A PSA for liquid stakers by Danny Ryan βœ•

Ethereum Staking

Ethereum is secured using the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. Staking is the act of validating new transactions and adding new blocks while locking your ETH as a form of insurance. In exchange for supporting the network, staking participants earn rewards.

Staking is a public good for the Ethereum ecosystem. Any user with any amount of ETH can help secure the network and earn rewards in the process.

Explore Staking Methods

While solo staking is the gold standard, there's a variety of other options that each have their own requirements, risks, and considerations. Explore the different methods of staking below and follow the steps to get started!

Solo Staking

πŸ₯‡ Most Recommended

Run your own node 😎

View details
Hosted Solo Staking
Examples
  • Ethpool
  • Allnodes
View details
Pool Node Operator
Examples
  • Rocket Pool
  • Stakewise (coming)
View details
Decentralized Staking Pool
Examples
  • Rocket Pool (rETH holder)
  • Stakewise
  • Lido
View details
Centralized Exchange Staking

❌ Not Recommended

Examples
  • Coinbase
  • Binance
  • Kraken
View details

Take our self-assessment quiz!

It can be overwhelming figuring out which staking method is best for you. This self-assessment will help you arrive at a solution through a series of questions.

Start quiz!

Do you have your own self-custody wallet?

Some examples of a self-custody wallet (also referred to as a non-custodial wallet) are Metamask, Ledger, Argent, Trezor, Tally, Rainbow, Lattice, and Coinbase Wallet (different than the exchange).

Yes

No

Are you willing to create and learn to use a non-custodial wallet? (highly recommended)

Yes

No

Staking on a centralized exchange πŸ˜”

Looks like staking on a CEX is the only option for you at the moment. Check out the linked options and make sure you understand the risks (potential loss of funds).

If you change your mind about creating a wallet we recommend leveling up with a decentralized staking pool.

View options

Awesome!

You can learn about wallets, how to use them, and different options here: https://ethereum.org/en/wallets/

Continue

Do you have 10.4 ETH or more?

Yes

No

Staking with a decentralized protocol πŸ™‚

Looks like using a decentralized staking pool is best for you. Check out the linked options and make sure you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each before making a decision.

If you acquire 17.6 ETH or more we recommend leveling up to a pool node operator.

View options

Do you have internet with at least 1 TB bandwidth per month?

It’s okay if the service is spotty, 100% uptime is not needed.

Yes

No

Do you have 32 ETH or more?

Yes

No

Staking as a pool node operator, hosted on Allnodes πŸ™‚

Looks like staking as a Rocket Pool node operator using Allnodes hosting is best for you.

If you gain internet, we recommend leveling up to operating your own node as a staking pool node operator.

Go to Allnodes

Hosted solo staking πŸ™‚

Looks like hosted solo staking is best for you. Check out the linked options and make sure you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each before making a decision.

If you gain internet, we recommend leveling up to operating your own node as a solo staker.

View options

Do you have 32 ETH or more?

Yes

No

Are you comfortable following a guide that may require some simple copy-paste in command line?

Don’t be afraid of the command line, the guides take you step-by-step and show you each command to copy and paste.

Yes

No

Are you comfortable following a guide that may require some simple copy-paste in command line?

Don’t be afraid of the command line, the guides take you step-by-step and show you each command to copy and paste.

Yes

No

Staking as a pool node operator πŸ˜ƒ

Looks like being a staking pool node operator is best for you.

If you acquire 32 ETH or more we recommend leveling up to solo staking.

View options

Solo staking 😎

Looks like solo staking via manual setup is best for you. Thank you for helping secure the network in the best way possible!

View options

Solo staking 😎

Looks like solo staking via the plug & play setup or manually using a GUI is best for you. Thank you for helping secure the network in the best way possible!

View options
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Solo Staking

πŸ₯‡ Most Recommended

Staking is the act of depositing 32 ETH to activate validator software. As a validator you’ll be responsible for storing data, processing transactions, and adding new blocks to the blockchain. This will keep Ethereum secure for everyone and you earn new ETH in the process.

Learn more

Requirements
  • 32 ETH
  • Dedicated computer
  • Internet
Risks
  • Bug in Ethereum
Rewards
  • + Staking APR
  • + MEV / tips
Considerations
  • Most recommended

Getting Started

When setting up your validator you have two options: plug & play and manual setup. For plug & play, you can buy a pre-built machine that contains the validator software and a friendly UI (no command line). For the manual setup, you will need to use a spare computer or assemble your own and then setup the validator software using the command line (following step-by-step guides where you copy/paste commands).

Plug & Play
Beginner Friendly!

Buy a staking device that comes with the validator software pre-installed!

  1. Select a provider to purchase a unit from
  2. Plug in the device and folow their setup prompts
  3. That's it, it's that simple! πŸŽ‰
Manual Setup (GUI)

Setup your validator manually using an app interface.

  1. Hardware requirements and selection
  2. Select an execution client
    • Nethermind recommended
  3. Select a consensus client
    • Lodestar recommended
  4. Setup your validator
Manual Setup (CLI)

Setup your validator manually using the command line with copy/paste commands.

  1. Hardware requirements and selection
  2. Select an execution client
    • Nethermind recommended
  3. Select a consensus client
    • Lodestar recommended
  4. Setup your validator

Hosted Solo Staking

Staking as a service (β€œSaaS") represents a category of staking services where you deposit your own 32 ETH for a validator, but delegate node operations to a third-party operator. This process usually involves being guided through the initial setup, including key generation and deposit, then uploading your signing keys to the operator. This allows the service to operate your validator on your behalf, usually for a monthly fee.

Learn more

Requirements
  • 32 ETH
Risks
  • Bug in Ethereum
  • Service interruption
  • Penalties
Rewards
  • + Staking APR
  • + MEV / tips
  • - Hosting fees
Considerations
  • Key custody
  • Centralization risks
  • Hosting fees

Getting Started

Providers for hosted staking vary greatly, each with their own benefits and risks. You should consider that all hosting options require additional trust assumptions compared to home-staking. Make sure to understand each of these risks while viewing the options linked below.

View hosted staking options

Staking Pool Node Operator

As a pool node operator you have the same responsibilities as a solo operator (managing a validator), but you will be operating a validator for a staking pool protocol. Since a portion of the 32 ETH required for a validator comes from the pool, the node operator can create a validator for less than 32 ETH (amount depends on the protocol). To balance incentives, the node operator may also earn commission on the portion of the ETH that's from the pool.

Requirements
  • 16 ETH
  • Token collateral
  • Dedicated computer
  • Internet
Risks
  • Bug in Ethereum
  • Contract bug / exploit
Rewards
  • + Staking APR
  • + MEV / tips
  • + Commission
  • + Token rewards
Considerations
  • Audits
  • Commission rate
  • Token rewards

Getting Started

While solo staking is the gold standard, being a pool node operator is probably the second best way to stake. Select a staking pool from below (Rocket Pool is recommended) and follow their respective guides for setting up your validator.

Rocket Pool
Recommended

Rocket Pool is recommended on this list due to it being permissionless and healthiest for the network, which strengthens your own investment.

Learn more
Stakewise
Recommended

StakeWise is recommended on this list due to it being permissionless and healthiest for the network, which strengthens your own investment.

Learn more

Decentralized Staking Pool

Staking pools are a collaborative approach to allow many users with smaller amounts of ETH to obtain the 32 ETH required for staking. Not all staking pools are equal and carry different risks, ranging from trustless to off-chain. When participating in a staking pool you are given a liquid staking token (LST) in return, which can be used in defi or exchanged back for ETH as desired.

Learn more

Requirements
  • Any amount of ETH
  • Self-custody wallet
Risks
  • Bug in Ethereum
  • Contract bug / exploit
  • LST token contract bug / exploit
Rewards
  • + Staking APR
  • + MEV / tips
  • - Fees / commission
Considerations
  • Audits
  • OFAC compliance
  • Accrual type / taxes
  • Fees/commission

Getting Started

Select a staking pool from below (Rocket Pool is recommended) and use their app to exchange ETH for their LST. LSTs can then be used in defi, but make sure to use a combination of hot and cold wallets and be careful of phishing sites.

Level Up!

If you need help learning how to use a decentralized staking protocol (highly recommended), please utilize the following resources:

  1. What is self custody?
  2. Choosing a wallet
  3. Setup hot and cold wallets

When using a self-custody wallet, always be careful searching for links (many ads are phishing websites), check the URL you’re accessing, and cautious of emails since many phishing attempts appear to be real.

Rocket Pool
Most Recommended

Rocket Pool is the most recommended on this list due to it being permissionless and healthiest for the network, which strengthens your own investment.

Open app
Stakewise
Recommended

StakeWise is recommended, but does not yet have a permissionless operator set. This is in their roadmap and is slated to be completed soon.

Open app
Lido
Not Recommended

Lido currently controls ~30% of the network. This majority stake is considered an attack on Ethereum and EthStaker highly discourages new stakers from using them.

Open app

Centralized Exchange Staking

❌ Not Recommended

Centralized exchange (CEX) staking is NOT RECOMMENDED. Staking on a CEX requires that you relinquish control of your ETH in exchange for a non-enforceable IOU. It is possible, in the case that the exchange encounters financial issues, that your ETH is never returned to you.

The ethos behind the creation of cryptocurrency is empowering you to have more control over your own assets. CEX staking is counter to this ethos and is like handing your money to a bank without the federal guarantees that back up the assets.

Requirements
  • Any amount of ETH
  • An appetite for risk
Risks
  • Bug in Ethereum
  • Service interruption
  • Loss of funds
Rewards
  • + Staking APR
  • + MEV / tips
  • - Fees / commission
Considerations
  • Terms of agreement
  • Jurisdiction
  • Reliability of provider
  • OFAC compliance
  • Fees/commission

Getting Started

Again, this is not recommended due to the risks and negative effects on the network. If you still choose to proceed, select a CEX from below to stake with, create an account, and follow the guide to stake with them. Make sure to improve your email and exchange account security by setting up 2FA for login/withdrawal (using an authenticator app, not SMS), and be careful of phishing emails that look real.

Level Up!

If you need help learning how to use a decentralized staking protocol (highly recommended), please utilize the following resources:

  1. What is self custody?
  2. Choosing a wallet
  3. Staking with a decentralized protocol
  4. Setup hot and cold wallets

When using a self-custody wallet, always be careful searching for links (many ads are phishing websites), check the URL you’re accessing, and cautious of emails since many phishing attempts appear to be real.

Coinbase
Not Recommended
Learn more
Binance
Not Recommended
Learn more