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How to stake Dash (DASH) in 2023

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Dash is the name of a decentralised peer-to-peer (p2p) payment network used to transfer funds between parties and accept payments instantly, and its native coin, also called DASH, powers this payment system.

Dash’s network is a fork of Bitcoin’s code but with a focus on privacy, security, portability, and speed. Dash’s transaction time is significantly faster than Bitcoin’s at 1-2 seconds (Bitcoin’s is about 20 minutes).

Dash achieves its speed by maintaining a mining layer which includes miners that process transactions and get rewarded with DASH and the masternode layer which include nodes that provide enhanced functionality, like Dash’s instant transaction speeds and blockchain usernames. 

These masternodes also make up a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) that votes on proposals pertinent to the network’s operations.

This page dives into how to stake Dash, and why you may want to.

Dash staking: How to stake in 3 simple steps

Staking on Dash is done through pure staking (PoS) or delegated proof of stake (DPoS). DPoS involves designating DASH coins to a node for rewards. These rewards are made possible by the masternodes which act as validators who speed up transactions.

The masternodes use your coins, along with other peoples,’ to meet the minimum threshold for validating transactions, which is 1000 DASH coins for the Dash network.

Masternodes are rewarded with 45% of the reward for each block of transactions, the remaining portions go to mining nodes and the Dash Treasury. Note that only masternodes that take part in a long-living masternode quorum (LLMQ) get rewards.

The LLMQ is a subset of the entire masternode list (usually between 200-400) that validates transactions. The more DASH a masternode stakes, the higher its chances of being added to LLMQs.

1. Buy DASH

First, you need to purchase DASH. To do that, you’ll need to sign up on an exchange. Any of our recommended exchanges will do as they are known for security and flexible payment methods. After signing up, navigate to the deposit page and send some money to your account. You can swap your fiat for crypto on their exchange.

2. Stake DASH

Next, you need to stake DASH by depositing it in a staking pool. Centralised exchanges usually offer pools or vaults with various lock-up periods. Sometimes, they offer flexible lock-ups where you can withdraw your funds at any time. Choose the lock-up period that resonates with your expectations. Remember, the longer the lockup the higher the yield but you can’t access your funds during that period.

3. Unstake your DASH when you're ready

Now it's a waiting game. When the lockup period elapses, unstake your DASH along with your rewards. You may choose to restake along with your rewards to gain even more yields at the same percentage. However, yields change periodically so you may not find a vault with the same yield and lock-up period. If you are a long-term holder, you can move from one pool to another when the lock-up expires to create a steady yield stream.

Where can I stake DASH?

Any of our recommended exchanges, listed below, is a great option for staking DASH. There is currently no decentralised option for staking DASH besides running a node yourself which comes with added costs and significant technical know-how. 

It's worth noting that centralised exchanges also profit from staking large volumes and, as such, can afford to offer higher yields than even some node operators. They also have the infrastructure and technical know-how to operate and maintain masternodes.

Centralised exchanges also guarantee your funds’ safety. If anything goes wrong on a blockchain level, reputable centralised exchanges will swing into action to protect their users’ funds.

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How to choose a staking platform

The most important component of a staking platform is security. You need to ensure that your coins are safe by only staking with platforms that are security audited. Staking platforms, centralised and decentralised, should be audited by a recognised blockchain security auditor.

Trust is another important factor which is measured in reputation. If other Dash stakers, especially the more technical savvy bunch, use an exchange, then it stands to reason that they can be trusted. You should also pay attention to a platform’s track record. Those with histories of multiple breaches are not usually a good choice.

Lastly, recommended trading platforms are usually a good place to start, especially if the recommendation comes from reputable sources, the pinnacle of which would be the blockchain’s developers.

Where can I get the highest reward for staking Dash?

The current yearly yield for masternodes is 5.81% per year. Pools with the highest rewards usually have a good staker-to-yield balance. The reward generated does not increase with the number of stakers; it stays the same.

Initially, the more DASH a masternode has stakes, the better its chances of being in an LLMQ. However, because rewards stay the same, If the number of stakers increases, then the same rewards will be distributed among more people, potentially reducing the amount each person gets.

On the flip side, the fewer the number of stakers despite an increase of funds in the pool, the more rewards per staker. This is why some platforms have a limit beyond which they do not accept more deposits.

Centralised exchanges are known to offer attractive yields by implementing the strategy laid out above until they get a certain amount of funds in the pool or until a specified period elapses. Hence, the most practical way to earn the highest yield is to find pools that currently offer attractive yields, like those offered by our recommended crypto exchanges, and select based on your preference between yield and flexibility.

Why should I stake Dash?

Dash is an innovative crypto-based payment network with snappy transaction speeds, tight security, and desirable privacy features. These qualities make Dash a strong contender in the payment space as crypto gains more mainstream adoption which could mean an increase in the value of staking rewards over time.

If you’re a long term holder, then staking coins is a great way to keep the earning rivers flowing during market downturns. You also get rewarded with more of the same coin you are already holding.

Lastly, DASH has a limited supply of 18.9 million coins, a conservative amount compared to similar coins like Bitcoin or Ethereum (which will soon be limitless). As the network grows, purchasing DASH in significant quantities as investments or income-generating assets may become more expensive for regular people.

Staking keeps you in the ring, especially if you stake for significantly long periods because it keeps adding to the bags you already hold in an inexpensive way.

How long should I stake Dash for?

How long you should stake depends on your time horizon, your yield appetite, and the amount of flexibility you’re comfortable with.

If you plan to hold for the long term, usually measured by crypto market cycles i.e. four years, then you can lock your coins for the longest lockup periods offered by centralised exchanges and earn the highest yield.

However, if you’re more short- to mid-term, then you’ll need to adjust the lockup period according to your expectation or hunt for pools offering higher yields for shorter periods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dash proof of work or proof of stake?

Both. Dash uses a mining layer (proof-of-work) and a validating layer (proof-of-stake) to ensure security. The mining layer processes regular transactions while the validating layer, also called the masternode layer, processes the transactions that make Dash fast.

Can I stake DASH on a Ledger wallet?

You can’t. The Dash network is not supported by the Ledger wallet. Staking can only be done on centralised exchanges.

How much do masternodes make?

The current reward per block is 3.32 DASH, 45% of which goes to masternodes in an LLMQ. When a masternode votes on a block, it is added to a payment list which is sorted in chronological order. Dash’s internal mechanism ensures that a normal functioning masternode earns about 6 DASH every month.

Can I buy DASH in the US?

Yes. You can buy Dash on authorised exchanges in the United States. However, New York residents need to ensure that their chosen exchange is also authorised to operate in New York.

How do I know whether or not the masternode I stake to will be selected for a LLMQ?

While Dash once relied on randomisation to select masternodes to add to quorums, more recent updates switched to a deterministic model, meaning that all masternodes get a turn.