Staking in the NEAR ecosystem is a thriving niche that offers a variety of approaches and solutions. Let’s take a look at different staking options and think about which one is the best fit for you.
For ease of comparison, we’ll rate each option based on three parameters: User Interface (UI), Annual Percentage Yield (APY), withdrawal fees, and security.
Standard NEAR Staking
Since NEAR operates on a Delegated Proof-of-stake (DPOS) consensus mechanism, every NEAR token holder can delegate their tokens to a specific validator. A full list of validators is available at https://explorer.shardnet.near.org/nodes/validators. Simply choose a validator that you like and delegate your tokens to them. The validator will receive a commission for this, which is indicated before selection, and you will receive a return in NEAR tokens. Typically, it is no more than 9.7% per year.
It may sound easy, but imagine you just bought your first NEAR tokens and want to earn a return. Additionally, you have to wait 3 days to withdraw your NEAR from staking, and if you want to withdraw instantly, you’ll have to pay a fee. Moreover, you need to trust one of the validators you delegate your tokens to.
How long do you have to wait to withdraw your NEAR from the standard staking?
The NEAR Centralized Staking
Centralized exchanges have long come up with mechanisms to increase their profits even more through additional tools. One of them is the in-exchange staking of tokens. Just like with all funds that you store on an exchange, you don’t actually own them. The same goes for staking. Although the exchanges themselves use their blockchain nodes for this, in essence all of your funds are with them.
This solution is perfectly legitimate when we’re talking about users who are not actively immersed in Web3 and are used to simply buying their favorite coins on exchanges. Currently, over 1 million people own NEAR on Binance. There’s a risk of hacking or theft of your funds, as seen with FTX. Additionally, the profitability on CEX is much lower than in DeFi – 3% for flexible staking (with instant withdraw).
In which type of staking do you not own your funds?
Metapool and Linear
The Metapool and Linear staking options are already considered native in the NEAR ecosystem. To stake NEAR, you’ll need to have both a NEAR wallet and some NEAR tokens. This type of staking is better than the other two options because it is managed by projects within the ecosystem and has a decent APY of around 9.4%, which is also important. Both projects have undergone an audit by BlockSec and have not had any security issues.
However, someone new to the ecosystem will need to find one of these projects and trust them with their funds, and they will also need to regularly visit the project’s website. It’s also important to keep in mind that there is an additional fee for instantly withdrawing NEAR from staking.
HERE Wallet Staking
I think you have already realized who deserves more attention in terms of staking. Since HERE is a simple onboarding method not only for crypto but also for web2 users, staking should also be as simple and not cause problems for someone who is not familiar with crypto.
That’s why we created a non-blocking staking mechanism, where you can withdraw your NEAR at any time without any fees and still receive passive income. This is possible thanks to the liquidity reserve on the contract, just like in regular banks when 90% is used but there’s always money in the ATM. The return on investment varies depending on how actively you deposit/withdraw funds and on average it is around 9.8%. Owners of certain NFTs, such as HERE Wallet early users, can also receive additional income.
In addition, the staking process itself is as simple as it can be. All you need to do is press one button. After that, the necessary amount of NEAR will be automatically unstaked before any transaction is made.
Currently, HERE Staking has undergone an audit with the OtterSec team.