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How to stake Avalanche

Learn how staking AVAX in the Avalanche network works, plus find out where and how to get started.

Avalanche is a blockchain that allows developers to launch multi-functional decentralised applications (dApps) and enterprise blockchain solutions. The network targets the limitations of similar development blockchains, like Ethereum, with its highly scalable, interoperable and efficient transaction ecosystem. Developers deploying their solutions on Avalanche can easily create secure, reliable and powerful applications.

Avalanche's native cryptocurrency is called AVAX. AVAX is used to pay fees, provide a unit of currency between different subnets of the Avalanche network and secure the Avalanche blockchain through staking.

In this guide, we will go through the different ways users can earn interest from their AVAX tokens.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

What is AVAX staking and how does it work?

Staking is the process of depositing and locking up cryptocurrency tokens to participate in a blockchain's Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. Staked tokens are used to validate transactions and secure the associated network. There are several cryptocurrency blockchains that implement this mechanism, including Avalanche. Staking rewards are offered to utilise users to lock up their coins.

Any person who wishes to support the Avalanche Proof-of-Stake mechanism can do so by locking a specified amount of the blockchain's native cryptocurrency AVAX. The staked cryptocurrencies cannot be moved or used during the locking period. The deposit of staked AVAX tokens ensures that validation nodes are committed to the development and stability of the network.

There are two ways users can stake AVAX tokens: become a validator or become a delegator.

Validators can be thought of as active nodes in the network that validate transactions and secure the blockchain. The more tokens that a validator has staked, the more frequently a validator will be asked to participate in the network, which means increased rewards.

Delegators are those who wish to stake but want to remain relatively passive. Delegators trust an existing validator node through the delegation of their staked tokens. Delegators are subsequently rewarded for their support.

Validators

To become a validator in the Avalanche network, a user must stake a minimum of 2,000 AVAX tokens. These tokens must be staked for a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 1 year.

To ensure the decentra of the system, each validator holds a maximum weighting. The maximum weighting is composed of the validator's stake plus the stake delegated to them. The maximum weight is the minimum out of 3 million AVAX tokens or 5 times the amount staked by the validator. For example, if a user staked 2,000 AVAX to become a validator, they can only be delegated 8,000 AVAX. This safety mechanism is implemented to prevent validators from creating multiple rogue nodes that act like delegators. This would defraud the system through a Sybil attack.

To receive staking rewards, a validator must be online and correct at least 60% of the time. Alongside collecting rewards, validators can set their own delegation fee that they charge to delegators for their services.

Delegators

To become a delegator in the Avalanche network, a user must stake at least 25 AVAX tokens. Like validators, these tokens must be staked for a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 1 year.

When delegating staked tokens, a user must choose to allow a validator node to process transactions on their behalf. Choosing to delegate AVAX tokens does not put your AVAX at risk. A validator cannot spend staked AVAX tokens and a user will always receive the original staked amount plus staking rewards at the end of the locking period. Rewards collected by the validators are distributed back to delegators proportional to the number of staked tokens.

Note: Delegators are charged a delegation fee by validators due to the increased effort validators must employ. This delegation fee is usually not less than 2%.

Now that you know what Avalanche staking is, let's look at the specific ways a user can stake AVAX tokens.


How to stake AVAX

Staking in the Avalanche network can be completed through a digital wallet or via an exchange.

Here we will run through the steps to become a delegator.

How to stake AVAX through a wallet

  1. Access the official AVAX wallet – The first step when staking Avalanche is to access the platform's official wallet. You have two options: access an existing wallet or create a new one. If you already have your AVAX funds in an Avalanche wallet, proceed to step 2. If you have AVAX funds in a cryptocurrency exchange or external wallet, click "Create New Wallet" and follow the guidelines.
AVAX wallet

Must read: The Exchange Chain (X-Chain), Platform Chain (P-Chain) and Contracts Chain (C-Chain)

The Avalanche blockchain is made up of 3 sub-chains: The Exchange Chain (X-Chain), the Platform Chain (P-Chain) and the Contracts Chain (C-Chain).

X-Chain is the main asset chain on Avalanche used for the creation of new asset classes. An address created in this chain is known as an X address. When you hold your assets in your X address, they remain liquid, meaning that you are free to transfer them to other X addresses or P addresses.

P-Chain is the platform chain that manages metadata in the Avalanche network, such as staking. An address created on the P-Chain is known as a P address. When you hold assets in a P address, you make them illiquid. You will not always be able to move your assets into your X address freely, and you cannot transfer them to another P address. To move assets from one P address to another, you have to send them back to your X address and then send them to another P address.

C-Chain is the contracts chain that enables the smart contract functionality of decentralised applications. While the X- and P-Chains are involved in the staking process, the C-Chain is not.

  1. Transfer the amount of AVAX you wish to stake to your P address – If your funds are still in your X address, you must first transfer them to your P address (read above). To do this, click on "Earn" on the right sidebar. The transfer to the P-Chain requires a 0.001 AVAX transaction fee for processing. Ensure that you add 0.001 AVAX to the amount you wish to stake and click "TRANSFER" to confirm.AVAX transfer
  2. Add delegation to a validator – Now that your funds are in your P address, you are ready to stake. On the "Earn" page, click on "ADD DELEGATOR".AVAX delegate

On the next page, you will receive a list of validators ordered by the total amount staked. Choose one validator by clicking on the "SELECT" button.AVAX select

You will be presented with the delegate page where you must choose your staking period, the amount you wish to delegate, and specify the address you want to receive your rewards. You cannot stake for a longer period than the validator node you choose.

  1. Confirm and submit – Once you have entered the information, click "CONFIRM" and then click "SUBMIT" to process the delegation. You are now delegating and will start earning staking rewards.AVAX submit

The method for becoming a validator is similar to becoming a delegator but requires slightly more technical expertise. As a validator, you will be responsible for keeping the node online 24/7 and you will need to stake a minimum of 2,000 AVAX. By becoming a validating node in the network you will validate new blocks and mint new AVAX tokens. For more information on becoming a validator please view the Avalanche documentation here.

How to stake AVAX through an exchange

Instead of delegating or launching a validator node, an AVAX token holder can stake AVAX through a cryptocurrency exchange such as Binance. In this case, Binance acts as the validator and takes care of the technical aspects of staking in Avalanche. Staking rewards are calculated and paid out daily.

How to stake AVAX through an exchange like Binance Step 1. Binance exchange. Head over to the Binance exchange.Binance exchangeStep 2. Create an account or log in. If you don't already have a Binance account, click "Register" and follow the account guidelines. If you already have a Binance account, log in to your account. Step 3. Acquire or deposit AVAX tokens. If you do not already own AVAX tokens, purchase some via the exchange either via a fiat to crypto purchase or crypto to crypto exchange. If you already own AVAX tokens, transfer them to the exchange. Step 4. Binance Earn. Once funds are held in your Binance wallet, click the "Finance" tab at the top of the screen, followed by "Binance Earn".binance earnStep 5. Find AVAX products. In the search bar, type "AVAX" and find the earning products related to AVAX tokens.Find AVAXStep 6. Staking. Find the staking product and click "Stake". Enter the amount of AVAX tokens you would like to stake and the time period you wish to lock your assets up for. Step 7. Confirm. Accept the terms and conditions and confirm the transaction.

Once confirmed, you will begin accruing staking rewards within the Binance exchange.

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Platforms that offer AVAX staking

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more

314
cryptocurrencies

New users earn up to USD $500 in bonus rewards on qualified deposits and trades. Valid till 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply.
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
CA residents: Binance is not available for Ontario-based users.
Nexo Cryptocurrency Lending
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency
EUR, GBP, USD

14
cryptocurrencies

Borrow and lend fiat, stablecoins or cryptocurrency, with 24/7 customer service and the option of using NEXO tokens for more competitive offers.
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How much can I earn by staking Avalanche (AVAX)?

According to the Avalanche website, at the time of writing (September 2021) the average AVAX staking yield is approximately 10% APY. The maximum yield is 11% APY. To earn the maximum amount, a user must be correct over 60% of the time and stake every day throughout the year.

Ultimately, how much a user can earn staking AVAX is dependent on a few factors:

  • The amount of AVAX tokens being staked
  • The locking period of AVAX
  • The validator selected to validate transactions on behalf of a delegator (delegation fees will vary)
  • The total amount of AVAX staked on the network. If there is an excess of AVAX, the incentive to stake will be marginally lowered, and vice versa

In terms of real-world value, it will depend upon the market at the end of the locking period. If the price of AVAX increases during the locking period, the cumulative total of AVAX tokens, plus interest, will be worth more. However, if the price of AVAX decreases, the cumulative total may be worth less than at the start of the staking period.


Is staking AVAX safe?

Staking AVAX tokens through the Avalanche wallet is a relatively safe process as the wallet is an offline application, even though it runs inside a web browser. The wallet is a JavaScript app that leverages web technology for the front end which means it appears in the browser but does not connect to a server.

For extra safety, a user can double-check they are using the Avalanche network by unplugging or disconnecting the computer from the Internet. When a user enters their secret key or mnemonic phrase for wallet access, the process should still work.

So far, many investors have used the Avalanche wallet to stake AVAX without any major security complications.

Staking AVAX tokens through an exchange such as Binance adds an extra level of uncertainty to the process due to dealing with a third party. While Binance and other cryptocurrency exchanges are extremely secure, they are inherently at more risk due to being connected to the Internet.


Pros and cons of staking AVAX

Pros

  • No mechanism for destroying staked tokens. Unlike other Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanisms that implement a slashing technique to punish validators for malicious activity, the protocols implemented at Avalanche mean there is no risk of digital assets being destroyed through a slashing-type process.
  • Low hardware requirement. Becoming a validator in the Avalanche network requires little hardware in comparison to other blockchains.
  • Support the network. Staking AVAX tokens helps to actively support and secure the Avalanche blockchain.
  • Offline access. Holdings can be accessed completely offline when choosing to stake through the AVAX wallet.

Cons

  • Malicious validators. Whilst malicious validators are not punished by slashing, it does mean all interest earnings would be lost.
  • Illiquidity. Locking in assets for a set period means that those assets will not be tradable if market conditions change.
  • Accountable. If a user loses a wallet password and seed phrase they can lose access to AVAX holdings.
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Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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