How To Earn Staking Rewards on NEAR
Staking on a good protocol can be a fruitful way of making some passive income. Speculative investors in cryptocurrency often find themselves wondering how they can utilize their capital beyond the gradual increase in the value of their assets. Becoming a validator offers rewards for holding assets, but also contributes to the security and decentralization of the protocol. Here we are going to look at staking on the NEAR blockchain.
What is the NEAR protocol?
NEAR is a layer 1 protocol that maintains a scalable and diverse ecosystem for the development of decentralized applications. Using Proof-of-Stake as its base consensus algorithm, NEAR is working towards an eco-friendly Web3. Using validators to produce blocks on the NEAR protocol, offers a chance to gain rewards on a climate neutral system.
The NEAR protocol is a development platform that incorporates sharding and a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. These aspects of the chain increase the speed while decreasing the transaction times. Validator pools like Avado offer an opportunity to become part of a much larger group of consensus builders that make the network more dynamic and offer greater reward possibilities to those with less capital.
Validator pools are similar to mining pools. They allow users to gather together and create larger spheres of influence and gain a greater chance to partake in block creation.
Staking on NEAR
Like many other modern protocols, NEAR offers a simple-to-use interface so that holders of NEAR can engage and add to the security of the overall network. By going to a site that offers staking you can choose to delegate or become a validator yourself. By delegating your NEAR to a validator you receive fewer rewards overall but you also risk less and have a greater chance to gain block rewards.
Becoming a validator yourself requires some research into choosing the right hardware to use to become a validator, and a lot of capital upfront prior to staking your coins.
By delegating your coins or being a validator, you will need to lock your assets for a pre-set period of time, minimum lock time on NEAR being 12 hours. Delegating your tokens is a more simple method of contributing to the NEAR network, especially if you are new to staking.
Some of the main benefits of staking on the NEAR protocol are:
- A fast-growing ecosystem; seeing that NEAR is a relatively new protocol, the potential for growth within the network is greater than some better known blockchain ecosystems.
- Rewards for staking; there are a lot of opportunities to make a return on your investment. By staking your NEAR coins you will make rewards from your assets while also securing the network.
- Decentralized Web3; as the NEAR protocol grows, it is forming a base for Web3 applications to be built on it. Its staking mechanism ensures that decentralization continues to be a core focus of its existence in the blockchain space.
Some of the cons of becoming a validator on NEAR:
- High initial investment; to run a node on the NEAR protocol and validate blocks for yourself, you will need some specialized hardware and 160K in NEAR coins to get started
- Competition; with validator pools composed of many more stakers than a solo staker, your chances of earning rewards by yourself are reduced.
How To Run a NEAR Validator Node
Staking NEAR is a very straightforward process and is not particularly different from staking tokens on any other protocol. If you have already staked tokens before you will more-or-less already understand what this process is.
To become a Validator on NEAR, you will need:
- A NEAR wallet
- Hardware (CPU min. 8 physical cores, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD)
- NEAR coins to stake.
- An active internet connection
You will need a personal wallet, you cannot stake NEAR from your exchange wallet. Using the official NEAR wallet will be your best option in this case, though others do also work.
You will also need the right hardware to run your Validator. These are small gadgets that look like routers that facilitate the staking process of adding blocks to the chain. You will need to configure your Hardware and have it connected to your internet before you can continue.
After you have connected your device, you must confirm that you have some NEAR in your wallet that are available to use. Your NEAR cannot be in transition or staked elsewhere. Avado is an example of a company that provides both hardware (the AMD Ryzen 9) and software solutions so that you can become a validator.
Once your wallet is connected, you can start receiving rewards as soon as your node begins producing new blocks.
Note that while you are acting as a validator, your coins cannot be used elsewhere until they are unlocked from the platform you are using.
Delegating Your NEAR
Delegating coins rather than becoming a validator yourself holds some key advantages.
As an example, validators and validator pools require far larger amounts of initial investment to run. If you decide to delegate your coins rather than stake on your own, you will not need any hardware and can save on the cost of purchasing one.
A drawback of delegating though is that you will need to pay fees on the rewards you make back to the pool. Generally, NEAR delegating fees are around 7.57% on average.
The major difference in the process of delegating coins to a validator pool is that rather than finding a platform that you can validate blocks through, you will need to find a validator pool. Once you have found the right pool for you, you can delegate your coins to that pool and make incremental rewards based on how productive the pool is.
It is important to note that you do not send your coins to the validator but rather allocate them to a smart contract that is connected to your delegate. As soon as you wish to retrieve your coins you may make a request to unlock them and have them returned to your wallet. You will need to wait for the mandatory unlocking period to finish to have access to them once more.
Should you choose to delegate your coins rather than become a validator, one of the essential choices that you will need to make is what pool to join.
Best Way to Stake Your NEAR
We have looked at some of the options to stake your NEAR and now we are going to look at a validator pool that is actively seeking stakers. Avado has gone through a rather particular set of circumstances recently, putting them in a situation where they can offer an extremely attractive staking opportunity.
The Avado pool is seeking new NEAR token holders. Their incentive is a six month 0% fee on the staking reward. This is close to unheard of within the NEAR protocol and is an unprecedented chance for new and even veteran NEAR holders to make higher staking rewards.
When working in a validator pool it is expected to pay some fees back to the platform. This is how validators maintain their pools. Because of the rules of basic supply and demand, Avado is choosing to forego these fees and build up a robust and well-populated validator pool.
The Avado team is sharply aware of their network of delegators, and are deeply focused on preventing issues going forward. For this reason, they are monitoring the situation very closely with the aim of keeping their delegators happy. Beyond this, from their side, they are particularly careful about future updates and keeping their platform in line with the NEAR system.
Anyone holding NEAR can partake in this opportunity, regardless of how many coins you own. By going to avado.poolv1.near from your wallet, you can delegate your coins and start making rewards. If you have an Avado device already you can also become a validator yourself on the Avado platform but you will need a minimum of 160K NEAR to join the 100 active validators. This will only be available for the r9 Hardware users.
Currently, Avado offers two distinct options for staking:
- Run your own validator node on an Avado device: Currently, you would need to own or purchase an AVADO r9 Computer specific to the NEAR staking process and have a minimum stake of 160K NEAR. As of July 13th, 2022, you can also qualify to be one of the Chunk-Only Producers per shard, using the AVADO i7 or r9 Computer. This will also come with a minimum staking amount which may be delegated to you by the NEAR Foundation.
- Delegate your NEAR to the Avado Pool: At this time, this is the best option available, not only with Avado but possibly across all staking platforms connecting to NEAR. You can stake and receive rewards with 0% reward fees, which translates to 100% rewards. Bear in mind that the average staking fee is 7.57% according to StakingRewrads. You also have the peace of mind that the Avado team is heavily invested in making sure that their platform is safe and up-to-date.
Now that you have all the information you need on the NEAR staking process and the options available to you, we hope that you will utilize your NEAR coins effectively. The options available to Avado users are also very clear here and there is certainly one stands out from the options. Delegating your NEAR to Avado validators does not require any hardware, and comes at a 0% fee rate for at least the coming six months.
This is a great opportunity for users at all levels. You can get involved today and make returns with 0% fees for up to six months without worry. Avado is keen and steadfast on making sure that their community is backed up and safe from issues. Get involved today to start making rewards on a protocol that is diverse, eco-friendly, and paving the way for Web3.