Announcing the Staking Rewards’ Verified Provider Program - Batch 1
Today we are pleased to announce the launch of our Verified Provider Program.
The Verified Provider Program is an initiative to increase trust and transparency in the staking industry by verifying that Providers meet a set of criteria, including but not limited to, risk management, longevity, and security measures.
The program helps investors make quicker and more confident decisions when choosing between thousands of staking Providers.
The Easiest Way to Find Reliable Staking Providers
Staking is a way to earn interest on crypto assets. Investors can pledge their crypto assets with a staking provider and earn rewards without having to directly participate in the validation process.
The challenge of choosing a staking provider is twofold: First, it is difficult to determine which providers will be trustworthy in the future. Second, it can be tricky to assess whether or not a given company follows industry best practices.
Our 2021 Ecosystem Study revealed that branding and reputation currently are key decision factors for most investors. However, this approach does not provide a complete picture of the provider's reliability or security.
With the Verified Provider Program, we support investors make confident decisions about Staking Providers by performing in-depth due diligence.
Staking Rewards’ Verified Provider Program saves time and allows you to stake confidently.
You will find an overview of all verified providers on our website.
Watch out for this badge to spot Verified Providers:
Standards and Best Practices for the Staking Industry
Blockchains are trustless systems. All (trans)actions are verifiable on-chain. Thus we encourage all investors: “Don’t trust, verify!”
However, in the staking space, investors can only verify the on-chain performance of Validators. Staking Providers won’t share more detailed information about their operations and security set up due to its sensitive nature.
Staking Rewards' Verified Provider Program provides a self-regulated platform for providers to securely share information about their operations and security setup. We then assess and verify - on-chain where applicable - the provided information based on predetermined standards and best practices for the staking industry.
Providers who pass the program will be considered sufficiently trustworthy by Staking Rewards to provide reliable, secure services.
Due diligence is conducted on the following areas of the Provider's operations:
Other areas of consideration include Decentralization Ethos, Value Added Services, Customer Service, and Governance Participation. These count toward a separate “Value-Added Score” but are not required for verification.
Please read more about the details of the checks in the documentation here.
An Ecosystem of Staking Platforms
Our ultimate goal is to bring transparency into the free, largely unregulated staking industry. We acknowledge that staking has a much wider scope in the cryptocurrency field than simply participating in Proof-of-Stake block validation, and we intend to address that.
Some crypto exchanges and lending platforms offer a combination of staking and institutional lending, which can be opaque and even more intransparent.
Proof-of-Stake Staking itself is getting further abstracted via Liquid Staking and ultimately may be offered as fixed income products for investors.
DeFi protocols (stands for Decentralized Finance) are providing lending services as an alternative to staking ("staking" in the sense of allowing a network to use your resources for the network's benefit). Yield aggregators may eventually provide a mix between both.
Thus, we define staking as “putting your assets to work and earning rewards for doing so.” Providers are a layer of abstraction that allows users to put assets to work. They each have different risk profiles.
To provide a comprehensive list of ways to earn passive income on cryptocurrencies, we categorize providers into the following four types: staking-as-a-service providers, custodial providers, Liquid Staking and Defi Protocols.
Non-Custodial Staking Provider
Non-Custodial Staking Providers participate in Proof-of-Stake block validation on behalf of the user or provide whitelabel solutions (validators). They often accept public delegations and are permissionless by design.
Custodial Staking Provider
Custodial Staking Providers are cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto banks, and institutional lenders that often provide a mix of strategies between staking, and lending to their users.
Liquid Staking Solutions are services that participate in the PoS block validation on behalf of their users and issue tradeable tokens (Staking Derivatives) as a representation of their staked position. These tokens may be further utilized in certain ways of yield generation. Users benefit from liquidity on their staked positions.
DeFi Protocols are sets of smart contracts that provide financial infrastructure for the blockchain space. Protocols include lending marketplaces, yield aggregators and decentralized exchanges that allow users to earn yield for providing liquidity.
In the first batch of the Verified Provider Program, we start out with the category of Staking-as-a-Service providers. Soon be followed by the other categories.
Verified Provider Batch 1
The following six verified providers make up the first batch of the Verified Provider Program, with several others in the pipeline.
Chorus One is one of the earliest and most reputable Staking Providers in the market. They maintain high standards for their infrastructure setup and support numerous other initiatives in the ecosystem, such as the Liquid Staking Working Group and podcasts. They recently launched an investment fund, too. Chorus One is an active governance participant dedicated to improving the staking experience for investors.
Launchnodes provides ETH 2.0 Beacon and Validator nodes as a product through the AWS marketplace. They provide investors with nodes-as-a-service at a fixed annual cost running the latest prysmatic clients.
By staking ETH with Launchnodes, you can avoid counterparty risk and remain in full control of your setup. By using the Launchnodes concierge service, investors can easily configure their nodes and maximize returns.
Staking Facilities is a Munich-based infrastructure and service provider that has been operating in the space since 2017. They run multiple other initiatives in the PoS space including:
Solana Beach: a block explorer for Solana
Staking Facilities Ventures: their venture arm
Staking Academy: a platform for educational content on the PoS space
Stakin is a validation service provider for various Proof-of-Stake blockchain networks. They have been operating since December 2018. Stakin is an active governance participant on 18 of the 38 networks that they provide services on. They also have a Ventures arm that invests in protocols and bridges.
“Staking Rewards provides the most reliable staking data and we are glad to be recognized as one of the early Verified Providers on the platform. As Proof-of-Stake becomes the leading consensus mechanism and staking matures, we hope to see more verified staking providers. You can now stake with us assured that Stakin is a compliant operator with a strong track-record in both uptime, dedicated customer support and governance.”
Edouard Lavidalle , Founder and CEO at Stakin
stakefish provides staking services for some of the biggest Proof-of-Stake networks, many since their inception, including Cosmos, Tezos, and Ethereum 2.0. Their founder is Chun Wang, co-founder of F2Pool, a mining pool that has mined the most Bitcoin blocks in the world and is the second largest Ethereum mining pool. They also operate grantfish, a Cosmos ecosystem grants validator.
“There are numerous new chains and validators entering this growing market. We as validators need someone who provides multiple data points and understands delegators to make their lives easier. Staking Rewards launching their Verified Provider Program adds immense value to the space. We are happy and honored to get verified. "Do not trust! Verify first!"
Dasom Song, CMO at stake.fish
HashQuark, a member of HashKey Group, is a staking service provider based out of Hong Kong and has been operating since January 2019. As one of Asia’s largest Staking Providers, they provide staking services on 31 networks and also operate KLAYportal, a staking tool built on Klayton Network.
Our goal is to develop a comprehensive navigator of trust and transparency for an emerging decentralized system.
We are already working on the second batch of providers.
Our goal is to assess and verify the legitimacy of all staking providers in the cryptocurrency market.
Staking Rewards' mission is to increase trust and transparency in the staking industry while fostering decentralization as a core value.
Healthy Proof-of-Stake systems rely on the decentralization of their networks. Unfortunately, most systems tend to centralize over time. Staking Rewards is committed to supporting smaller providers equally to foster decentralization. Thus we verify both large-scale service providers, as well as smaller providers who follow relevant industry standards.
We are a trusted data provider with no affiliation with any stakeholder in the industry. We provide transparent information to help stakeholders work together efficiently. We act as an enabler between investors, providers, and protocols.
If you are a Staking Provider and want to be assessed for verification, please contact us by filling out this form.
If you are a user and want your favorite provider to be verified, please reach out to them to contact us.
For more information please check the following resources: