In my previous post I talked about staking – a relatively easy and safe way to earn passive income from your crypto.

There are different ways to stake your crypto holdings and not all coins are eligible for staking (they have to be using the Proof of Stake mining mechanism), so in this post I will look into the most popular staking cryptocurrencies.

Staking is not a difficult process anymore, though, it used to be when it was first introduced. Originally, those users who wanted to participate in the mining/forging process on a Proof of Stake blockchain, had to lock a number of coins for a period of time as their stake. This is now known as Fixed Staking.
The size of the stake is then used to determine if an individual node will be selected to validate and forge the next block. By doing so, they would get the mining rewards (mainly in the form of fees or newly minted coins). Those with a larger stake have a greater chance of becoming the next to validate a block and receive that reward. This means that users with higher amounts of capital locked in that cryptocurrency are with an advantage and users with lesser means (smaller capital) would have been left out of this opportunity. This created the need for a change in this newly formed industry and this is how Soft Staking was born.
Some companies (wallets, exchanges and other) take care of the Fixed Staking requirements and limitations, while allowing their members to deposit any amount that they wish and often, for any amount of time that they wish to. This way, their combined pool of tokens staked becomes larger, their stake is higher and their chances of being the next Validator are bigger. Their customers are Delegators – meaning they simply delegate their tokens/coins to that third party without loosing ownership of them and this has become one of the most used and easiest ways to stake your crypto today.

For soft staking, I use mainly these three exchanges: Binance (see the Savings option), Kucoin Exchange (see the PoolX option) and Poloniex (simply hold and you get the rewards automatically). There are other exchanges that do the same, so if you have accounts with more of them, just check if they offer soft staking and which coins they support.

Let’s see which are the most popular staking cryptos today.


Tezos (XTZ)

Tezos is a self amending blockchain protocol that supports smart contracts as well as the development of decentralised applications. It is a multi purpose blockchain with an evolving and amenable on-chain governance and was built from a scratch, meaning it was not based on any other blockchain or codebase. Tezos also has a pretty unique consensus method called Liquid Proof of Stake (LPoS). Tezos staking is called baking and it the first proof of stake cryptocurrency that is supported by all major exchanges, including Coinbase, Binance and Kucoin’s PoolX.
A baker commits token deposits, then receives their rewards for signing and creating blocks. In order to independently bake on the Tezos blockchain, you need to hold at least 8000 XTZ and run full node.

If you are looking for a simpler way to stake XTZ, you can use one an exchange that supports it. Basically, if you hold your XTZ coins in Coinbase wallet, Coinbase will do the rest for you (run a validator node and stake your coins for you, while giving you the reward minus their fees for the service). Binance is even better for this, since they charge no fees for the staking service. A fixed term staking on Binance pays you 9.12% APY.
Kucoin’s PoolX is also offering appealing staking rewards in their Soft Staking option. You can also use the Trust Wallet (android) which offers a dozen validators to choose from.

Staking

Wallet/ExchangeTezos Staking Fees
Binance *top choice*Zero fees
Coinbase25%
Kucoin PoolX13%
Trust Wallet *preferred*variable (depending on the service)

Current marketcap of Tezos is $1.60 billion and its ATH reached $11.21 per token.


Synthexis (SNX)

Synthetix is a crypto asset-backed network that enables the creation of on-chain synthetic assets. It’s a platform that enables you to create synthetic crypto assets that are linked to the value of some other asset. This can be synthetic fiat currencies, commodities, precious metals or even other cryptocurrencies. It was built on the Ethereum blockchain and these synthetic assets (Synths) are created by staking the Synthetix Network Token (SNX). Also, all Synths can be exchanged for each other directly with the Synthetix smart contracts on Synthetix.Exchange.
Users are paid a pro-rate portion of the fees generated through activity on Synthetix.exchange.
As a SNX staker you will also benefit from the inflation on the protocol. Currently, there is a 1.25% inflation rate on the network where SNX holders will earn those newly minted tokens.

Staking on Synthexis is a weekly activity. You receive two kinds of rewards for staking SNX: sUSD fees generated on Synthetix.exchange, and SNX inflationary rewards. These rewards must be manually claimed in the one transaction each fee period (i.e. once a week) or they will be returned to the pool and redistributed to other stakers. Also, bear in mind that the Gas fees might be a little high (compared to other Ethereum-based tokens) and the staking rewards cannot be accessed straight away, they need to be vested for a minimum of 1 year.

Current marketcap of Synthexis is $ 369.54 million and its ATH price reached $7.84 per token.

For more information about Synthexis staking, please join their Discord channel where you can connect with other users and discuss more details.


Check out our e-guide “Learn Crypto” Complete beginners guide to cryptocurrencies. Everything you need to know to safely invest in Bitcoin and altcoins.


Icon was created as a decentralized blockchain that will allow interoperability for transactions between blockchains. It uses a proprietary “Blockchain Transmission Protocol” to create cross-chain interoperability that would be impossible without Icon. Initially the project was formed to ensure institutions could share data with transparency and integrity, and to move assets without the need for a centralized organization.

The Icon Network is powered by the ICX token. It uses a Byzantine Fault Tolerant Delegated Proof of Stake (BFT-DPoS) consensus mechanism and an economic governance protocol called Delegated Proof of Contribution (DPoC). The entire network is powered by the proprietary ‘Loopchain’ blockchain engine and is scalable to hundreds of transactions per second.

The Icon staking reward model will reward stakers with anywhere from 6% to 36% annually, depending on the total amount of ICX being staked in the network. As of April 2020 the annual return is just above 16%. Any number of ICX can be staked, but it does have to be held in the Icon wallet, which is available as a mobile version for iOS and Android, or as a Chrome extension. In addition to staking holders must vote for P-Reps, which is Icon’s version of validators.

Current marketcap of Icon is $211 million and at its ATH, the token reached a price of $12.


Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance launched its mainnet not long ago and the native blockchain of the most popular crypto exchange is now using a type of Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus and a Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT), wherein you can send or receive assets, burn or freeze your tokens, create trading pairs on Binance DEX (decentralized exchange) and many other benefits for holders of BNB.

Considering how fast and successful was the development of Binance ecosystem, this coin is one of the most likely that will appreciate in the future, meaning your staking earnings will grow even more by hodling BNB.

The token was launched in 2017 with the launch of Binance exchange and was an ERC20 token at first, but it switched to its own independent blockchain last year, built with the purpose of supporting smart contract creation and competing with Ethereum to some extend.

Current marketcap is $4.27 billion and the ATH was at $39.35 per coin.

The easiest way to stake BNB is of course, Binance exchange, where you get a knock-out on your trading fees and other advantages paid directly into your BNB account wallet.


Cosmos (ATOM)

Cosmos was launched in 2017 and it swiftly became one of top staking coins as well. Cosmos aims to enable interoperability between innumerable blockchains and raised 16 million USD in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2017. Shortly after its launch, ATOM  surged to around $8.80, which is its current all-time high (ATH). At the time of writing, its marketcap is $1.9 billion and it’s one of the most revered DeFi projects.

Cosmos blockchain consensus is achieved via Tendermint. Investors can participate via staking. Currently there are 2 options to earn passive income and staking rewards with Cosmos:

  • You can delegate Cosmos by voting with your coins and earn 8-12% of yearly reward with a short lock-up period of 21 days and minimum stake of only 1 ATOM. Kucoin’s PoolX is one of the highest-paying options you have, with 11.46% APY* on a fixed term or 6-8% with their soft-staking option.
  • You can also become a validator yourself, which requires 100k ATOM, refer to their website for more details on this.

Check out our guide “100 Cryptocurrencies In 1 Sentence”.


Icon (ICX)

Icon was created as a decentralized blockchain that will allow interoperability for transactions between blockchains. It uses a proprietary “Blockchain Transmission Protocol” to create cross-chain interoperability that would be impossible without Icon. Initially the project was formed to ensure institutions could share data with transparency and integrity, and to move assets without the need for a centralized organization.

The Icon Network is powered by the ICX token. It uses a Byzantine Fault Tolerant Delegated Proof of Stake (BFT-DPoS) consensus mechanism and an economic governance protocol called Delegated Proof of Contribution (DPoC). The entire network is powered by the proprietary ‘Loopchain’ blockchain engine and is scalable to hundreds of transactions per second.

The Icon staking reward model will reward stakers with anywhere from 6% to 36% annually, depending on the total amount of ICX being staked in the network.
As of April 2020 the annual return is just above 16%. Any number of ICX can be staked, but it does have to be held in the Icon wallet, which is available as a mobile version for iOS and Android, or as a Chrome extension. In addition to staking holders must vote for P-Reps, which is Icon’s version of validators.

Current marketcap of Icon is $211 million and at its ATH, the token reached a price of $12.


Algorand (ALGO)

Algorand have developed a permissionless, Pure Proof-of-Stake protocol with open participation and transaction finality. According to some early reports from their network, they claim to be able to achieve about 1,000 transactions per second. You will also be able to build decentralised applications on layer 1 which provides a decent alternative for dApp developers who are put-off by the slow networks of other blockchains. The native crypto in the Algorand network are ALGO and you can earn rewards for staking them. For every block that is minted, every user on Algorand receives an amount of rewards proportional to their stake.

Current marketcap of Algorand is $325 million and its ATH reached $1.57 per token in August 2019.

You can stake ALGO by simply holding it in a non-custodial wallet (see their website for more details) or by choosing the soft-staking option of Kucoin’s PoolX which pays you 5-7% APR.


PundiX (NPXS)

Pundi X is a lesser known coin but due to its good staking design it made it to my list of top staking coins. Pundi X aims to bring mainstream crypto adoption by allowing users to buy cryptocurrency anywhere and anytime. This will make PundiX the world’s largest decentralized, offline cryptocurrency sales network. It is ‘offline’ because their entry point is via physical Point-of-Sale devices installed in physical outlets. Pundi X allows for three customer use cases. It enables users to:
1) Buy or Sell cryptocurrencies through a Point-of-Sale (PoS) device
2) Buy anything using cryptocurrency through the Pundi X POS device (retail point-of-sale)
3) Pay peer-to-peer using mobile (like PayPal)

This end-to-end system is also open source, something the team believes to be an important feature for any project building in the cryptocurrency space. Pundi X initially plans to distribute their merchant hardware to a select demographic for free. Pundi X’s bundle of products (e.g. point-of-sale devices, bank cards, etc.) plan to be gradually announced and sold to merchants and consumers.

You can trade NPXS on Binance, HotBit, UpBit and many other big exchanges.


Loom Network (LOOM)

Loom is a platform that allows Ethereum based decentralised applications to run on a sidechain. The main benefit of doing this is that it provides a more scalable environment for these decentralised applications. Loom also had integrations with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Chain and Tron. Loom tries to be the one-stop full-service platform that allows smart contract developers and traditional developers alike to create their applications without switching programming languages or manually managing servers, and all with the added advantage of easily integrating their apps with the outside world.

LOOM operates a Delegated Proof of Stake (dPoS) consensus mechanism. Users delegate their LOOM tokens in order to earn a portion of the staking returns on the network.

Current marketcap of LOOM is only $19 million and its ATH reached around $0.53 per token back in 2018.


Komodo (KMD)

Komodo, a code fork of Zcash, is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency that leverages a menagerie of unique features implemented by different existing blockchains in an attempt to create a more private, secure, interoperable, decentralized blockchain network. Instead of competing directly with leading protocols like Bitcoin, which Komodo believes to be a futile effort, the project is an effort to experiment with a different combination of familiar parameters. Komodo provides a unique and innovative form of security that is as strong as the Bitcoin network, yet does not require the incredible cost, which is the foundational pillar of the Komodo ecosystem.

Not my personal top coin to stake, but it is featured many other lists of top staking cryptocurrencies, making it a popular choice.

Its current marketcap is $59 million and its ATH reached $12.89 per coin back in 2017.


Nuls (NULS)

NULS is a global blockchain open-source project which is a highly customizable modular blockchain infrastructure; it consists of a microkernel and functional modules. 

NULS provides smart contract, multi-chain mechanism and cross-chain consensus. It aims to break the technical barriers of blockchain, to reduce the cost of development, and to promote the usage of blockchain technology in the commercial field.

Current marketcap of NULS is $23 million and reached an ATH at $8.14 per coin.



VeChain (VET)

VeChain Thor started as an Ethereum based smart contract and it later moved to their own blockchain. They use a derivative of proof of stake mechanism with some unique and interesting twists to their staking design. The VeChain Thor platform uses two different tokens:

  • VeChain Tokens (VET)
  • Thor Power (THOR)

The VeChain Token (VET) is designed for companies as the smart payment currency to run business activities on the blockchain. During the transition period, the companies that hold more VET will be given higher priority and more rights on the new VeChain Thor blockchain.

On the other hand, the Thor Power (THOR) will be given to VET holders. They can use it to perform smart contracts and run applications on the blockchain. This is similar to the way NEO produces the GAS token for its holders.

Current marketcap of VET is $716 million and at its ATH, the token reached $0.023.

Binance soft staking would pay you just about 0.65% APY while fixed term staking via Hashquark will pay you up to 15.76%


Neo (NEO)

NEO is surely one of the most known staking coins – it is a popular cryptocurrency that supports smart-contracts and has been referred to as the “Chinese Ethereum” as it provides similar functionality, including support for dAPPs and ICOs. This platform is being developed by Onchain, a Shanghai-based company, which started out life as “Antshares” and then went through a rebrand to become known as NEO.

Alongside the coin “NEO” there is another one called “GAS,” which can be staked in an NEO wallet for a decent return. This is not one of my top staking coins, but it seems to be quite popular nevertheless.

To receive the GAS you can hold your NEO in their official wallets (like NEON) or an exchange such as Binance or Kucoin, but only a few wallets let you claim the GAS. That’s why it’s very important to pick the right wallet to get the GAS as dividends from the official website here.

The return one earns is in the form of NeoGAS, which is a unique reward paid by NEO to investors that are holding NEO coins.

NEO stakers can expect an annual return between 4-6%. For a more accurate earnings estimate, see the NEO staking calculator.

Current marketcap of NEO is $1.26 billion and its ATH reached $162 per coin back in 2017.



And lastly, here is my personal favourite.

Chainlink (LINK)

Chainlink is one of the best performing digital assets for 2019-2020. It is another DeFi project that provides interoperability between various blockchains – a cross-chain protocol oracle.

In other words, it is blockchain middleware that allows smart contracts to access key off-chain resources like data feeds, various web APIs, and traditional bank account payments. By providing smart contracts secure access to these key resources, ChainLink allows them to mimic real world agreements that require external proof of performance and need to make payment in widely available payment methods e.g. bank payments.

The easiest way to stake LINK is through Kucoin’s PoolX where a fixed plan would pay you 3.61% APY. Binance only offers a soft-staking option with 0.65% APR.

The current marketcap of Chainlink is $4 billion and its ATH reached $19.85 just a couple of months ago.
The staking rewards of this token might not be the best from this list, but it is one of my top coins for longer term holding, which is why it is also on top of my list of staking coins.


The list of staking coins keeps growing…

The list of staking coins keeps growing: Neblio, PayFair, Ontology, Particl and many more are currently on offer at various exchanges and wallets, so in a followup post, I will outline the different coins that the most popular exchanges are offering for soft and fixed staking. Watch this space.


*APY means Annual Percentage Yield. It is different to APR (Annual Percentage Rate) which is mostly used for interest charged or paid on loans or borrowings. Another key difference is that APY takes into account compounding, while APR does not. The more frequently the interest compounds, the greater the difference between APR and APY.


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One thought on “Most Popular Staking Coins

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