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Best Crypto Staking Platforms in September 2023
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Discover the top crypto staking platforms available, selected by our panel of experts. Recommendations include Aave, Bake (formerly known as Cake DeFi), and Lido, each offering unique features and opportunities.
Our team of crypto tax professionals has also identified and reviewed the best crypto exchanges available for US crypto users, including Binance.US, Crypto.com, and Gemini.
Which crypto platform is the best in staking?
In this article, we give our expert’s top three picks of both crypto staking platforms and crypto staking exchanges. We begin with our top choices of the best staking platforms for DeFi.
Self-custody is important to many crypto holders, so these platforms offer the best in crypto staking options for those who truly want to control and grow their own crypto portfolio with DeFi.
For those new to crypto, the centralized exchange options below may be a better alternative to start staking quickly, although our recommended DeFi platforms are relatively easy to use.
How our crypto tax professionals selected the best DeFi crypto staking platforms
Best for staking at scale
Aave operates as a DeFi crypto lending platform and supports ERC-20 tokens including ETH, MATIC, and WBTC. Generating yield through lending is straightforward on Aave, and the platform is a top choice for DeFi staking at scale.
Best for peer to peer lending and borrowing
Bake (formerly Cake) is a DeFi platform based in Singapore, launched in 2020. The platform offers a multitude of opportunities for staking and earning rewards with various cryptocurrencies, including popular assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Over a million users benefit from Bake’s investment platform and centralized exchange that connects users to DeFi ecosystems.
Best for DeFi staking overall
Lido is a leading, popular DeFi platform that provides staking solutions for various cryptocurrencies through a user-friendly interface, with competitive fees and generous referral rewards. It’s one of the best staking platforms operating and our top choice for DeFi staking.
Best cryptocurrency exchanges for staking
Here are our top three choices of centralized crypto exchanges that provide staking, available to users in the US. These credible and established exchanges allow you to purchase, trade, and exchange cryptocurrency without self-custody and are generally easier to use for those new to crypto over the DeFi options above.
As we saw with the FTX collapse in 2022, centralized exchanges do involve risk, as these exchanges hold your crypto for you. You’ve probably heard the phrase “not your keys, not your crypto,” and this holds true today. That noted, the following exchanges are highly credible and have weathered the recent crypto bear market, so we’re happy to recommend them. In every case, do your own research and be sure you understand the risks involved in purchasing and staking crypto.
How our crypto tax professionals selected the best crypto staking exchanges
Best for new users
Binance is the largest exchange in the world, and among the most credible and trusted. Binance.US, Binance’s exchange for US customers, offers a limited selection of cryptocurrencies for staking. The staking process and earning interest are straightforward and easy, making Binance.US one of the best crypto staking platforms available for those new to crypto.
Best for mobile staking
Crypto.com generates yield through off-chain staking. With staking APRs available on numerous popular cryptocurrencies, it offers over twenty assets for users to stake and flexible staking during terms. With an easy-to-use app, Crypto.com more or less ensures a seamless staking experience for its customers, however new they are to crypto and the concept of staking.
Best for institutional staking
Staking your cryptocurrency assets can often be a complex endeavor, involving decentralized platforms and technical know-how. Gemini Staking aims to simplify the process and offer users a more accessible way to generate staking rewards. This platform combines the benefits of decentralization with the reliability and security of Gemini, providing users with a seamless staking experience.
How to compare staking exchanges and apps
When comparing crypto staking exchanges and apps, there are several key factors to consider to help you find the best crypto staking platforms for your goals. Always do your own research and determine for yourself whether you trust a given platform and know the risks involved when staking, whether through DeFi or CeFi.
Check the list of cryptocurrencies each platform supports for staking. Some platforms may offer a wide range of options, including the option to purchase crypto directly from the platform, while others might have a limited selection and require you to transfer your crypto in from elsewhere.
Staking Rewards APY
Compare the staking rewards Annual Percentage Yield (APY) offered by each platform. Higher APY means you can earn more passive income from staking your cryptocurrencies.
Look for platforms that offer staking with low or zero fees. Some platforms may charge a percentage of your staking rewards as fees, while others may have fixed subscription fees or no fees at all.
Security & Custody
Consider the security measures and custody options provided by each platform. Non-custodial (DeFi) staking allows you to have full control over your private keys, while custodial options on centralized exchanges and platforms may offer added convenience but come with some security risks.
User Experience & Reputation
Evaluate the platform's user interface and ease of use, and look at credible reviews from other users about their experience. A user-friendly platform can make staking and managing your assets more convenient.
Are staking rewards taxable?
Staking rewards are subject to taxation for US taxpayers both as income at the time of receipt and capital gains when you decide to dispose of them. To determine the taxes on your crypto staking rewards, you need to report their fair market value when you receive them, which will serve as your cost basis. If and when you later sell your staking rewards, you will use this cost basis to calculate any resulting capital gains or losses.
It's essential to report the fair market value of staking rewards at the time of receipt and accurately calculate capital gains or losses when disposing of them. Tax rules for staking crypto can differ between countries, and some may have more lenient tax policies.
US taxpayers typically report staking rewards as "Other Income" on Form 1040 Schedule 1 and report capital gains or losses on disposal with Form 1040 Schedule D. International taxpayers can refer to our helpful country guides for more information.
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Frequently asked questions about crypto staking platforms
Here are answers to common questions about the best crypto staking platforms and how to find the best staking platforms for your goals.
What is staking?
Crypto staking involves holders participating in transaction validation on the blockchain to ensure accuracy and consistency. This is done by computers on the network or through third-party staking services.
By staking crypto, holders can earn rewards because the staked crypto actively contributes to the blockchain's operations through a consensus mechanism called Proof of Stake, which ensures transaction verification and security without intermediaries like banks. Through crypto staking, individuals support the network and receive rewards in return.
What cryptos can I stake?
It’s possible to stake dozens of different cryptocurrencies. Popular cryptos for staking include Ethereum, Polkadot, Polygon, Solana, Tether, and USD Coin.
Is cryptocurrency staking safe?
Done properly and on a credible platform, crypto staking is generally safe. Nothing in crypto is without risk, however, so it’s important to work with a credible staking platform and understand the terms and staking process before committing.
Which crypto offers the highest staking rewards?
At time of writing, Decimal (DecimalDEL) can be staked with Coinbase for an estimated reward rate APY of 109.69%. Rates are subject to change, so always check with your preferred staking platform for current information and understand the risks involved before purchasing and staking crypto.
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