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What is Staking?

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    What is crypto staking?

     

        The most simple way of putting it is that staking is an alternative to mining. Traditionally, crypto mining involves using a lot of computing resources to solve increasingly complex mathematical equations, which both add new blocks to the blockchain and unlock – or mint – new crypto coins.

        However, there has been something of a push-back against "traditional" mining lately. This is because mining can be very energy-intensive, meaning it uses a lot of electricity, which causes a fair bit of environmental damage. The carbon footprint of some cryptocurrencies is sizeable, which has led to concerns about whether cryptos cause more problems than they solve. 

        Cryptocurrencies are almost always decentralised. Since they are decentralised, they need something to get them all on the right page. The process they use is called a consensus mechanism.

        Cryptos that rely on traditional mining are called proof-of-work. Proof-of-work involves using data relating to crypto mining. It uses data processes to verify transactions and make sure they are not being repeated. Proof-of-work only really works when it comes to simpler blockchains. Bitcoin, for example,  can use proof-of-work because the chain itself is fairly straightforward. For other blockchains, however, proof-of-work becomes very inefficient the more complex the processes become. The system gets clogged up, transactions become slower and fees get higher, which annoys customers. 

        Crypto staking is used by other systems to get around this problem by growing their own blockchains. The idea is that people can add blocks to a blockchain without having to do mining. Instead, they can lock in the crypto coins they already have in a special wallet, thereby ”staking“ them, and, in return, they will be able to add a block to the blockchain at some point. This means that people can, in some cases (at least theoretically), get ahold of new coins without using large amounts of potentially ecologically unsound computing power.

        Staking in crypto is also, again in theory, quite a bit faster than mining, meaning there are fewer roadblocks and bottlenecks. And perhaps more importantly, transactions are cheaper, too. This consensus mechanism is called proof-of-stake.

       The potential positives of crypto staking

     

        You might want to stake if you think you can get a return on your investment with the reward payments that are given to people who are staking in crypto. For instance, you might think that staking is a better option than letting your crypto hang around in a wallet until the market moves up enough that you decide to take profits by selling or exchanging your coins.

        In staking, as well as getting rewards in the coin you stake, some protocols issue governance tokens, which allow you to have your say in how the network is run. This means you can feel more involved in the world of crypto.

        You can also team up with other stakers on some protocols to create a staking pool, which allows people to pool their staked crypto and share in the rewards if and when they are chosen to validate blocks on the blockchain. 

        There is another process called cold-staking, which involves staked coins being kept in an offline wallet. This only really works when there is a seriously significant amount of virtual cash involved, but it does have the advantage of being much more secure than keeping it in an online wallet. 

        There is no "best crypto for staking". You will need to make sure you are using a blockchain that supports proof-of-stake (for instance, Bitcoin is proof-of-work and does not allow staking). As always, it is essential that do your own research so that you are clear about the potential risks and rewards. 

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    Eugen Tanase

    Chief Operating Officer, 1BitUp

    Eugen Tanase is Chief Operating Officer at 1BitUp. Along his long Corporate Management career he gained lots of expertise in Renewable Energy Projects, Transnational Trade of Energy Resources, and many other fields. Starting 2015 he stepped into the study Decentralized Applications and Blockchain along with Bitcoin mainstream. From 2017 he embraced WEB3 and Cloud Mining .

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