What is Staking In Crypto?

by
Brihasi Dey
Reviewed by
min read
Last updated:

Often referred to as the environmentally-friendly alternative to mining, staking has quickly become a key component in the world of cryptocurrencies. But what exactly is staking?

In layman's language, staking involves earning rewards by holding or locking up specific cryptocurrencies, similar to earning interest on a savings account over time. 

However, staking goes beyond passive holding and actively contributes to the security and operation of blockchain networks.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about staking and its tax implications.

What is Staking?

At its core, staking involves participating in a proof-of-stake (PoS) or delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) blockchain network. Here, you lock some cryptocurrency in a digital wallet to support the blockchain operations such as transaction validation, security, and governance. 

Unlike traditional mining, which requires considerable computational power, staking involves verifying transactions and maintaining network security based on the amount of cryptocurrency you hold and are willing to "stake" as collateral.

Why Only Certain Cryptocurrencies Can Be Staked?

Not all cryptocurrencies can be staked. The ability to stake a token depends on the blockchain's consensus mechanism. 

Staking is available in PoS and DPoS networks, like Ethereum 2.0 or Tezos. Cryptocurrencies that rely on proof-of-work (PoW) consensus, such as Bitcoin, cannot be staked.

Let’s discuss this in detail.

Proof of Work (PoW) VS Proof of Stake (PoS) 

Cryptocurrencies utilize different consensus mechanisms to maintain their decentralized nature, with two main types being: Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).

In many cryptocurrencies, for instance, Bitcoin or Ethereum 1.0, miners worldwide compete to validate transactions by solving complex cryptographic puzzles. The first miner to solve the puzzle and verify a block of transactions is rewarded with a designated amount of cryptocurrency. This consensus mechanism is Proof of Work (PoW) which requires significant energy consumption and computational power.

Proof of Stake (PoS) operates differently. It relies on users, known as stakers, who invest in the blockchain by holding and staking their cryptocurrency. 

Stakers are selected to add new blocks to the network and receive rewards. Staking can be done either by becoming a network validator, which requires a substantial investment, or by providing liquidity on platforms that support staking.

These blockchains (e.g. Ethereum 2.0) are specifically designed to require staking participation for transaction processing. 

Unlike PoW, where miners solve puzzles, PoS blockchains rely on stakers to provide liquidity, ensuring the network's operation.

Exploring Staking in Action: How Does Staking Work?

If you hold a PoS-based cryptocurrency, you can stake it on the network to earn rewards. This process involves several steps including:

  • Acquiring Cryptocurrency: The first step is to acquire the PoS cryptocurrency that you wish to stake. This usually involves buying it on an exchange.
  • Storing in a Wallet: Next, you'll need to move your cryptocurrency into a wallet that supports staking. Some exchanges also offer staking services.
  • Staking: Once the coins are in a compatible wallet, you can choose to stake them. This will lock up your tokens for a set period, during which they will be used to support network operations.
  • Earning Rewards: As you stake your coins, you'll earn rewards, typically as additional tokens. The amount you receive depends on factors such as the length of time you stake your coins and the total amount of coins staked in the network.

An Example of Staking: Ethereum 2.0

Let's understand this better with a simplified example of staking Ethereum 2.0:

Ethereum, which originally operated on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism similar to Bitcoin, has been transitioning to a proof-of-stake system to improve scalability, security, and sustainability. This new PoS system is Ethereum 2.0.

The minimum amount of ETH required for staking on Ethereum 2.0 is 32 ETH. If you have this amount, you can become a validator who processes transactions and creates new blocks in the blockchain. 

If you have less than 32 ETH, you can still participate in staking via staking pools, where multiple stakeholders pool their ETH together.

By staking your ETH and becoming a validator, you help secure the Ethereum network. In return, you are rewarded with additional ETH. The reward rate varies but is currently around 4.6% annually. 

Remember, these rewards are considered income and can have tax implications.

The Benefits of Staking: Why Stake Your Cryptocurrency?

Staking offers benefits for both individuals and the network itself. As a participant, staking allows you to lock up a specific amount of cryptocurrency with a protocol or platform and earn rewards or "interest" in return.

From the network's perspective, there are several advantages. 

  • Firstly, when users stake their tokens, it reduces the available token supply. This scarcity can potentially increase the value of the tokens as demand rises and supply decreases.
  • Staking contributes to the network's processing power, enabling more efficient transaction validation. This means the network can handle transactions more effectively and securely.
  • Staking enhances the decentralized nature of the network. Stakers actively participate in the transaction validation process, eliminating the need for a centralized authority to control and determine transaction processing. This decentralized approach fosters trust, transparency, and ensures that no single entity has control over the network.

Staking and Taxes: Navigating the Tax Implications of Staking

Tax treatment for staking and the rewards vary by region. In most countries, staking rewards are considered income and need to be declared in the tax returns accordingly. 

You may also be subject to capital gains taxes when cashing out these rewards, such as:

  • Converting the rewards to fiat currency
  • Exchanging it for another cryptocurrency
  • Purchasing any goods or services using the crypto

Depending on your income bracket and holding period, your capital gains tax rate may vary.

It's essential to understand the specific guidelines in your region or consult with a qualified tax professional for accurate advice.

So, How Do You Deal With Staking Taxes Using Kryptos?

Calculating all the different tax implications on your staking rewards can be complex. Fortunately, Kryptos’s crypto tax software includes a dedicated category for staking rewards – making tracking and reporting them for tax purposes easy. 

If the rewards haven't been automatically categorized, simply choose 'staking rewards' from the 'receive' option in the menu. This ensures accurate and efficient management of your staking activities.

To try it for free, Sign Up Now.

FAQs

1. Can all cryptocurrencies be staked?

Not all cryptocurrencies can be staked. Only cryptocurrencies that use a proof-of-stake (PoS) or delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism can be staked. Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH) and Cardano (ADA) can be staked, but cryptocurrencies that use a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus, like Bitcoin, cannot.

2. What are staking rewards?

Staking rewards are additional cryptocurrency tokens that you earn as compensation for staking your tokens to support a blockchain network. The rate at which you earn staking rewards varies depending on the cryptocurrency and the staking protocol.

3. What is a staking pool?

A staking pool is a group of coin holders merging their resources to increase their chances of validating blocks and receiving rewards. They combine their staking power and share the rewards proportionally to the amount each person has staked.

4. Are staking rewards taxable?

Yes, staking rewards are often considered taxable income. The exact tax treatment can vary based on jurisdiction and individual circumstances, but staking rewards are typically taxed as income at their fair market value at the time they were received. Always consult with a tax professional for advice tailored to your situation.

All content on Kryptos serves general informational purposes only. It's not intended to replace any professional advice from licensed accountants, attorneys, or certified financial and tax professionals. The information is completed to the best of our knowledge and we at Kryptos do not claim either correctness or accuracy of the same. Before taking any tax position / stance, you should always consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice from the professionals. Kryptos is not liable for any loss caused from the use of, or by placing reliance on, the information on this website. Kryptos disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Thank you for being part of our community, and we're excited to continue guiding you on your crypto journey!

How we reviewed this article

Written by
Brihasi Dey

Social Media Manager, Content Writer, Strategist, and Marketer - An IT graduate well versed in SaaS, AI, & Web3, assisting Tech and Blockchain brands in scaling with Content.

Reviewed by

Arrow

What is Staking In Crypto?

By
Brihasi Dey
On

Often referred to as the environmentally-friendly alternative to mining, staking has quickly become a key component in the world of cryptocurrencies. But what exactly is staking?

In layman's language, staking involves earning rewards by holding or locking up specific cryptocurrencies, similar to earning interest on a savings account over time. 

However, staking goes beyond passive holding and actively contributes to the security and operation of blockchain networks.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about staking and its tax implications.

What is Staking?

At its core, staking involves participating in a proof-of-stake (PoS) or delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) blockchain network. Here, you lock some cryptocurrency in a digital wallet to support the blockchain operations such as transaction validation, security, and governance. 

Unlike traditional mining, which requires considerable computational power, staking involves verifying transactions and maintaining network security based on the amount of cryptocurrency you hold and are willing to "stake" as collateral.

Why Only Certain Cryptocurrencies Can Be Staked?

Not all cryptocurrencies can be staked. The ability to stake a token depends on the blockchain's consensus mechanism. 

Staking is available in PoS and DPoS networks, like Ethereum 2.0 or Tezos. Cryptocurrencies that rely on proof-of-work (PoW) consensus, such as Bitcoin, cannot be staked.

Let’s discuss this in detail.

Proof of Work (PoW) VS Proof of Stake (PoS) 

Cryptocurrencies utilize different consensus mechanisms to maintain their decentralized nature, with two main types being: Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).

In many cryptocurrencies, for instance, Bitcoin or Ethereum 1.0, miners worldwide compete to validate transactions by solving complex cryptographic puzzles. The first miner to solve the puzzle and verify a block of transactions is rewarded with a designated amount of cryptocurrency. This consensus mechanism is Proof of Work (PoW) which requires significant energy consumption and computational power.

Proof of Stake (PoS) operates differently. It relies on users, known as stakers, who invest in the blockchain by holding and staking their cryptocurrency. 

Stakers are selected to add new blocks to the network and receive rewards. Staking can be done either by becoming a network validator, which requires a substantial investment, or by providing liquidity on platforms that support staking.

These blockchains (e.g. Ethereum 2.0) are specifically designed to require staking participation for transaction processing. 

Unlike PoW, where miners solve puzzles, PoS blockchains rely on stakers to provide liquidity, ensuring the network's operation.

Exploring Staking in Action: How Does Staking Work?

If you hold a PoS-based cryptocurrency, you can stake it on the network to earn rewards. This process involves several steps including:

  • Acquiring Cryptocurrency: The first step is to acquire the PoS cryptocurrency that you wish to stake. This usually involves buying it on an exchange.
  • Storing in a Wallet: Next, you'll need to move your cryptocurrency into a wallet that supports staking. Some exchanges also offer staking services.
  • Staking: Once the coins are in a compatible wallet, you can choose to stake them. This will lock up your tokens for a set period, during which they will be used to support network operations.
  • Earning Rewards: As you stake your coins, you'll earn rewards, typically as additional tokens. The amount you receive depends on factors such as the length of time you stake your coins and the total amount of coins staked in the network.

An Example of Staking: Ethereum 2.0

Let's understand this better with a simplified example of staking Ethereum 2.0:

Ethereum, which originally operated on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism similar to Bitcoin, has been transitioning to a proof-of-stake system to improve scalability, security, and sustainability. This new PoS system is Ethereum 2.0.

The minimum amount of ETH required for staking on Ethereum 2.0 is 32 ETH. If you have this amount, you can become a validator who processes transactions and creates new blocks in the blockchain. 

If you have less than 32 ETH, you can still participate in staking via staking pools, where multiple stakeholders pool their ETH together.

By staking your ETH and becoming a validator, you help secure the Ethereum network. In return, you are rewarded with additional ETH. The reward rate varies but is currently around 4.6% annually. 

Remember, these rewards are considered income and can have tax implications.

The Benefits of Staking: Why Stake Your Cryptocurrency?

Staking offers benefits for both individuals and the network itself. As a participant, staking allows you to lock up a specific amount of cryptocurrency with a protocol or platform and earn rewards or "interest" in return.

From the network's perspective, there are several advantages. 

  • Firstly, when users stake their tokens, it reduces the available token supply. This scarcity can potentially increase the value of the tokens as demand rises and supply decreases.
  • Staking contributes to the network's processing power, enabling more efficient transaction validation. This means the network can handle transactions more effectively and securely.
  • Staking enhances the decentralized nature of the network. Stakers actively participate in the transaction validation process, eliminating the need for a centralized authority to control and determine transaction processing. This decentralized approach fosters trust, transparency, and ensures that no single entity has control over the network.

Staking and Taxes: Navigating the Tax Implications of Staking

Tax treatment for staking and the rewards vary by region. In most countries, staking rewards are considered income and need to be declared in the tax returns accordingly. 

You may also be subject to capital gains taxes when cashing out these rewards, such as:

  • Converting the rewards to fiat currency
  • Exchanging it for another cryptocurrency
  • Purchasing any goods or services using the crypto

Depending on your income bracket and holding period, your capital gains tax rate may vary.

It's essential to understand the specific guidelines in your region or consult with a qualified tax professional for accurate advice.

So, How Do You Deal With Staking Taxes Using Kryptos?

Calculating all the different tax implications on your staking rewards can be complex. Fortunately, Kryptos’s crypto tax software includes a dedicated category for staking rewards – making tracking and reporting them for tax purposes easy. 

If the rewards haven't been automatically categorized, simply choose 'staking rewards' from the 'receive' option in the menu. This ensures accurate and efficient management of your staking activities.

To try it for free, Sign Up Now.

FAQs

1. Can all cryptocurrencies be staked?

Not all cryptocurrencies can be staked. Only cryptocurrencies that use a proof-of-stake (PoS) or delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism can be staked. Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH) and Cardano (ADA) can be staked, but cryptocurrencies that use a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus, like Bitcoin, cannot.

2. What are staking rewards?

Staking rewards are additional cryptocurrency tokens that you earn as compensation for staking your tokens to support a blockchain network. The rate at which you earn staking rewards varies depending on the cryptocurrency and the staking protocol.

3. What is a staking pool?

A staking pool is a group of coin holders merging their resources to increase their chances of validating blocks and receiving rewards. They combine their staking power and share the rewards proportionally to the amount each person has staked.

4. Are staking rewards taxable?

Yes, staking rewards are often considered taxable income. The exact tax treatment can vary based on jurisdiction and individual circumstances, but staking rewards are typically taxed as income at their fair market value at the time they were received. Always consult with a tax professional for advice tailored to your situation.

All content on Kryptos serves general informational purposes only. It's not intended to replace any professional advice from licensed accountants, attorneys, or certified financial and tax professionals. The information is completed to the best of our knowledge and we at Kryptos do not claim either correctness or accuracy of the same. Before taking any tax position / stance, you should always consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice from the professionals. Kryptos is not liable for any loss caused from the use of, or by placing reliance on, the information on this website. Kryptos disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Thank you for being part of our community, and we're excited to continue guiding you on your crypto journey!

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