Wouldn’t it be nice just to sit back and relax while your crypto does the work for you and earns returns? That’s what staking Helium (HNT) is about.
But first, what are staking, and Helium all about? Let’s find out.
What is staking exactly?
Staking is like a high-yield savings account. It gives you returns on the assets you deposit.
It is a system for cryptocurrency holders to receive rewards for supporting the blockchain. Individuals freeze their crypto assets for a period of time. This helps the network run smoothly and securely. And in return, users are rewarded with coins and tokens for this participation.
So that was the first part. Now for the second one:
What is Helium?
Helium is called the People’s Network. It is based on the concept of decentralized wireless infrastructure. It connects IOT devices like smart dog collars, key chain trackers, smart watches, etc.
It builds networks through units called Hotspots, working together to create a global wireless network.
The network is powered by its very own blockchain: the Helium Blockchain. Helium incentivizes its users to host these hotspots through rewards in the form of HNT (Helium Network Token) – the native coin.
Helium migrated to Solana in May 2023. Solana is a very popular blockchain and one of the main competitors of Ethereum.
While Helium already had a huge community, its move to Solana gave it a more stable platform. A significant reason for the migration was its scalability and reliability. Even though the move was successful, Helium initially suffered a 23% drop in its token value.
It is important to note that Helium adopted a different mechanism called ‘Proof of coverage’ before the move. Afterward, however, it adopted Solana’s consensus mechanism.
Their system is known as “Proof of History” and involves delegating coins to the network.
This delegation is what staking HNT is all about at the moment.
How to stake Helium – A step-by-step guide
Before Helium moved to Solana, users could stake their HNT using exchanges like Binance, a popular crypto exchange platform.
But, since the move, platforms like it have announced delisting HNT in March 2023.
So, staking HNT in this way is no longer an option.
The move has also made staking as a validator obsolete.
So that eliminates two out of three previous ways to stake helium. There is one more that we will talk about in a bit.
But before we do that, let’s cover the remaining way to stake Helium.
Here’s how it goes.
Firs, you will need to acquire HNT. You can purchase HNT on any crypto exchange like Coinbase or Binance.
2. Download & Create an HNT wallet
After purchasing HNT, you will need to download the ‘Helium HNT Wallet’ app on your Android or IOS device.
Next, you will create a wallet and follow the process.
Please note that you will require 0.006 SOL in your Helium wallet to stake HNT. You can check the SOL account right here:
If you do not have enough SOL, you will see the following error.
If you have the required SOL, click the globe icon on the bottom right of the page.
3. Select a subDAO
Here, you can click any of the top 3 links. Each one is for a different subDAO in the Helium ecosystem: HNT, Mobile, and IOT.
The subDAO you choose will determine the type of voting power you get.
After all, staking helium is no longer just about earning returns. It is also about the kind of voting power you get in the Helium ecosystem.
If you choose the IOT DAO, you can vote on decisions about the direction of Helium’s IOT business side’s direction. The same goes for choosing the Mobile DAO, which is more about growing the cellular device connectivity side of Helium’s network.
4. Connect with Helium to stake HNT
Once you have selected the DAO you want, click the dropdown at the top right corner of the page and select ‘Helium.’
Once you’ve selected Helium, press the connect button. This will connect you to Realms, a platform used in the Solana ecosystem.
Next, click the view button right next to ‘My governance power.’
Here click ‘Lock Tokens.’
5. Select your Helium staking type
Now you may choose between the options available: cliff or decaying and constant.
In cliff, tokens are locked for a fixed duration and released in full at the end. The weightage of your votes starts decaying the moment you stake them. This means that your stake is worth more voting power at the start than it is later on down the road. This locking method is best suited for when you know exactly when you want to get out of your stake right from the start.
Source: Helium – Docs
Constant is where tokens are locked indefinitely until you choose to start the cliff process. You can start the unlocking process for the initial lockup period selected.
Source: Helium – Doc
Note that there is an initial vote weight multiplier at the bottom of the interface. This shows you the value of your votes at the start. If you stake for a longer period, it goes up. However, as we mentioned, your votes’ value decreases gradually.
You can also extend the lock-up period after you have staked your HNT. This will have an impact on the vote weightage.
Once you have specified the number of tokens you want to lock, pick the duration you want to lock it for and click ‘Lock Tokens.’
6. Earn HNT with your staking
You are now done; you have successfully locked tokens. Congratulations!
In return, you get veHNT or vote-escrow HNT. These are governance tokens that you can delegate to subDAOs to earn returns.
Delegating veHNT gives you IOT or MOBILE tokens which are then convertible into HNT tokens.
So that’s how you stake helium now.
But it’s worth mentioning that the most popular way to stake helium not too long ago was through staking pools.
So what happened to Helium staking pools?
A staking pool is where individuals could pool their HNT to increase their chances of earning rewards as validators on the network.
HNT pools used to be hosted on various platforms.
However, since Helium’s blockchains move to Solana, validators are no longer needed. Due to this, pools have been shut down, including a popular pooling site, Helium staking.
How much does an HNT validator earn by staking?
This depends on multiple factors, such as:
- The total amount of veHNT locked into your subDAO
- Your subDAO’s veHNT relative to other subDAOs’
You can claim your rewards on the app and undelegate your assets when you want.
Note that your earnings in fiat ($USD) while staking are extremely dependent on the value of Helium (HNT).
You could face serious losses or make an impressive profit if the value of HNT fluctuates too much.
The risk is inherent in the current nature of crypto.
Best place to stake HNT according to reddit
After going around on Reddit trying to find what people are thinking could be the best place to stake your HNT, it became clear that there is not a single one best place to do it.
I feel like crypto staker are missing the time where Binance was the go to place for it. This is due to the fact that it has become harder to stake HNT. The process is not very user friendly and it is discouraging many people.
Here are some reddit post that could help you around:
- Helium Network : Staking HNT On Solana
- In case this helps anyone making last minute Landrush decisions, here are the rewards I received from various staking positions over 2 days
- Staking time periods?
Is helium staking worth it?
Well, it depends.
It depends on your investment goals and risk appetite. Helium staking provides a passive income stream.
The stream could generate profits.
But, it also comes with risks.
The risks may be market volatility and the potential loss of staking tokens.
Researching and understanding the risks and potential benefits of staking is important.
Enjoy staking your HNT!