Ethereum Staking Rewards: How To Earn By Staking ETH

Learn how to stake Ethereum, including the best exchanges and strategies.
Published: June 9, 2023   |   Last Updated: July 20, 2023
Written By:
George Hristov
George Hristov
Contributor
Edited By:
Shannon Ullman
Shannon Ullman
Managing Editor

Ethereum staking is the process of locking up some of your ETH tokens to help validate blocks and secure the Ethereum network. In return, you will receive Ethereum staking rewards in the form of more ETH.

Key Takeaways

  • Staking your ETH provides you with annual percentage yield (APY) rewards on your staked tokens.
  • On-chain ETH staking yields are currently around 4% APY.
  • There are three methods to stake your Ethereum — staking through a centralized exchange, staking pools, or running your own node(s). We will cover exactly how to stake ETH using each approach.

Featured Ethereum Staking Offers For June 2024

Nexo

Best For Daily Payments
On Nexo’s site
Review
4.1
Tokens Available
ETH
Rewards
4% to 12%
Liquid Staking
Yes. NETH
Supported Blockchains
Ethereum
Fees
0.03% – 0.20%
Min. Staking Amount
$10
Lock In Period
None
Payout Frequency
Daily
Availability
Europe

Nexo is a Swiss-based crypto platform featuring staking (ETH only), lending, and a crypto exchange. Nexo’s Smart Staking lets users stake ETH with daily rewards. Swap your ETH for NETH (Nexo Staked Ethereum) in one click to start earning. When you’re ready to unstake, use the Nexo platform to swap your NETH back to ETH. Nexo Smart Staking is not available in the US.

Pros

  • Stake ETH in low amounts
  • Keep liquidity when staking ETH
  • Unstake anytime, with a guaranteed 1:1 exchange rate
  • Borrow against your NETH tokens

Cons

  • Staking not available in the US

With Nexo, you can stake anything you want as long as it’s ETH. But while a bit short on selection, Nexo has a great way to stake ETH to earn a yield while staying liquid. Just deposit your ETH on Nexo’s easy-to-use platform and get an equivalent token called NETH (Nexo Staked Ethereum). You can borrow against your NETH or swap it back for ETH at any time while earning a staking yield on your remaining NETH balance. Nexo calls this Smart Staking, and you can get started with as little as $10.

Stader

Best For Multi-Asset Staking
On Stader’s site
Review
4.3
Tokens Available
ETH, MATIC, HBAR, BNB, NEAR, FTM, LUNA
Rewards
3.5% to 15+%
Liquid Staking
Yes
Supported Blockchains
Ethereum, Polygon, BNB, Fantom, Terra, & More
Fees
10%
Min. Staking Amount
None
Payout Frequency
Varies by asset
Availability
Worldwide

Pros

  • Committed to decentralized staking
  • MATIC staking on Polygon
  • 40+ Protocol integrations to enhance yields

Cons

  • Limited liquidity for Stader liquid tokens
  • Primary liquidity pools pair liquid tokens with Stader SD token

  • Support for MATIC staking on Polygon: Staking MATIC must be done on the Ethereum network, which can be costly. Stader Labs introduces the ability to stake MATIC on the Polygon network, opening a yield opportunity for smaller positions.
  • DeFi integrations: Put your staked assets to work in other DeFi protocols to boost your yield. Options vary by chain and include liquidy pools, lending platforms, and yield optimizers.
  • Newbie-friendly UI: If you know the basics of working with a DeFi wallet like MetaMask, Stader makes it a breeze to stake assets like MATIC and ETH with a liquid token.

DeFi can be intimidating if you’re new to the space, but Stader’s user interface and flow for basic liquid staking help both newcomers and seasoned pros put their crypto to work in a jiffy. Smart contract audits from Halborn and Certik help ensure the code is solid, reducing the risk of exploits.

How Much Can I Earn By Staking Ethereum?

Ethereum staking rewards follow a curve where the more ETH is staked, the lower the rewards are. Post-merge, the APY is hovering at around 5% for Ethereum validators.

It’s important to keep in mind that ETH staking APY is highest for those running their own validator nodes, while those staking Ethereum through a centralized exchange or an ETH staking pool will likely earn a bit less due to the validator fees they will pay. The exception to this is when centralized exchanges boost reward APYs higher than on-chain rates as a marketing effort to attract staking market share.

Learn more about earning crypto interest with our complete guide.

ETH 2.0 Staking

As of 9/15/22, the Ethereum blockchain now uses the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Previously, the network ran using proof-of-work for many years, with the ultimate goal of getting to POS.

Following the rollout of ETH staking (ETH 2.0), ETH could not be unstaked. Good news: This restriction has since been lifted with the recent Shanghai upgrade. But in some cases, stakers may still find delays in unstaking because each validator node must have 32 staked ETH.

Crypto always finds a way. To provide access to the value locked in staked ETH, several protocols now offer “liquid staking” covered below.

  • Lido: stETH liquid staking token
  • Coinbase: cbETH liquid staking token
  • Rocketpool: rETH liquid staking token

This form of ETH staking issues a liquid “staked token” that can be spent, traded, or used as collateral — just like regular ETH. The collateral option is particularly attractive to many ETH holders who want to borrow against their ETH without losing their ETH staking rewards.

How To Stake Ethereum

Each validator on the Ethereum blockchain is required to have 32 ETH staked in order to become a validator. Fortunately, not everyone looking to earn staking rewards has to first save up 32 ETH.

Validators allow smaller ETH holders to delegate their tokens to them and thus earn a part of their Ethereum staking rewards.

Below we cover how to stake ETH using three common methods, ranging from the easiest to the most difficult:

  • Staking via a centralized exchange: Exchanges such as Gemini provide support for ETH staking. The process takes just a few clicks and allows you to start earning rewards on your ETH instantly.
  • Staking via an ETH staking pool: This intermediate option requires a few more steps but has the added benefit of giving you a liquid token that can be used in place of your staked ETH, even as your tokens remain staked and earn rewards. Lido offers a liquid staking pool, as does Coinbase.
  • Running your own network validator: This is the most direct but also the most challenging way to stake ETH. Running your own validator node requires a 32 ETH stake and a machine that’s on and connected to the internet 24/7.

Centralized crypto exchanges offer the ability to stake your ETH tokens and earn staking rewards. These rewards vary across exchanges but are usually in the 3% – 7% APY range. Additionally, most exchanges will own the keys to your wallet, which means that your funds will be entrusted to a counterparty.

How To Pick A Centralized Exchange

Entrusting your crypto to a corporation can be stressful and should only be done when you are sure of the integrity of the company you are working with. Big names like Coinbase are solid options with long-standing reputations in the crypto space.

Besides security, the other big consideration when picking a centralized exchange to stake on is the rewards rates that are offered. While Ethereum has an official staking reward rate that applies to all stakers, some platforms provide bigger rewards in an attempt to earn market share. However, be careful of unknown platforms offering APY rates that sound too good to be true — they often are.

Pros And Cons Of Staking ETH With A Centralized Exchange

Pros

  • Staking through a centralized exchange is very simple and takes just a few clicks.
  • Sometimes you can get very high APY rates when platforms run specials.
  • Centralized exchanges provide simple, easy-to-understand tax reporting.

Cons

  • Exchanges will store your crypto in their proprietary wallets – you no longer directly control your crypto.
  • If the company experiences a hack or goes out of business, your crypto may be at risk.
  • Staking through a centralized exchange is generally antithetical to the decentralized ethos.

How to stake your ETH on a centralized exchange: Step by step

Editor’s pick for best exchange for staking Ethereum: Coinbase.com – learn more at our full Coinbase review.

Step 1: To get started, visit Coinbase to open an account if you don’t have one already. You’ll need complete identity verification.

Step 2: Select “My assets” on the left menu and then look for the Buy & Sell box on the right column. This method is faster, but using Advanced trade saves on fees. You’ll find a full walkthrough on how to use Coinbase Advanced in our Coinbase review.

Step 3: Under “My assets,” click on your ETH balance and choose “Stake now.”

The minimum Ethereum balance required to stake as an individual is 32 ETH. Most crypto holders do not have that large of a balance, so innovative solutions for staking with a smaller balance have evolved.

While one of these solutions is staking through a large centralized exchange, as covered above, another way is to use an Ethereum staking pool. A staking pool is simply a group of ETH holders getting together and pooling their ETH to reach the 32 token threshold necessary to stake. They then split staking rewards proportionally based on contributions.

Staking pools have become a buzzing industry by themselves, with entire crypto platforms being established just to provide staking pools as a service. Not all staking pools, however, are the same. The primary difference is whether a staking pool is liquid or non-liquid:

  • Non-liquid staking pools: Traditional, non-liquid staking pools just allow ETH holders to pool their tokens and take advantage of staking rewards. They do not issue a derivative liquid token that can be traded the way liquid staking pools do.
  • Liquid staking pools: A liquid staking pool will not only pool ETH tokens together, but it will also provide stakers with a derivative token that can be actively traded and used. This option lets stakers earn staking rewards while not losing out on liquidity in the process.
Liquid staking poolsNon-liquid staking pools
Issue Liquid Derivative TokenYesNo
Potentially Taxable EventYesNo
Reward Earning PotentialHigherLower

Non-liquid staking pools are a way for ETH holders to earn staking rewards without having the 32 ETH required to self-stake. Unlike liquid staking pools, non-liquid staking pools do not offer a derivative token that can be traded while your ETH is locked up.

An important benefit of non-liquid staking pools compared to liquid staking pools is that non-liquid staking does not create a taxable event. In liquid staking, you get a liquid token (such as stETH) back when you stake your ETH. This token swap, however, is treated like any other token swap and is considered a taxable event by the IRS.

Non-liquid staking does not issue a new token, therefore does not incur this tax. Note that the actual staking rewards earned through staking APYs are still considered taxable in both liquid staking and non-liquid staking scenarios.

Staking rewards for non-liquid staking pools are usually around 4%-6% APY. While these rewards are not as high as liquid staking pools, they are still a great way to put idle ETH to use and staking pools don’t require a balance threshold of 32 ETH.

Our picks for non-liquid staking pools:

EverstakeChorus OneBitcoin Suisse
Current APY4.05%3.64%5.30%

Non-liquid staking pools are a way for ETH holders to earn staking rewards without having the 32 ETH required to self-stake. Unlike liquid staking pools, non-liquid staking pools do not offer a derivative token that can be traded while your ETH is locked up.

An important benefit of non-liquid staking pools compared to liquid staking pools is that non-liquid staking does not create a taxable event. In liquid staking, you get a liquid token (such as stETH) back when you stake your ETH. This token swap, however, is treated like any other token swap and is considered a taxable event by the IRS.

Non-liquid staking does not issue a new token, therefore does not incur this tax. Note that the actual staking rewards earned through staking APYs are still considered taxable in both liquid staking and non-liquid staking scenarios.

Staking rewards for non-liquid staking pools are usually around 4%-6% APY. While these rewards are not as high as liquid staking pools, they are still a great way to put idle ETH to use and staking pools don’t require a balance threshold of 32 ETH.

Our picks for non-liquid staking pools:

EverstakeChorus OneBitcoin Suisse
Current APY4.05%3.64%5.30%

Liquid staking pools generally provide the highest earning opportunity when staking your ETH. Not only do these pools benefit from the official ETH staking rewards, but the liquid tokens they issue can also be lent out or leveraged across DeFi for increased yield.

It’s important to keep in mind that since liquid staking providers issue a new token that represents your staked ETH, liquid staking may be a taxable event, as you are swapping one crypto token for another.

This is in contrast to non-liquid staking pools, which do not provide a derivative token and thus do not provide additional return potential nor the taxable event when you swap.

While the traditional ETH staking rewards are around 5%, using liquidity staking paired with lending or liquidity mining, stakers can achieve APY rewards upwards of 10%.

Editor’s Pick: Lido

Besides Lido, some other liquid staking providers include:

Token TickerToken Market CapCurrent Token APY
Rocket PoolrETH$148,447,3615.26%
StakewisesETH2$84,916,5445.92%
AnkraETHc$35,428,8614.36%

How to Pick a Staking Pool

Several factors should be considered when picking a staking pool:

  • Fees: Staking pools normally provide lower staking returns than directly staking ETH by running your own validator. This is because they are providing you an intermediary service in setting up the pools that allow your ETH to be staked. Each platform has different fees, and since, for many, the primary goal of ETH staking is to earn as much return as possible, it’s important to compare these fees.
  • Validators: Staking pools delegate their staked funds to validators who perform the function of securing the Ethereum blockchain. The idea behind a blockchain is that power is as decentralized as possible, so picking a staking pool that uses a wide variety of validators or one that’s not as popular as the top staking pools is a good idea for anyone focused on decentralization.
  • Security: Liquid staking providers issue their own liquid tokens that are associated with their platforms. The integrity (and price) of this token depends in large part on the security of the underlying platform. The major staking pool platforms, such as Lido, are solid choices in this regard, though smaller platforms generally also have good security.

Besides Lido, some other liquid staking providers include:

  • Marinade Finance
  • Socean
  • Parrot

Pros

  • Liquid staking provides the best returns on staked ETH, especially when paired with other strategies such as lending.
  • Allows for simple staking without needing 32 ETH
  • Some staking pools require as little as 0.01 ETH to stake.

Cons

  • Liquid staking is often a taxable event as you are swapping tokens.
  • Takes some know-how of the DeFi ecosystem to get the biggest returns with liquid staking.
  • Some popular staking pool providers only use a handful of validators, thus contributing to the centralization of Ethereum.

How to Stake Ethereum Using a Staking Pool

It’s best to use staking pools through a trusted third party. The instructions below will walk you through liquid staking your Ethereum with Lido Finance. We will be using the MetaMask wallet in this example which can be downloaded here.

Please note: While the price of Lido’s stETH token is normally pegged 1:1 to the price of ETH, market volatility and other extraneous events may sometimes lower stETH’s price when compared to ETH. This means that you may be able to buy stETH for less than ETH and get access to Lido’s yield rewards without having to stake your ETH. Check the current stETH price before staking to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Step 1: Navigate to the Ethereum staking part of Lido’s website and click “Stake Ethereum” to get started.

Staking ETH on Lido

Step 2: On the next page, click “Connect Wallet.”

Connecting your wallet on Lido

Step 3: Select the “MetaMask” option.

Connecting your wallet on Lido

Step 4: You will then receive a prompt in your wallet that asks you to connect to the Lido website. Click “Next” and then “Connect” on the next screen.

Connecting MetaMask to Lido

Step 5: Your wallet will now be connected to the Lido website.

Staking ETH on Lido

Step 6: Next, enter the amount of ETH that you would like to stake and click the “Submit” button.

Staking ETH On Lido

Step 7: You will be asked to confirm the transaction in your wallet. Click the blue “Confirm” button in order to initiate the transaction.

Staking ETH on Lido

Step 8: Back on the Lido website, you will see a short waiting screen while the platform confirms your transaction.

Staking ETH on Lido

Step 9: Once the transaction goes through, you will see a new balance of “stETH” in your wallet and in the Lido UI. This is Lido’s liquid token that you have received in exchange for your staked ETH.

Staking ETH on Lido

Boost Ethereum Staking Rewards With stETH

Liquid tokens can be used to earn additional rewards on top of Ethereum’s staking rewards.

Once you’ve gotten your stETH tokens by following the above instructions, you can boost your ETH staking rewards by depositing your stETH to Yearn Finance’s Curve stETH vault. This staking method combines the base ETH staking yield with the yield from staking stETH through Curve as well as Yearn’s vault yields.

An Example

For example, if you are earning 4% ETH staking APY on Lido through your staked ETH, and then you take your earned stETH tokens and stake them through Yearn’s stETH pool which provides another 4.81% APY, you will be earning a total of 8.81% APY on your ETH after the Lido and Yearn.finance staking.

These rewards are not paid out in ETH, however. When staking through Lido, you earn ETH staking rewards in Lido’s stETH token. After you take your stETH tokens from Lido and stake them on Yearn.finance, (using the instructions below) your Yearn rewards will be paid out in the Curve stETH token. Both stETH and Curve stETH can be swapped back to ETH at any time using an exchange.

The below table illustrates our example’s combined APY.

Staking APYEarn Rewards In
Staking With Lido4%stETH tokens
Staking With Yearn.finance4.81%Curve stETH tokens
Combined Return8.81%

Step 1: Navigate to Yearn.finance’s Curve stETH vault and connect your wallet by using the “Connect Wallet” button in the top right corner.

Note: You can view the current APY of the Yearn vault under the “APY” section.

Staking ETH on Yearn.Finance

Step 2: Under the “From Wallet” section on the right, click on the Curve stETH icon and select “stETH” as the currency you are depositing from your wallet.

Staking ETH on Yearn.finance

Step 3: Enter the amount of stETH that you would like to deposit and click “Approve”. Confirm the transaction through your wallet.

Staking ETH on Yearn.finance

Step 4: Once you have approved the transaction, the “Deposit” button will become available. Click “Deposit” to deposit your stETH and start earning Curve stETH APY.

Staking ETH on Yearn.finance

Note on fees: Yearn takes a 2% manStaking ETH on Yearn.financeagement fee on all vault deposits. They also take a 20% performance fee on all yield earned. The instructions above use a Yearn feature called “Zap” which also adds a 0.3% fee to the transaction. Find out more about Yearn fees on their website.

Network validators are responsible for validating Ethereum transactions and creating Ethereum blocks. Validators are individuals who have at least 32 ETH staked and have the equipment necessary to perform their duties.

Getting started as a network validator certainly takes some technical savvy. While not every validator has to have a massive computing rig at their home, and some can use off-site machines in data centers, validators must still be prepared to handle issues that arise and must understand the intricacies of the Ethereum blockchain.

After staking the 32 ETH necessary to become a validator and getting set up, you can expect to earn the full non-diluted staking APY on your ETH (around 5%).

What You Need to Run Your Own Network Validator

First and foremost, network validators need to have a balance of 32 ETH in order to begin the process.

In terms of direct necessities, a physical computer with a 24/7 connection to the internet is required. Software in the form of an execution layer client and a consensus layer client, as well as validator-specific Ethereum keys, will also be necessary.

Hardware Requirements

The hardware requirements to run a network validator node are not nearly as demanding as those for proof-of-work mining. Most of today’s consumer-grade machines are powerful enough for the task. Please note that you will need a machine with an SSD and cannot use an HDD for validating. It is also strongly recommended that a 64-bit Linux system is used with a cable internet connection (not WiFi).

Minimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
Operating System64-bit Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Arm6464-bit Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Arm64
ProcessorIntel Core i5–760 or AMD FX-8100 or betterIntel Core i7–4770 or AMD FX-8310 or better
RAM4GB RAM8GB RAM
Storage20GB available space SSD (you cannot use a hard disk drive)100GB available space SSD (you cannot use a hard disk drive)
InternetBroadband connectionBroadband connection through ethernet cable

Find out more about these requirements from the Ethereum.org website.

Cloud Providers

It’s not necessary to use a personal machine in order to run a validator node. In fact, many validators opt for using a cloud service that allots them space on a remote machine which they can use to run their node. Here are some of the most popular cloud providers:

    • Allnodes: As one of the biggest cloud hosting providers, Allnodes hosts over 33,000 nodes with an aggregate value of over $1.5 billion dollars. Getting started on Allnodes is simple and the service starts at just $5/month.

    • Blox: Blox staking takes pride in their fully non-custodial solution which allows users to retain full control of their private validator keys. What’s more is that signing up for the service and getting started is currently free.

    • Blockdaemon: A favorite cloud provider for institutional stakers. Blockdaemon supports over 60 blockchains and counts some of the largest crypto players among its clients. Their cloud node is touted as a “White Label Validator” service and can be accessed here.

Pros And Cons Of Running An Ethereum

Pros

  • Get the best staking rewards available, with no middleman.
  • Participate directly in operating the Ethereum chain.
  • No reliance on third-party platforms, so your staked funds are not exposed to potential hacks or site downtime.

Cons

  • ETH cannot be unstaked until a future upgrade of the Ethereum network.
  • Requires technical know-how.
  • Mistakes made in the process may reduce your rewards or even get you ejected from the network

    How to Stake Ethereum With Your Own Network Validator

    Step 1: Acquire 32 ETH + the necessary hardware and software for becoming a validator. (More info)

    Staking ETH

    Step 2: Generate your validator keys and deposit your 32 ETH. (More info)

    Proof of reserves explainer

    Step 3: Practice on a testnet, complete the validator checklist and wait to get activated. (More info)

    Staking ETH

Ethereum has traditionally been a blockchain secured through the proof-of-work mechanism. On September 15th, 2022, however, the network seamlessly transitioned over to a proof-of-stake mechanism by merging the main Ethereum chain with the Beacon chain — which had itself been running through a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism since 2020.

The price of ETH did not experience major moves in response to The Merge, and the network experienced no downtime or disturbances.

Ethereum’s proof-of-stake mechanism now allows the blockchain to run at full capacity with a much smaller environmental impact, significantly lower transaction fees, and a higher throughput of transactions per second.

The Merge, however, is not the last planned Ethereum upgrade. Over the coming months and years, the network is slated to undergo a series of changes that make Ethereum a much cheaper and faster blockchain. Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has lyrically labeled the planned updates as the surge, the verge, the purge, and the splurge.

    • The Surge: This planned upgrade is the addition of sharding which will allow Ethereum to process over 100,000 transactions per second. The Surge is expected to be deployed to the Ethereum network at some point in 2023.

    • The Verge: This upgrade will reduce the amount of data that network validators are required to keep on their hard drives when helping to run the protocol, thereby making the validating process more efficient.

    • The Purge: The Purge is meant to reduce the hard drive space that storing ETH takes up, as well as not requiring nodes to store history — thereby increasing the efficiency of the network.

    • The Splurge: According to Vitalik, the Splurge is a catch-all term for “all of the other [upcoming] fun stuff.”

To Sum It Up

Ethereum staking provides holders with the opportunity to validate the Ethereum network while simultaneously earning Ethereum straking rewards (paid in ETH).

It’s also important to choose wisely when deciding where to stake ETH. While the network requires a 32 ETH balance to directly stake, service providers such as staking pools and centralized exchanges allow staking with much smaller balances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Normally, it’s 32 ETH.

However, this only applies to validators directly staking to the Ethereum blockchain. Service providers such as staking pools and centralized exchanges act as middlemen between validators and ETH holders and allow staking with a much lower ETH stake.

Ethereum staking rewards automatically compound in most cases, giving you an annual percentage yield (APY) higher than the annual percentage rate (APR) for your ETH stake. Many ETH staking platforms compound ETH staking rewards every few days.

Using liquid staking, ETH stakers can earn both ETH staking rewards and additional yield through activities like lending and liquidity mining.

Non-liquid staking pools generally provide staking rewards close to the official Ethereum staking APY (normally around 4%) Liquid staking pools also provide these staking rewards, but they issue a liquid token that can be leveraged to earn even more.

Since validators with staked ETH are necessary to keep the Ethereum blockchain running, they are compensated by the chain for having their ETH staked. This reward is referred to as “staking yield” and is currently around 5% annual percentage yield (APY).

The best staking validators often have a long history of validating the Ethereum blockchain with few or no failed blocks, as well as 24/7 uptime and low commissions.

Our pick for the best Ethereum staking pool is Lido.

George Hristov
George Hristov
Contributor
George is a tech writer interested in web3 startups and communities. In the dynamic world of crypto, he stays plugged into the day-to-day headlines, deep dives, and industry commentary.
Shannon Ullman
Shannon Ullman
Managing Editor
Managing editor working to make crypto easier to understand. Pairing editorial integrity with crypto curiosity for content that makes readers feel like they finally “get it.”

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