September 22, 2021

Best Staking Crypto: the 2021 guide to staking showing the most popular staked assets right now and how to find them!

A comprehensive 2021 guide on staking cryptocurrency that shows you how to find the best staking crypto from trusted staking providers.

Within 5-10 minutes (depending on how fast you read and how much you already know) you will learn how to earn passive income with cryptocurrency.

But even if you already know a lot about staking cryptocurrency, keep reading and skim through. You will surely come across something valuable that will help you discover how to find the best staking crypto quickly.

Before we start, let’s take a look at the market….

As at 12th March 2021, the total market value of DEFI tokens stood at $84.6B (and rising). This represents approximately 50% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalisation, accordingly real-time data from CoinMarketCap. The data confirms the DEFI market is becoming a dominant force not to be reckoned with!

angry homer simpson GIF
Source: Giphy

Disclaimer: All of the content written on CoinMarketExpert is unbiased and based on objective analysis. The information provided on this page should not be construed as an endorsement of cryptocurrency, a service provider or offering and should neither be considered a solicitation to buy or trade cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies carry substantial risk and are not suitable for everyone. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information and consequently, any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. See further disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

And what’s there not to love about STAKING?

Did you know…..

  • Over $20 billion in annual staking rewards were paid out to investors in 2020, according to the State of Staking Q1 2021 report published by Staked;
  • And according to the same report, Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchains now make up 25% of the most valuable crypto networks, with the roll-out of Ethereum 2.0 in December 2020 and the rise of alternative staking chains such as Solana and Polkadot contributing significant growth to this area;
  • Staked also found that staking across various blockchains earned an average weighted yield of 11.2% per year; not too shabby when compared to the average dividend yield of the S&P 500 Index, which stood below 3% over the past decade.

But what does this mean?

It means we are in the golden age of crypto; so take advantage of it now. In future, there will be less of an incentive for staking rewards to remain high as more investors (including those risk-averse institutional investors) flock to DEFI.

In other words, the high APR (or APY) we are seeing in the form of staking rewards from high-quality PoS projects will fall over time. Staking yields will become more comparable to those seen in the stock market. It may take some time although treasure these moments while they last.

Boring is good!

Staking is boring you might say…. but do you know that you can incorporate staking into your long-term crypto investment strategy?

Check out our post showing how the passive income from stablecoins can be used as part of your long-term investment strategy to offset potential downside risks (in both your crypto and stock portfolios).

Invest Stock Market GIF
Source: Giphy

Don’t worry if all of the above sounded like Greek to you…

Let’s break it down for you…

Best Staking Crypto (2021)


Crypto*Price (US$)*Staked Amount*% Staked*Average Staking Reward (APR)**Max Staking Reward (APR) ***
Cardano (ADA)$1.13$25.85B72.88%5.47%9.32%
Polkadot (DOT)$37.43$25.59B64.22%9.82%18.47%
Ethereum 2.0 (ETH)$1,804.52$6.17B2.95%14.00%17.00%
Algorand (ALGO)$1.11$5.40B57.13%7.96%16.79%
Solana (SOL)$14.49$3.68B51.62%17.30%24.49%
Cosmos (ATOM)$19.51$3.56B67.11%9.62%15.79%
Terra (LUNA)$10.92$3.42B32.22%7.03%7.53%
Avalanche (AVAX)$31.60$2.94B24.44%14.25%15.49%
Tezos (XTZ)$4.14$2.86B78.03%5.79%11.79%
Dai (DAI)$1.00$2.832Bn/a8.27%8.79%
Source: Staking Rewards and CoinMarketExpert

* data taken from Staking Rewards.
** refers to the arithmetic average taken from the providers listed on CoinMarketExpert.
*** refers to the maximum staking reward (highest APR) taken from the providers listed on CoinMarketExpert.


If you want to understand what cryptocurrency staking is all about then keep reading.

What is Crypto Staking?
What is Proof of Work?
What is Proof of Stake?
What are the Benefits of Crypto Staking?
What is the Risk of Crypto Staking?
How to Stake Crypto?
Best Staking Crypto & Returns


What is Crypto Staking?


Staking is an activity where a user holds their funds in a cryptocurrency wallet (or staking pool) to participate in helping the underlying operations of a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain network operate more efficiently and securely.

In staking, the right to validate transactions is determined by how many tokens or coins are held. The more tokens or coins you hold, the higher your stake is in a particular project. This means that as your stake in a particular project grows, so does your ability to influence certain value-creating decisions.

The underlying premise here is that overseeing good behaviour and contributing to good decisions (governance) will result in long-term value creation and price appreciation of the token that is being staked.

And in the process of overseeing good behaviour and taking good decisions, there’s an incentive system called a staking reward.


What is Proof of Work?


Proof of Work (PoW) was the first algorithm that was used to achieve consensus and validation through the blockchain network.

Bitcoin is the most well-known network to implement this type of algorithm with a process that is incentivised through mining.

I may be simplifying this a little although you can think of the process of mining as a contest between computers that are competing with each other to provide a solution to a complex mathematical problem. The first computer that discovers the solution wins the chance to write the next block into the ledger and is rewarded with newly created Bitcoins known as block reward – currently 6.25 BTC + the transaction fee.

Since solving these increasingly complex mathematical puzzles in PoW requires increasingly more computational power, mining is seen as unsustainable (in every sense), so a new breed of consensus and validation mechanism known as Proof of Stake( PoS) was born.

enlightened laura dern GIF
Source: Giphy

What is Proof of Stake? 


Unlike PoW which rewards the participants with the fastest computational power, PoS requires that participants ‘stake’ their cryptocurrency by locking it in. 

You could say that staking resembles crypto mining in the sense that it helps a network achieve consensus while rewarding users who participate. However, this process is very different.

The cryptocurrency that is staked ( locked in) is randomly assigned the right to validate the next block of transaction. This means the probability of your cryptocurrency being selected to validate the next block is proportional to the number of coins you stake. In other words, the more coins you have staked, the higher the chance of your cryptocurrency getting picked to validate the next block.

And when your cryptocurrency is chosen, you are rewarded with more coins for your contribution to the network.

Since in PoS, no mining hardware is required to validate transactions, it is significantly less energy-intensive and yet far more scalable. After all, this is one of the reasons why the Ethereum network transitioned from PoW to PoS!

And as you have learnt through research, PoS is a new dominant force in crypto.


What are the Benefits of Crypto Staking?


Staking is a great way to earn passive income and make your cryptocurrency work harder for you.

So instead of leaving your cryptocurrency idle in an exchange account or wallet, you could consider staking it to enjoy rewards on top of potential price gains (or losses – we will get to this later).

When it comes to staking crypto, there are 3 main benefits: 

  1. Passive Income: By staking your cryptocurrency coins (or tokens) you can earn passive income in the form of a fixed interest rate popularly referred to as an APR (Annualised Percentage Rate) or APY (Annualised Percentage Yield).

    The APR or APY is what you would earn in a year in the form of passive income if the staking reward is unchanged. So if you stake $1 and the APR is 7% you can expect to receive $0.07 at the end of the year or $7 on every $100 invested (assuming the APR remains unchanged of course).
  2. Network Governance and Security: Another benefit is helping to secure the cryptocurrency network. Generally, the more wallets that are staking a particular project, the better the governance and security.
  3. Lower Fees: Certain cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets reduce the transaction fees according to how many coins you stake.

It is also worth mentioning that you can take a more strategic approach to cryptocurrency staking and consider it as a way to mitigate downside risks within a diversified portfolio of coins (and stocks) . We have created a post explaining how a stablecoin strategy earning passive income can be developed to offset potential losses.


What is the Risk of Crypto Staking?


1. Loss of your cryptocurrency holdings

Staking is a high-risk activity so you can lose all of your investment as a result of hacking, negligence, project failure and counterparty risk.

2. Extreme price volatility

As you already know, the price of cryptocurrencies is highly volatile. Now imagine your crypto locked-up during a sudden bear market and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it until the lockup period ends. You’re getting the picture right!

Season 3 Door GIF by The Simpsons
Source: Giphy

3. Be aware of the lock-up period

Pay attention to the lock-in or lock-up period. When you stake your cryptocurrency, you generally cannot move or trade the crypto as it is in a locked state. Certain crypto exchanges such as Binance offer locked and flexible versions of staking (and savings). The difference is of course highly intuitive and it all depends on your level of risk aversion.

Generally, a longer lockup carries a higher staking reward although it’s not always the case!

4. Be aware of the staking inflation rate

Staking rewards come from inflation built into the protocol. What this means is that the incentive mechanism inbuilt into the PoS protocol, which rewards validators with new coins, directly impacts the token’s price (due to the increase in the supply of circulating coins).

For example, a 10% inflation rate means that every year the total supply of tokens in circulation will increase by 10%. If supply and demand remain the same, this would result in a 10% decrease in the price of a particular coin or token. This means that if you do not stake the new tokens that you have received then, all else equal, you would be losing 10% per year. You could also think of this as a ‘ dilution rate‘.

⚠️ Since staking is meant to be a long-term initiative you may want to consider a project where the dilution rate (or inflation rate) does not exceed the annualized staking reward.

5. Slashing risks

To run the PoS process, you need to go through a validator, which will require you to have specific hardware in order to run the nodes. There will also be a capital requirement from your side and the validator will want to take a cut from the crypto staking rewards that you earn to cover their own operational costs.

Honest validators are rewarded in the PoS model although it also punishes dishonest validators and their delegators typically by cutting or slashing the rewards that are meant to be received either temporarily or permanently depending on the severity.

What this all means is that you should think hard about who the validators and delegators are. Can they be trusted? Always choose to stake your coins through trusted staking platforms.

6. Check the rewards payout schedule

Always check the rewards payout schedule when staking your cryptocurrency, as you will surely want to know when the rewards you are expecting will be paid to your account. Are the rewards paid instantly? weekly? monthly? It differs according to your chosen network.

Other types of risks are described in our thorough guide to staking cryptocurrency.


How to Stake Crypto?


You can become a validator to run your own node and stake your own coin. However, it is not a simple process since there are stringent requirements that you must adhere to.

The easiest way to stake cryptocurrencies is use the staking services provided by an exchange.

Staking Via Crypto Exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance, offer uncomplicated staking services, allowing you to easily stake your tokens through their in house validators. This eliminates the headache of trying to become a validator although as mentioned before, you are in effect handing over control of your coins to the exchange. Therefore it is extremely important that you only use the services of trusted staking providers.


Best Staking Crypto & Returns


The following table shows the most popular staked crypto so far in 2021. You can see the percentage of coins that have been staked in each of the top 10 projects together with the average staking reward and the maximum staking reward.

The best staking crypto can be quickly found on the staking page of CoinMarketExpert.com


Crypto*Price (US$)*Staked Amount*% Staked*Average Staking Reward (APR)**Max Staking Reward (APR) ***
Cardano (ADA)$1.13$25.85B72.88%5.47%9.32%
Polkadot (DOT)$37.43$25.59B64.22%9.82%18.47%
Ethereum 2.0 (ETH)$1,804.52$6.17B2.95%14.00%17.00%
Algorand (ALGO)$1.11$5.40B57.13%7.96%16.79%
Solana (SOL)$14.49$3.68B51.62%17.30%24.49%
Cosmos (ATOM)$19.51$3.56B67.11%9.62%15.79%
Terra (LUNA)$10.92$3.42B32.22%7.03%7.53%
Avalanche (AVAX)$31.60$2.94B24.44%14.25%15.49%
Tezos (XTZ)$4.14$2.86B78.03%5.79%11.79%
Dai (DAI)$1.00$2.832Bn/a8.27%8.79%
Source: Staking Rewards and CoinMarketExpert

* data taken from Staking Rewards.
** refers to the arithmetic average taken from the providers listed on CoinMarketExpert.
*** refers to the maximum staking reward (highest APR) taken from the providers listed on CoinMarketExpert.


Remember to Always do Your Own Due Diligence!

Before rushing off to buy staking coins with high rewards, it is recommended that you take the time to thoroughly research the cryptocurrency project behind it.

Compare the best crypto staking coins. Find the highest staking rewards for each coin and trusted platforms where  to stake them from.

Our staking page (above) connects you directly to the website of each cryptocurrency staking project and their whitepaperCrytprocurrency white paper. This is without a doubt the best starting point for conducting your own research and due diligence.

After that you may want to browse through community discussions (you will find many on Reddit) and other resources such as Medium.

And if you want to publish your investment thesis about why you plan to stake a particular coin then give us a shout.

If you have already found a cryptocurrency staking project you believe has a bright future, our staking page will effortlessly help you find and compare the best staking rewards that are being offered by trusted crypto staking platforms.

If you enjoyed reading this page then visit our updated crypto staking guide, which provides useful takeaways that will help you understand key terms and make a better evaluation of staking products offered by platforms.