Stacking Report: Choose the correct Stacking Pool for you and start earning Bitcoin

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Avatar for MarKlar
3 years ago

Resident Chief Stacker here with an in-depth Stacking Report to help you get the most out of your Stacking experience. Whether its custodial Stacking through an approved crypto exchange or on the go non-custodial Stacking through a mobile wallet app - we have the Stacking pool for you. Low minimums, high yields and Bitcoin rewards - what more could you want? Before we look at each delegated Stacking pool in depth, let’s rewind a bit and briefly explore what Stacks, STX and Stacking is all about.

Stacks aims to help usher in “A better internet, built on Bitcoin.” Stacks makes Bitcoin programmable, enabling decentralized apps and smart contracts that inherit all of Bitcoin’s powers.

STX is the native cryptocurrency of the Stacks network. It is used as fuel for blockchain transactions and enables holders to earn Bitcoin through Stacking.

STX can be purchased or traded through these exchanges: BinanceKucoinOkcoinOkexCrypto.com and Upbit.

Stacking is locking your STX temporarily to support the network’s security and consensus. As a reward, you will earn the Bitcoin that miners transfer as part of Proof of Transfer.

Bitcoin is paid out in cycles of 2,100 Bitcoin blocks. During a cycle, all eligible Stackers are expected to receive Bitcoin from miners. A cycle typically lasts for about 15 days, but can be shorter or longer depending on the Bitcoin block time.

When you unlock your STX from Stacking, there is a "cool down" cycle between Stacking cycles. After your chosen Stacking duration, you will have to wait one cycle before you can Stack from the same address again, regardless of how many cycles you Stacked for.

The dynamic minimum threshold to Stack by yourself through the Stacks Wallet sits around 100,000 STX. This amount is beyond the reach of the average STX holder. Fortunately, those who hold below this minimum threshold can still Stack and earn Bitcoin by pooling with others. A service will pool STX together and distribute rewards back to the participants. This article will assess the different options currently available for those wishing to delegate their STX to a pool, looking at both custodial and non-custodial options.

 

Custodial Stacking

Custodial Stacking is done through a cryptocurrency exchange. Two exchanges currently offer this service: Okcoin and Okex

Both exchanges offer very similar Stacking pool products:

  • 50 STX minimum

  • Lock for 1 cycle OR 12 cycles

  • No fees

  • STX are held on the exchange and not in your wallet

  • 10% estimated APY (Annual Percentage Yield

  • BTC rewards paid daily

  • Sign up with some KYC required

Custodial Stacking through one of these exchanges is probably the easiest option in terms of set-up. You can purchase STX directly through Okcoin with a credit or debit card. There is also a chance to earn enhanced rewards through promotions such as the “Double BTC Rewards” promotion currently being run by Okex. On the other hand, delegating through an exchange means giving up custody of your STX tokens (not your keys, not your coins) and relying on the exchange to be working smoothly when you want to join Stacking cycles, deposit and withdraw.

 

Non-Custodial Stacking

Non-custodial Stacking is generally done through the Hiro Stacks Wallet which can be downloaded from the provided link. You delegate your STX to your chosen pool and earn rewards while keeping custody over your STX tokens. With this option your STX never leave your wallet - your keys, your coins. There are a number of different options for non-custodial Stacking.

 

Staked

  • 10,000 STX minimum

  • Lock for up to 12 cycles

  • 10% service fee

  • STX are held in your Stacks Wallet but delegated to Staked’s delegator address for requested number of Stacking cycles

  • 9.7% estimated APY

  • BTC rewards paid at the end of each cycle (roughly 2 weeks)

  • You must email sales@staked.us AND curtis@staked.us to provide their STX address, BTC address for rewards payment, amount of STX delegated and number of weeks you want to lock up STX for

Staked has a high minimum STX threshold as well as a 10% service fee which may turn many users off. This service is advertised as being for institutional investors with a range of staking and borrowing options also on offer.

 

PlanBetter

  • 200 STX minimum

  • Lock for up to 12 cycles

  • 5% service fee

  • STX are held in your Stacks Wallet but delegated to PlanBetter’s delegator address for requested number of Stacking cycles

  • BTC rewards paid at the end of each cycle (roughly 2 weeks)

  • Users must download Electrum Wallet to compute your Bitcoin address given your Stacks address to receive rewards (this involves entering your mnemonic secret key for your Stacks Wallet during installation process)

PlanBetter has a low minimum STX threshold as well as a lower service fee compared to Staked. Of all the options, it is probably the most intimidating technically as it requires downloading Electrum Wallet and following some steps most people would not be familiar with. The website design and layout could be improved to help onboard less technical folk and no estimated APY is provided. 

 

Xverse Mobile Wallet (currently in Beta mode)

  • 500 STX minimum

  • Lock for 2 cycles only

  • No fee

  • STX are held in your Xverse mobile wallet

  • BTC rewards paid at the end of 2 cycles (roughly 4 weeks)

  • Hiro Stacks Wallet is not necessary for this option, only Secret Key Labs Xverse Wallet which is currently in beta.

Xverse benefits from being the only mobile wallet offering delegated Stacking at the moment. The minimum threshold is fairly low and there are no fees. Users can only commit for two stacking cycles which means frequent ‘cool down’ periods for Stackers where they are unable to earn rewards through the app. No estimated APY provided.

 

Friedger Pool

  • 40 STX minimum

  • Lock for 1, 3, 6, 9 or 12 cycles

  • No fee

  • STX are held in your Stacks Wallet but delegated to Friedger’s delegator address for requested number of stacking cycles

  • STX rewards paid at the end of each cycle

Friedger is the only delegated Stacking pool currently available that pays rewards in STX rather than BTC. The minimum threshold is very low, there are no fees and there is a range of options for length of lock up. Rewards are paid directly into the user’s Stacks Wallet at the end of each cycle. No estimated APY provided.


For people new to the crypto space, it may be tempting to opt for one of the custodial delegated Stacking options as they are closer to traditional finance than non-custodial and the onboarding process is very straightforward. However, I would encourage people interested in Stacking to explore some of the non-custodial options discussed in this article. One of the primary aims of the cryptocurrency movement is to enable people to be their own bank and non-custodial delegated Stacking pools are a great way for people to get a taste of what this can be like, all while earning yields that traditional financial institutions simply cannot compete with. I hope you have found this article useful and informative and Happy Stacking!

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Avatar for MarKlar
3 years ago

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