fourth most valuable crypto in the world, with a market cap of $53 billion (CoinGecko ) and is one of the most staked projects on the market, with a staking ratio of 85.8% in November 2022 (Staking Rewards ).
Part of BNB’s popularity is likely to do with its deflationary tokenomics. Binance burns BNB each quarter, restricting supply while demand steadily increases. Since 2017, they’ve burnt over 42 million BNB or around $13.6 billion at today’s price (bnbburn.info ). This makes BNB a good choice for holding over the long term, especially with staking rewards of around 4.1% APR.
Unless you have 10,000 BNB to your name, then running a validator node is out of the question. But if you own just 1 BNB ($325 today), you can become a delegator with a minimum lockup window of seven days for 4.1% APR. BNB’s high staking ratio demonstrates how much belief there is in this crypto and that’s the reason it’s the second best staking crypto to buy.
3. Ethereum (ETH) - Excellent Crypto for Long-Term Staking
Ethereum used to operate on a PoW (proof of work) consensus, but after the recent “Ethereum 2.0” upgrade, ETH holders can now stake their tokens. Given that Ethereum is typically considered a long-term hold, staking your tokens is a great way to earn some extra ETH. As Ethereum staking is relatively new, you won’t be able to withdraw your staking rewards until the upcoming Shanghai upgrade is complete, which is expected sometime in mid to late 2023. However, this shouldn’t be a major issue if you’re HODLing ETH for the long term.
You can run a validator node or operate a validator-as-a-service if you own 32 ETH, which is around $50,000 today, for a 4% to 4.6% APR. If you own less ETH, don’t worry. You can still stake on crypto exchanges or use staking pools for a decent return. For instance, you can stake ETH on Binance for up to 5.2% annually or use a staking pool for a 4.59% return, both with no minimum amounts.
While locking up ETH for at least six months isn’t ideal, it’s worth it considering that Ethereum isn’t going anywhere soon. With decent rewards and strong long-term prospects, Ethereum is the third best staking crypto to buy.
4. Polkadot (DOT) - Excellent Staking Rewards
Polkadot is a relatively new token, starting its life only two years ago in 2020. However, it’s quickly risen up the ranks to become one of the most valuable projects on the market, currently sitting at #12 with a market cap of $7.6 billion. Polkadot is an interoperability solution that allows different blockchains to transact and share data with one another. It provides critical infrastructure that enhances the entire crypto space, making it a sensible option to add to your portfolio.
DOT is used to validate transactions across the network and offers fantastic staking rewards of 13.99% as a delegator. If you own 350 DOT, equivalent to around $2,300 today, then you can run a validator node for returns of 14.88% APR! The barrier for entry is a lot lower as a delegator, requiring only 80 DOT, or around $500 worth. Both options require a lockup of just 28 days, which, considering DOT’s annual yield, is pretty damn good.
Polkadot offers some of the best returns of all major PoS cryptocurrencies and is likely to do very well in the coming years as one of the best interoperability solutions on the market. That’s why it’s the fourth best staking crypto to buy.
5. Cosmos (ATOM) - High APR With No Minimum Amount
Cosmos is similar to Polkadot in that it offers a way for different blockchains to communicate with one another. It allows users to create custom blockchains that share the security of the Cosmos network and the ability to transact using ATOM without sacrificing independence or speed.
With a 19.14% APR as a delegator, ATOM offers the best staking rewards on this list. There’s no minimum amount required and you only need to lock up your token for a minimum of 21 days! You can earn 20.45% as a validator node operator, but you will need to have 64,946 ATOM, or around $850,000 worth. So it’s probably best to leave being a validator to the pros.
Why is ATOM the fifth best staking crypto to buy if it offers such great rewards? Simply put, it’s because the coin is not as widely adopted as, say, Ethereum or Binance Coin. However, don’t let that stop you. Cosmos is an excellent project that has outperformed in this recent bear market and is a wise choice to add to your crypto portfolio.
6. Tezos (XTZ) - Frequent Rewards With a Focus on Governance
Tezos is a unique crypto project in that it offers many of the same smart contract features as chains like Ethereum and BNB Chain, but with a focus on blockchain governance. XTZ holders are given the right to vote on changes to Tezos’ software in a process known as “baking.”
Being a baker requires locking up 6,000 XTZ (around $10,000) for a return of 5.97% APR, but users with less can delegate their XTZ to whichever baker they like. This provides an incentive for bakers to act in the network’s best interests, as delegators can easily switch to a different baker if theirs is acting maliciously.
As a delegator, you can realise returns of 5.39% APR with no minimum amount or lockup required, which is much more appealing than being a baker. Rewards with Tezos are also paid every few days, which is rare amongst PoS cryptocurrencies, and would likely partly explain why 73.4% of XTZ holders choose to stake their tokens.
With innovative ideas around decentralised governance and an impressive track record since its launch in 2017, Tezos is the sixth best staking crypto to buy.
Metacade (MCADE) is The Best Staking Crypto
As mentioned, the six in this list of best staking cryptos sit somewhere between offering decent rewards and having good long-term prospects. After all, this is vital for ensuring it’s worthwhile locking up your tokens for an extended period of time.
For us, Metacade fits the bill. It offers attractive staking rewards, access to exclusive features, and perhaps most importantly, has great long-term prospects. Play-to-earn gaming is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 20.4% between 2022 and 2028, according to Absolute Reports . This is almost triple the rate of regular gaming, which is forecast to grow at a rate of 7.67% between 2022 and 2027 (Statista ).
With Metacade’s plan to become a leader in this field, it’s a great buy for your staking portfolio. And right now, there’s no better time to buy with the MCADE token still in presale. If you get in early enough, you might even be able to double your long-term earnings. For example, in the first presale phase, you can get 125 MCADE for $1. In phase 8, you’ll get just 50 MCADE for $1. If you’re interested in HODLing MCADE for the long term, check out the Metacade presale today.
You can participate in the Metacade presale here.