This page will take you through the process of staking and earning staking rewards with Chainlink. Chainlink is an oracle network that is used to help blockchains bridge external off-chain data onto on-chain smart contracts.
LINK is Chainlink’s native token and can be used to pay for data on the network and is given as a reward for people who provide that data. There are many places for Chainlink staking, from decentralised applications to centralised cryptocurrency exchanges, along with varying yield rates.
It's easy to get lost in the maze of staking platforms and struggle to decide which platform is better, but this guide will be there every step of the way. We’ll also go through how you can secure your assets and keep them safe if you decide to use decentralised staking platforms.
Staking involves delegating your assets to a staking pool that allows you to earn interest on those assets. Staking can help with maintaining blockchain infrastructure or trading liquidity. There are potential plans for native staking on Chainlink, but the service has yet to come to fruition. For now, Chainlink staking can be done on decentralised staking platforms and various cryptocurrency exchanges and brokerages.
For staked rewards to be redeemed, stakers must first unstake their tokens, after the allocated staking timeframe, to retrieve their rewards and initial deposit. Some staking platforms offer flexible staking services whereby users are able to unstake whenever they want and receive their rewards simultaneously.
To purchase Chainlink for yourself and start earning rewards through staking, simply follow the steps below.
To purchase Chainlink, you should first sign up to one of our recommended crypto exchanges or brokerages. A list of our partnered platforms is provided below. To register an account on an exchange or brokerage you’ll need to provide some basic identification and contact information. Signing up only takes a few minutes.
To stake your Chainlink, head over to the trading platform’s staking services then choose the staking contract to which you’d like to delegate your tokens. Some staking services offer flexible deposit and withdrawals, while others may require you to stake your coins for at least 30 days before you can withdraw them. Before you stake, make sure you’re happy with the displayed yield rate, which is always shown as a percentage.
Unstake your Chainlink to retrieve your earned rewards in LINK along with your initial deposit. Some staking platforms offer the ability to auto compound your rewards and continue staking indefinitely. Compounding is when earned interest is then redelegated into the same staking pool. If you’d like to compound your earnings manually, just restake your deposit and rewards. After unstaking you are free to trade or cash out your earnings.
You can sign up to one of the exchanges or brokerages that offer staking below to get staking right away. If you’d like to learn more about staking rewards, crypto wallets and more, then scroll down to our next sections below.
When on the lookout for a staking platform to use you should always make sure it’s been audited, has a good reputation in the crypto community and offers a rate that you’re happy with. Security is important when it comes to staking as many staking platforms can be prone to hackers or malicious entities who can drain funds from the staking platform. These events tend to happen more on decentralised finance (DeFi) staking platforms, but crypto exchanges and brokerages can also be attacked if their security is not up to standard.
Staking rewards fluctuate all the time. Some staking platforms may offer greater rates than others, including the rates on exchanges. You should search for the best rate before potentially locking your funds away for 30 days or more.
There can sometimes be a limit on the number of tokens you can stake, but this is uncommon. It’s more common to find a limit on the total amount that can be staked by all parties involved in a staking pool. These rules are common on exchanges and brokerages but uncommon on DeFi staking platforms.
When it comes to choosing a staking platform you should consider all the above points and be especially careful if you decide to use DeFi staking platforms. If you do go down the latter route, select DeFi projects with a high TVL (total value locked), and a solid reputation earned over time. The less time a project has been around the higher the risk you run of losing your funds.
The CoinJournal team has audited several staking platforms and put together a list of the safest and best platforms to stake on.
It’s hard to predict a precise yield for various staking platforms as they fluctuate when users stake or unstake their assets. The rate of return will go down if more people are staking but will go up when fewer people are staking, so this is an important variable to consider. That said, some staking platforms try to maintain a stable rate no matter how many participants are staking their tokens. The brokers and exchanges below offer stable rates for staking. Use the table below to find the platform that’s right for you.
If you’re holding your Chainlink for the long term and want to earn interest during sideways markets, then staking your tokens is a great idea. If you already have plenty of LINK sitting in a wallet, it’s better to have it earning interest than not, and you need to stake those tokens to achieve this.
Chainlink is considered a blue-chip crypto token by many crypto traders and enthusiasts. As a result of Chainlink’s popularity, there are many opportunities for staking LINK with well-recognised exchanges, or through DeFi applications with generous interest rates.
In the future, there is a possibility that native staking will be available for Chainlink tokens, but until then, DeFi staking and centralised exchanges and brokerages are the best options. If you’re new to crypto and staking, it’s probably best to stick with centralised exchanges. That way, if anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to get in touch with customer service.
How long you stake your LINK for will depend on what you’re hoping to get out of your initial staking deposit. Staking for a month or more will yield higher rewards than someone who stakes for a week. Ultimately, you should be realistic with your staking aims and not delegate funds that you might need sooner than later. Also bear in mind that the price of your LINK could go down while you are staking it. That’s fine if you are a long term holder, but if you are more of a speculator, it probably isn’t the best strategy.
Chainlink can be staked on exchanges, brokerages and DeFi staking platforms. Other staking platforms include Nexo, Celsius, Bancor and Yearn Finance.
Staking is generally safe, but some DeFi staking platforms are prone to exploits. Before staking, research the platform itself and see what the crypto community thinks about it. See if you can find out whether a platform has been audited by a well-known organization such as Certik.
There’s no exact date for when native staking will be available for Chainlink but you can keep up to date and follow news in the Chainlink community here. Being able to stake Chainlink natively has been a request from the Chainlink community for years. Chainlink developers are well aware of the demand, so native staking is certainly not out of the question.
Staking on an exchange or brokerage is free. Staking on DeFi will depend on what blockchain you are using and how busy the network is. When delegating or withdrawing coins from a staking contract on the Ethereum network you will need to pay gas fees which can range from as low as £10 to over £100, depending on how busy the network is. If you’d like to stake on Ethereum and save money on gas, you can use a gas tracker to see how much it may cost before you delegate/withdraw and make a note when gas prices are the lowest in your area.
It all depends on how much LINK you stake, the applicable interest rate, and how long you’re staking for. Economies of scale apply, so staking a 1000 Chainlink will yield more rewards than staking 100 LINK. Also, the type of interest is important. APR is the average percentage return, while APY is the average percentage yield. APR is what you will get in interest at the end of the year. If you stake 100 LINK at 10% you will end up with 110 LINK after a year. The latter incorporates compounding, which is interest earned on interest. This compound growth can significantly increase your returns depending on how frequently the interest is calculated. Above all, remember that if you buy LINK at a peak and the price goes down and you decide to sell, you may still end up with less capital than you started with, even though you were earning interest,.
You can stake any amount of Chainlink; it’s uncommon for staking platforms to have limits on individual staking amounts. Most exchanges and brokerages have limits on the amount of a certain asset that can be staked at once. Binance has limits on some of their non-flexible staking contracts where only a certain amount of a particular asset can be staked. When the limit is reached, the staking contract closes, and those who wish to stake will have to wait until a later date when Binance re-opens the pool or creates a new staking program.
DeFi staking applications and native staking programs tend to not have limits on how much of a certain asset can be staked before the staking pool is locked.