Binance Launches Solana (SOL) Staking; Holders Earn Up to 43% APY Paid Daily

Binance Launches Solana (SOL) Staking; Holders Earn Up to 43% APY Paid Daily

The largest crypto exchange in the world, Binance, has launched Solana staking. Users of the exchange now have an opportunity to earn up to 43.79% per year for staking SOL tokens.

The high-speed blockchain, Solana, which states it can handle about 65,000 transactions in one second, is designed to work under a proof-of-stake design model. The network is kept running by validators who earn SOL tokens for their work.

The SOL staking will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis where the entire stakes will be locked for a time to be determined by the holder, which will range from 15 to 90 days.

The launch includes a “high-yield, safe earn” on an annual basis so long as the staked amount is only 20 SOL equivalent of $325. This translates to about $142 total earnings if the SOL tokens are locked up for one year.

Binance also announced that those staking 10,000 SOL for only 30 days would earn 14.49%, while those staking 5,000 SOL for two months (60 days) will earn 16.7%.

Although proof-of-stakes are getting popular, they come with various risks. These platforms are created using a slashing process, which means that the platform is prone to stopping or slashing the transactions initiated by a malicious validator. This means that one can lose funds permanently. However, if Binance can ensure that all its validators are online and doing nothing malicious, there is nothing to worry about.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Majority of Countries Need far Clearer Tax Guidance on Crypto Staking: US Library of Congress

Majority of Countries Need far Clearer Tax Guidance on Crypto Staking: US Library of Congress

While there have been some impressive progress in the furthering relationship between cryptocurrencies and state governments, there is still a ways to go. According to the United States’ Library of Congress, this assessment published a thorough 124-page report this month. Titled ‘Taxation of Cryptocurrency Block Rewards In Selected Jurisdictions,’ the report was put together by the Library’s specialists in foreign law and was announced by U.S. Congressman, Tom Emmer.

Having been built on top of the Library’s already meticulous research on cryptocurrencies and regulation, this latest publication offers readers a comparative study of 31 different countries. Specifically, the study observes these countries’ regulatory approaches, especially towards the tax frameworks set up for those obtaining financial rewards from mining blocks via staking. Along with the regulatory frameworks, the study also makes a thorough assessment of the broader tax implications of new tokens obtained through cycles of free distribution like blockchain hard forks or airdrops.

So what were the findings of this report? While many of these countries’ tax departments had laid out guidance on taxation related to mined tokens, only a select number has provided specific guidance on the taxation of new tokens obtained through staking.

Associated with Proof of Stake-based mining, staking is the process by which users support the continuous functions of a blockchain network by staking their assets in return for rewards/dividends. A growing number of new and existing projects have emerged relatively recently. They have given preference or pivoted to a proof of work consensus mechanism, with countries racing to catch up with developments.

More Guidance to Find the ‘Proper Path Forward’ – Tom Emmer

Sitting as a Congressman, Emmer also serves as the Co-Chair for the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a group of politicians and lawmakers who advocate for the study and application of blockchain. Along with the report, Emmer provided his own analysis of the current landscape adding that greater guidance was needed for these governments to find the ‘proper path forward.’

“In order for these technologies to thrive and reach their revolutionary potential, we must have the knowledge and organizational landscape of the approaches to regulation.”

Out of the 31 nations identified and studied, the Library of Congress found that only 16 of them had clear guidance on the applications of taxes when it came to tokens:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

To some extent, the Library of Congress found that these countries provided specific tax treatment for smaller-scale cryptocurrencies mined by individuals more so on a small scale as opposed to larger-scale operations by companies.

Even then, only five of these countries have specific tax frameworks established for digital tokens obtained via staking – Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland. Proof of Stake Alliance Legal Advisor Abraham Sutherland said,

“How nations tax the people who maintain cryptocurrency networks will have a big effect on attracting or repelling innovators and investment.”

In general, Sutherland concludes, “the results are all over the board.” He adds that each of these countries needs to establish a greater clarity around block rewards as the “critical first step. According to Sutherland, one of the appropriate measures must be on the taxation of these tokens when they’re sold instead of when they’re first obtained.

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Author: James Fox

Optimistic Ethereum Finally Soft Launches Mainnet; Synthetix (SNX) Staking Goes Live Too

Optimistic Ethereum Finally Soft Launches Mainnet; Synthetix (SNX) Staking Goes Live Too

To “alleviate the gas crisis,” the Layer 2 solution has taken its first big step so that small users don’t get priced out by extremely high fees.

Just at the beginning of this week, average fees on Ethereum skyrocketed to a new high. This was just one of many such huge spikes in the fees the network has been seeing since last year, especially after decentralized finance (DeFi) gained momentum in the second half of 2020.

Amidst “undeniably insane” demand for Ethereum, the layer 2 solution, Optimistic Ethereum, took “first material steps towards alleviating the gas crisis by deploying to mainnet.”

The soft launch is just a peek with a full flash, public testament coming in late February or early March so that anyone can deploy and interact with it.

As for the public mainnet, which will implement fixes from public testament and be audited will come “as soon as humanly possible,” says the team.

Synthetix staking now live on L2 mainnet!

The same day, DeFi blue chip Synthetix announced the launch of staking on the L2 mainnet of Optimistic Ethereum.

This is the first layer 2 scaling solution with full cross-layer porting capability for smart contracts without rewriting them as such, making it a huge step for Synthetix and the entire Ethereum ecosystem.

This first phase of migration is designed for smaller SNX holders who get priced out due to high gas costs, reads the official announcement.

To migrate to L2, those participating in SNX trading on L1 must pay back any staking debt in sUSD first to unstake their SNX. For now, Metamask is the only supported wallet on L2, with support for more wallets coming next week. As for migrating escrowed SNX to L2, it is optional and may cost up to 0.5 ETH.

Once migrated, SNX holders can stake their DeFi token to mint sUSD, an option to be launched next week.

Synthetic’s staking activity has been growing steadily throughout last year, with daily active stakers increasing 187% over this period.

Now that Synthetix staking is live on Optimistic Ethereum’s L2 mainnet, SNX is having a wild time, hitting new ATHs one after another. The token price went above $17 today, following a surge of 126% in 2021 so far. Meanwhile, only 2.6% of SNX’s total supply is available on exchanges.

In contrast to this growth, the total value locked (TVL) in the project has fallen to $1.8 billion from Jan. 14 of $2.48 bln.

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Author: AnTy

Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors

Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors; Ethereum, Tezos and Polkadot

Fireblocks wants to help institutional investors access crypto staking opportunities. The company’s institutional focus comes at a time when interest in crypto is high.

Digital asset security platform Fireblocks has been working over the past year to improve institutional access to cryptocurrencies. Following the success in decentralized finance (DeFi) and more, the company is now turning its sights to the burgeoning staking scene.

Staking is for Everyone

Fireblocks plans to support hosted proof-of-stake (PoS) services for Ethereum 2.0, Tezos, and Polkadot, as it opens up token staking to its institutional client base.

Fireblocks has over 165 clients, which includes heavyweight crypto lenders Salt, Celsius, and UK-based Fintech firm Revolut. The crypto custodian is partnering with popular staking providers Staked and Blockdaemon to pull this off.

Company chief executive Michael Shaulov confirmed that the move was largely due to increased investor demand.

As he pointed out, most of Fireblock’s customers hold Bitcoin, while a small minority hold altcoins. That small minority is split in assets such as XTZ, DOT, and ETH, which total about $1 billion.

Institutional investors with idle funds, should expect between 5 and 15 percent in yields annually if they lock up their funds on the platform.

Fireblocks’ customers will maintain custody of their funds in their MPC-based wallets. From there, they can monitor their performance on Staked and Blockdaemon.

Data from Staking Rewards shows that the two are ranked first and sixth, respectively, on the list of crypto assets by staked value. With Polkadot staking in particularly high demand, Fireblocks appears to be in an excellent position to land its desired institutional clients.

Staking on Ethereum 2.0 is also on the rise. Industry news sources recently confirmed that Ethereum 2.0 staking on top crypto exchange Kraken had surpassed the billion-dollar mark.

Fireblocks’ Encompassing Institutional Crypto Play

Fireblocks’ cryptocurrency staking service is the latest in a flurry of efforts to drive institutional crypto investment.

Last June, the firm created an open network called Secure Asset Transfer Network, for institutions to connect, trade, settle and transfer crypto on-chain. The network launched with over 55 institutions and 26 exchanges. Participants included brokers, liquidity providers, asset custodians, and market makers. Shaulov said at the time,

“The launch of the Fireblocks Network makes it possible for users to store and transfer assets across the entire institutional ecosystem and removes the need for any middle-men. We’re redefining on-chain settlement processes by adding an unprecedented layer of security and efficiency, preserving the decentralized nature of blockchain, and allowing it to operate at the institutional level.”

The Asset Transfer Network was built on its multiparty computational technology (MCT). The Network also provides access to easy on-chain transfers while streamlining post-trade operations and settlements.

Fireblocks also has interests in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Last March, the company partnered with leading lending protocol Compound to allow institutional investors to access DeFi opportunities. Thanks to the integration, Fireblocks customers can now earn interest via Compound’s lending protocol.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

MyEtherWallet Partners With Staked To Bring Ethereum 2.0 Staking to the Wallet

  • MEW partners with Staked to introduce Ethereum 2.0 staking on their wallet.
  • A minimum of 32 ETH is required to become a validator, pooled staking to follow soon.

In a press release shared to BEG, MyEtherWallet, a leading Ethereum, and ERC-20 standard wallet interface, is partnering with Staked, a blockchain staking platform, to introduce Ethereum 2.0 staking on its platform. The partnership will allow users and ETH holders to stake their tokens and receive rewards once the ETH 2.0 Phase 1 launch.

The announcement follows the recent ETH 2.0 Phase 0, or Beacon Chain launch, earlier this month – the first stage of a long transitioning process from the proof of work (PoW) consensus to a proof of stake (PoS) mechanism. The partnership will allow MEW web users and MEW Android wallet app users to start staking directly on their wallets. The iOS app staking will launch in the future.

“Staking with MEW means that users stay in control of their funds, and allows them to become a validator and start earning rewards,” The statement further reads. “Validators are run and maintained through Staked, and no further action is required on the part of the user.”

The minimum amount of ETH to stake for one validator is 32 ETH, but you can also stake in multiples of 32 ETH, an email sent to BEG confirmed. There is currently no option to pool ETH in a validators node. Still, MEW developers are looking to introduce this in the future, “but there’s no definite date for that yet,” a spokesperson from the company confirmed.

Kosala Hemachandra, MEW’s Founder and CEO, praised the latest move to partner with Staked, stating “it will help in Ethereum transitioning to a PoS consensus.” He further states,

“Partnering with Staked is about accessibility. Accessibility for MEW users and accessibility for the entire ecosystem.

The more we can connect our infrastructure and create seamless experiences for users, the more we contribute to the overall vision for Ethereum and crypto as a whole.”

The rewards will be distributed to validators’ wallets as soon as the Ethereum blockchain pays them out, but stakers will only be able to withdraw their rewards once the ETH 2.0 Phase 1 is launched.

MEW has had a prosperous year so far, integrating developments on its platform and partnering with other firms to find solutions for the Ethereum community. Recently, MEW partnered with RenVM to teleport Bitcoin to the Ethereum blockchain. This followed partnerships with 1inch DEX, Chainlink, and developments to build a DeFi ecosystem on the interface directly.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum 2.0 Deposits Slow Down This Week; Only 10% of ETH Staking Goal Achieved So Far

Since the Ether staking activated, ETH has been deposited at a steady pace. Currently, 56,113 Ether, worth nearly $26.5 million, has made it to the deposit contract.

This is just over 10% of the required 524,288 ETH (16,384 validators) to launch the mainnet. The Phase 0 staking goal is much far away that could see the expected launch date of December 1st being pushed back.

As one ETH enthusiast shared their concern, “An average of 2,100 ETH per day has been deposited over the last three days. We need ~32,000 ETH per day from now till 11/24 to meet the 12/1 launch date. At the current rate, we will NOT launch till June 2021.”

The number of ETH 2.0 deposits have actually slowed down considerably this week.

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However, ETH holders will likely be staking more and more ETH towards the deadline. This is because the size of rewards depends on the total amount of ETH staked in total — the more the people staked, the lower the yield.

Besides the late mover having more information, staking ETH is a one-way street, and if something goes wrong with ETH 2.0, these ETH are gone forever. Moreover, staking via exchanges offers instant liquidity on BETH, and the exchange will be the one doing the work of running a virtual validator.

“This makes sense though – not only is there a yield opportunity cost from now until Dec 1 on ETH1, but if you deposit later, you’ll get a better idea of ETH2 staking yield,” said analyst Cetris Paribus.

Amidst this, Ethereum Foundation is funding several grants for ETH 2.0 staking.

According to CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju’s Twitter poll, 45% of the 815 votes are “just not interested” in locking their ETH. While 15.5% says their ETH are locked on other projects, a good 26% says there is a lack of staking rewards with a deadline effect as per 13.5% of the votes.

Additionally, this past week, ETH price saw substantial gains, currently trading near $470, with ~80% of $ETH addresses experiencing profit. However, both the transaction and social volume of ETH have begun to decline, with positive funding rates making an appearance mean the price may take a breather here.

But the fact that crypto exchanges’ ETH balance is declining and active addresses are increasing only slightly; these deposits can gain momentum.

Also Read: Ethereum Undergoes ‘Unannounced Hard Fork’ After Infura Goes Down

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Author: AnTy

Cardano Hits Decentralization Milestone; 50% Of Blocks Come from Community Stake Pools

  • Cardano blockchain is in the final half of its journey to total decentralization.
  • Over 1,210 staking pools are live – surpassing the targeted 1,000 marks.

The lead development organization of Cardano, Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), announced public staking pools are now validating over 50% of the blocks. The statement on Twitter shows that the blockchain is gradually moving towards total decentralization following the launch of the long-awaited Shelley mainnet earlier this year.

Cardano, a brainchild of Ethereum’s co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, is transitioning from a federated system operated by the IOG, the creators, to a fully decentralized blockchain controlled and operated by the public stake pools.

Following Shelley’s launch, Cardano began its journey to total decentralization with “the percentage of blocks produced by public stake pools increasing at every epoch until block production on Cardano becomes fully decentralized.” The statement reads,

“Currently, 50% of the blocks are [validated] and produced by the stake pools.”

At the Shelley mainnet network launch in late July this year, ADA (Cardano’s native token) holders can now delegate their tokens to community-run stake pools and earn rewards. Before, in the earlier centralized era of Byron, the IOG produced the blocks and earned rewards to ensure the continuous development of the blockchain.

At epoch 3, the Cardano blockchain introduced the first decentralized stake pools minting ADA token. Currently, at epoch 227, a total of 1212 public stake pools have joined the minting process, as of writing – surpassing the targeted 1,000 stake pools.

With the rise of community stake pools, IOG (federated IOHK nodes) will delegate a substantial stake to other community pools. This is an effort not to increase “D” and avoid the re-centralization of Cardano block production, Kevin Hammond, IOHK’s software engineer, stated in a blog post in August.

As of Friday this week, Cardano expects the d-parameter (decentralization parameter, whereby d=1 is completely centralized and d=0 is fully decentralized) to drop to 0.48 – showing the Cardano community will be running most of the block production.

Interesting times ahead for Cardano ahead!

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Author: Lujan Odera

Digital Asset Trading Platform eToro Rolls Out Cardano (ADA) And Tron (TRX) Staking Service

Popular trading platform, eToro, announced on Thursday that it would provide staking rewards for cryptocurrencies starting with Cardano (ADA) and Tron (TRX).

The multi-asset exchange stated that clients that own these cryptocurrencies, ADA, or TRX, would have a chance to earn rewards by staking, which will be paid out monthly. The firm also revealed that it plans to introduce other assets later, but hasn’t revealed what the next digital assets would be.

According to the press statement, the system is fully automated, and users will not need to do anything extra but just trade these assets like normal.

The rewards will be calculated by taking a daily snapshot, which will be taken at 00:00 GMT. The automated system calculates the staking rewards based on the snapshot and distributes them at month-end according to the average daily position size. This means that traders who will change their positions on these cryptocurrencies over the course of the month will see their staking rewards change.

Like most proof of staking (PoS) tokens, investors will need to hold the assets for a certain number of days before they receive the first reward. However, the amount of time required is variable. For Cardano, one must hold the asset for nine days.

According to the press release, the rewards will be compounded on a monthly basis. It says:

“Clients staking on eToro benefit from doing so on a regulated and globally trusted platform. We also believe staking rewards on our platforms are among the most generous in the market, from a minimum of 75% of the staking yield.”

In late July, Cardano introduced staking on its mainnet following a successful trial using an incentivized testnet. In the recent past, staking as a service has gained prominence, and eToro will now be competing with various exchanges and independent staking providers such as Binance, Coinbase, Bison Trials, and many more.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Coinbase Launches Staking Program For Cosmos, ATOM Holders Can Earn 5%

In a blog post released on Wednesday, Coinbase introduced staking on ATOM, promising up to 5% return per annum on the value staked. The Cosmos Staking Reward will be available to select customers across 48 states in the U.S and across Europe, including the U.K., Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and France.

This is an automatic process generated by Coinbase. Users only need to deposit ATOM or buy the tokens directly on the exchange to start earning rewards. At launch, ATOM rewards will be distributed every seven days – Tezos (XTZ) rewards are distributed every three days.

‘Coinbase is always looking for ways to enable easy and secure participation in the crypto-economy,” the statement reads.

Cosmos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that allows users to “stake” their tokens to participate in the governance of the network and receive rewards in the process. The blockchain provides interoperability across blockchain and their native tokens.

A spokesperson from Coinbase to The Block states ATOM staking will charge a commission of 25% is lower than that of XTZ. The latter offers a 15% annual return being the only staking platform on the exchange before ATOM joined. Since launching in Q4 2019, Tezos holders have received more than $2 million in rewards from Coinbase.

Coinbase stated they would be adding more tokens to its staking program in the future.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bison Trails, Coinbase Custody Colab to Add Solana (SOL) Staking as Institutional Demand Grows

Bison Trails and Coinbase Custody are further scaling their collaboration by introducing staking on Solana (SOL) blockchain. According to a press release shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, this initiative will enable Coinbase clients to leverage enterprise-grade validators within the Bison Trails ecosystem.

The two entities have been working together and have recently introduced staking on Polkadot as well. This latest milestone, therefore, comes as a significant boost in the ongoing partnership between Coinbase Custody and Bison Trails. Interestingly, both firms are based in New York, with former being regulated by NYDFS while the latter operates as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service Company.

Following this development, Coinbase Custody will feature among the pioneer digital asset cold storage providers to offer to stake on Solana. Combined with the Bison Trails infrastructure, Coinbase Custody is set to give its users an option to stake Solana tokens while their digital assets are stored offline and safe. The press release reads,

“Customers of both Coinbase Custody and Bison Trails will be able to select their Bison Trails validator via the Coinbase interface. This will make it simple to participate in securing Solana and Polkadot in just a few clicks.”

While the press release does not specify a speculated reward range, it highlights that staking SOL tokens at the moment increases the time-frame of becoming active before inflation adjustments are triggered for users to start earning rewards.

Bison Trails CEO, Joe Lallouz, has touted this advancement, noting the underlying value proposition in user experience,

“It’s a seamless integration and a phenomenal user experience. We look forward to working with the Coinbase Custody team to continue to add support for more protocols in the near future.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui