What is ADA (Cardano)?
ADA is the native token of Cardano, and is a digital currency that can be used as a secure exchange of value anywhere in the world, without needing a third party. Each and every transaction is permanently, securely and transparently recorded on the Cardano blockchain.
Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform - the first to be founded on peer-reviewed research and developed through evidence-based methods. It combines pioneering technologies to provide unparalleled security and sustainability to decentralised applications, systems and societies.
If you are looking to buy ADA, you can get some at most of the top crypto exchanges.
What is Staking?
Staking is the process of setting aside cryptocurrency that can be used to validate transactions made on the proof-of-stake blockchain. By locking your cryptocurrency, you can earn more of that cryptocurrency, as a reward for contributing to the blockchain network. To put it simply, staking is like placing money in a bank, where you leave your funds and receive interest.
Top Places to Stake ADA (Cardano)
|Where to Stake ADA||Features||Score||Stake ADA|
Best for Ease of Use
|Uphold Exchange |
☑️ Buy ADA and over 125+ other cryptocurrencies
☑️ Stake ADA easily from within the exchange
☑️ Easy to use and convenient, perfect for beginners
|Binance Exchange |
☑️ Highest returns when staking ADA for 90 days: 8.38% APY
☑️ Buy ADA and conveniently stake without sending to a wallet first
☑️ Easy to use, no need to choose a staking pool
|Daedalus Wallet |
☑️ Most secure way to stake ADA, with ability to connect to hardware wallets
☑️ ADA tokens not locked in during staking
☑️ Full node wallet, so you won't experience third party network issues
Best for Mobile Staking
|Yoroi Wallet |
☑️ Light wallet means instant set up without needing to download entire blockchain
☑️ Can connect to hardware wallets for increased security
☑️ Available on mobile and desktop
Stake Several Coins
|Exodus Wallet |
☑️ Stake ADA and 7 other cryptocurrencies
☑️ Store over 100+ different coins, using desktop or mobile app
☑️ Easily swap one cryptocurrency for another
#1. Uphold Exchange - easiest to use when staking ADA
Uphold is an extremely versatile cryptocurrency platform that allows purchase of over 125+ coins, as well as other assets such as US stocks, precious metals, and even forex. In 2022, Uphold added the ability to stake cryptocurrencies, and ADA is one of the coins offered.
Uphold is our recommended option for those that are not too familiar with cryptocurrency and the whole idea of staking. If you use some of the other staking options here, it is easy to get confused with staking pools, linking wallets, transferring ADA from one wallet to another, etc. With Uphold, all you need to do is buy ADA and then stake it from within your account. The estimated APY (annualized percentage yield) for ADA is only 4%, which isn't the highest, but is decent, considering how much hassle you save.
One downside is that staking ADA is not available in Singapore and Japan, so if you are from those countries, you will need to select another option. Another drawback is that your staked ADA may be subject to an unbounding period of usually 30 days, where you cannot withdraw, transfer or exchange your ADA. Uphold aims to manage liquidity to allow earlier withdrawing of your staked ADA before the end of the unbounding period, but it is not always possible.
- Easiest way to stake ADA
- Can purchase ADA from within Uphold, then stake without needing to transfer to another wallet
- Estimated 4% APY on staked ADA
- Purchase 125+ cryptocurrencies, and stake other coins besides ADA
- Not available in Singapore and Japan
- Unbounding period of ~30 days before you can withdraw, exchange or transfer your staked ADA
#2. Binance Exchange - highest returns when staking ADA
Binance is the world's largest crypto exchange based on trading volume, and offers staking as one of its many features. Staking is easy on their platform - you do not need to select any staking pools, you just need to choose the time period you want to lock in your ADA. Binance offers the best returns when locking in ADA, significantly higher than others. You can lock in ADA for either 30, 60 or 90 days and the returns are as follows:
30 days: 5.09% APY
60 days: 7.79% APY
90 days: 8.38% APY
Note: the 90-day staking period is often sold out, so you may need to settle for the 60 day period with the lower interest rate. The 60-day APY of 7.79% is still higher than all the other options for staking ADA.
If you don't already own any Cardano coins, you can purchase it easily on Binance. For more information about Binance exchange, read my review here.
There are some downsides of using Binance to stake ADA, the first one being that you cannot choose which staking pool to use, nor can you distribute ADA tokens across multiple staking pools. Secondly, since your ADA tokens are stored on the exchange, they are not as secure as if you held them in your own personal wallet (either soft or hard wallet). Finally, your ADA is locked in, and you cannot withdraw it until the selected period has expired. There is a flexible staking option on Binance, but the returns are only 0.48% APY.
- Highest returns of 8.38% APY
- Buy on the exchange and conveniently stake without needing to send to a wallet
- Easy to use, no need to pick a staking pool
- You cannot choose a specific staking pool, nor can you distribute your tokens across several staking pools
- If Binance is hacked, you can lose your funds
- Your ADA is locked in for 30, 60 or 90 days
#3. Daedalus Wallet - most secure place to stake ADA
Daedalus is the official desktop wallet created by IOHK (Cardano's developers) and is the most secure and advanced way to stake ADA. It is available on desktop only, and after installation you can access the full copy of the Cardano blockchain, in other words, it is a full node wallet. Since you have a direct connection to the Cardano blockchain network, you won't find yourself struggling with third party network issues that could occur if you use a wallet such as Yoroi during periods of high demand.
The staking reward is 5% APY and you retain full control over your coins - they are not locked in, so you can sell them or transfer them at any time. For even higher levels of security, you can store your ADA on a hardware wallet like Ledger Nano X and connect it to Daedalus.
A downside of using Daedalus is that you need to select your staking pool. Although this has its benefits, e.g. distributing your ADA across several pools, it can be confusing for newbies who haven't done it before. You need to look at various factors such as fees, margin, saturation, pledge and server uptime. Also, the initial set up takes a lot of storage and time because the entire blockchain needs to be downloaded. In the screenshot below, only 17% has been synced after more than half an hour, and you can see that you are unable to use Daedalus until this is complete.
- Most secure way to stake ADA
- Can connect to hardware wallets for increased security
- ADA coins are not locked in for a certain time period
- Full node wallet so you won't have problems with third party network issues
- You need to select a staking pool, which can be confusing for newbies
- Only available on desktop
- Initial installation takes 1-2 hrs as it downloads Cardano blockchain
#4. Yoroi Wallet - best mobile wallet for staking ADA
Yoroi is a secure wallet that is perfect for staking ADA, and is available as a mobile app (iOS & Android) or as a browser extension so you can use it on your desktop. Unlike Daedalus, Yoroi does not download the Cardano blockchain, but instead it connects to a full Cardano node hosted by Emurgo, a third party. This makes Yoroi a light wallet, with instant initial setup, and it's fast and easy to use, without heavy system requirements. Staking on ADA is more secure than on Binance because private keys are stored encrypted on your device and not shared with third-party servers. There is also added security if you prefer to store your ADA on a hardware wallet, as Yoroi connects easily with Ledger and Trezor cold wallets.
When you stake on Yoroi, you will need to select a staking pool, similar to Daedalus wallet. You will need to check fees, margin, saturation, pledge, server uptime and APY. Most of the staking pools will reward you with approximately 5% APY. A benefit of staking on Yoroi is that your ADA coins are not locked in for a set time period, you can withdraw at any time unlike Binance. Staking rewards are paid every 5 days, as opposed to at the end of the locked period on Binance. However, you do have to wait 15-20 days after your initial staking before you start to earn rewards.
The main downside of Yoroi, like Daedalus is that you need to select your own staking pool. While this is not a major issue, for newcomers to staking, this may be confusing. It can be difficult to know what to look for and how to decide on a pool.
- Light wallet so you can get set up instantly, without needing to download blockchain
- Can connect to hardware wallets for increased security
- Available on mobile and desktop
- ADA coins are not locked in while staking
- You need to select a staking pool, which can be confusing for newbies
- You won't start earning rewards till 15-20 days after you start staking
#5. Exodus Wallet - best for staking several coins
If you are after a wallet that you can use to store AND stake a variety of coins, Exodus is an excellent choice. It is one of the best crypto wallets, is available for desktop and mobile, and supports over 100+ different cryptocurrencies. Exodus Wallet supports staking on 8 different cryptocurrencies: ADA, ALGO, ATOM, DAI, ONT, XTZ, VET and SOL.
Staking your ADA tokens in the Exodus wallet is safe, as you still retain total control of your funds. Your ADA is just as safe as if you were to hold it in your wallet unstaked. With Exodus, you are actually staking your Cardano address, and not the ADA tokens themselves. This means that you stake your total balance (you can't choose how much to delegate to the pool) but the upside is that you have the flexibility to continue performing your usual transactions while your ADA is staked since they are not locked in.
The returns for staking ADA using Exodus is 4.91% APY, which is quite good. It is really simple - all you need to do is send ADA tokens to your wallet, then click 'Earn Rewards'. You don't need to select a staking pool, because you are automatically delegating to Exodus' staking API provider called Everstake. If you don't own any ADA but you have other crypto in your Exodus wallet, you can easily trade it to ADA with the click of a button, which is extremely convenient.
One point to note when staking on Exodus is that you need to wait 20 days after staking before you will start earning rewards, and then they are paid every 5 days after that. So if you stake your ADA today, you won't see your first reward until the 25th day. It is important to remember this so you don't think that you are getting scammed and not receiving rewards.
- Stake 8 different coins including ADA
- Can be used to store over 100+ different cryptocurrencies
- Easily exchange one cryptocurrency for another
- Available on desktop and mobile app
- ADA needs to be staked for 20 days before you start earning rewards, you won't receive rewards till the 25th day
- Cannot choose which staking pool to delegate to
#6. Kraken Exchange - best place to stake ADA for beginners
If you are new to cryptocurrency, you may have heard about Cardano, ADA, and staking. Maybe you haven't bought any cryptocurrency yet, but you want to find out how to stake ADA before jumping into it. If this sounds like you, Kraken is a great choice because it is one of the best crypto exchanges and is easy to use - perfect for beginners. You can buy ADA along with over 185+ other cryptocurrencies and you can stake 10 cryptocurrencies (including ADA), as well as 2 fiat currencies (USD and EUR).
Staking on Kraken is easy, with rewards of 4-6% APY, and you will start earning rewards within minutes of staking your funds. This is a huge upside over wallets like Exodus and Yoroi where you won't start earning rewards until after 20 days. Your rewards will be paid twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays at 14:00 UTC, which is better than wallets (get paid every 5 days) and Binance (at the end of the locked period).
The downside of staking on Kraken is that your ADA tokens are held on a crypto exchange, and not in your personal wallet (either a hot wallet or cold wallet). This means that in the unlikely event that Kraken is hacked, you risk losing your funds. If you want to learn more about Kraken and its security measures, read my review here.
- You can buy ADA and 185+ other coins
- Staking of ADA and 9 other cryptocurrencies
- Easy to use and convenient for beginners
- Earn rewards within minutes and get paid twice a week
- If Kraken is hacked, you can lose your funds
- Not as secure as staking on an external wallet
Is staking ADA worth it?
Yes, it is worth staking ADA if you already own it and plan to hold it for a while. You are able to earn a passive income without doing anything, with staking rewards of around 5% (or up to 8.38% on Binance).
If you don't already own ADA, and you are trying to decide whether it is worth it to buy ADA and stake it, then that depends on your appetite for risk, and how much you are willing to risk for higher returns. Staking ADA will give you a steady 5% return, but that is in ADA tokens, not fiat currency, so if the price of ADA drops, you could lose money in the long run. If you believe in ADA as a long-term cryptocurrency, then staking is worth it, as your 5% interest is higher than any bank interest rates you can receive.
Is staking ADA safe?
Yes, it is 100% safe to stake ADA. The actual act of staking does not put your ADA at any risk. The only risk you encounter is losing access to your funds, but that is the inherent risk of owning crypto, and nothing to do with staking in itself.
For example, if you hold your ADA on a crypto exchange, whether you stake it or not, there is a chance that the exchange is hacked and you lose your funds.
If you hold your ADA in an external wallet, there is zero risk of losing ADA when you are staking because the tokens are still in your control - the only risk is if someone gains access to your wallet (the same risk as if you held the ADA tokens without staking).
Is staking ADA profitable?
For a long-term investment, staking ADA is profitable, as you receive around 5% returns per year (up to 8.38% on Binance). However, if you are thinking of making a lot of money quickly by staking ADA, then it's not the thing for you.
Where do I buy ADA?
If you don't own any ADA, you can buy it at top cryptocurrency exchanges. Some exchanges like Binance and Kraken allow staking directly on the exchange. This saves you the hassle of setting up an external wallet and transferring the ADA across before staking.
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