Solana (SOL) Staking Guide

Solana (SOL) Staking Guide

This guide will give you a comprehensive overview on Solana and how to stake your SOL. Solana is a high-performance, open source blockchain that allows builders around the world to create decentralized applications with a focus on scale and speed. Solana is one the new "Layer 1" blockchains aiming to make crypto networks faster and more scalable. It uses a suite of clever technologies, including a novel mechanism called “proof of history.”

You can learn more about staking SOL in its official documentation.

Please scroll down to the bottom of this article for the full Steakwallet staking guide, including a step-by-step walk through.

What is the Solana blockchain and what makes it unique?

Solana is a high-performance, open source blockchain that allows builders around the world to create decentralized applications with a focus on scale and speed. Solana is one of the new "Layer 1" blockchains aiming to make crypto networks faster and more scalable. Solana uses a combination of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and a new mechanism called “Proof-of-History.” Proof-of-History is designed to keep time between computers on a decentralized network without all the computers having to communicate about it and come to an agreement. Proof-of-History creates a historical record that proves that an event has occurred at a specific moment in time, which is different from most other blockchains in which block producers (validators) must communicate with each other to produce blocks and synchronize the state of the network. Solana side-steps this communication requirement and, therefore, can produce blocks much faster: the key to handling more transactions as the network scales. For a deep dive you can take a look at the Proof-of-History whitepaper.

While the idea and initial work on the Solana project began in 2017, Solana was officially launched in March 2020 by the Solana Foundation with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. With Solana’s hybrid protocol allowing for significantly decreased validation times for both transaction and smart contract execution, as well as cheaper fees – Solana managed to attracted a lot of interest from traders, builders and institutional investors alike, as Ethereum fees skyrocketed in 2021.

Why should I stake my SOL?

Staking your SOL helps secure the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network. Further, most PoS blockchains are initially inflationary in nature, so staking your SOL prevents you from getting inflated out of your position as you earn rewards for helping secure the network and validate transaction.

What happens when I stake my SOL?

As Solana utilizes a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, you can delegate an amount of SOL you hold to a "validator", making you the "delegator". Validators on the Solana blockchain (and most other PoS blockchains) validate the network by approving transactions. The more SOL a validator holds the more powerful they are and the more "vote" the have in the network, which allows them to validate more transactions, thus earning more rewards. By delegating your SOL, you trust the selected validator to be a good network participant. From the earned rewards, the validator gives a certain percentage (stipulated by the network) back to the delegators that have delegated (staked) their SOL to them.

That's how you earn rewards.

How much can I earn from staking my SOL?

At the time this post was published, the APY (Annual Percentage Yield) was: 7.2%.

For the most up-to-date rewards rate, you can check the Steakwallet app.

What is the minimum amount of SOL I can stake?

The minimum amount needed to stake is  0.01 SOL. This is enough SOL to ensure you can stake successfully, as well as pay the Solana staking network transaction fee.

How do I stake my SOL?

When you stake your SOL, you are able to choose how much of your SOL you want to delegate to the validator. You can stake any amount of SOL, but it will take roughly 2 epochs (where 1 epoch is roughly equivalent to 2-4 days) for your stake to become active and earn rewards.  You will not be able to use the staked SOL for anything else or sell them during the period the SOL are staked.

Make sure you have enough SOL in your wallet to pay for network transaction fees.

What Validator is my SOL staked to?

Currently, if you stake your SOL with Steakwallet your stake gets delegated to validators run by Figment. Figment is a reliable partner and one of the most trusted validator providers in the industry. We plan to offer more optionality in the future.

How do I unstake my SOL?

When you unstake your SOL, you can decide on the amount you want to unstake. Once you confirm the amount, your SOL will now be "unbonding" from the validator. You may need to wait several epochs (approx. 2-4 days or more) for the SOL to be available to send again. All your rewards will automatically be unstaked as well.

When will I start earning rewards?

When you start staking your SOL and the delegation is confirmed, it will take roughly 2 epochs (where 1 epoch is roughly equivalent to 2-4 days) for your stake to become active and earn rewards. This means that if you start staking your SOL in epoch 100, then you will start earning rewards on the effective amount in epoch 102. Your rewards are automatically distributed every epoch after that. Any additional SOL that you stake after will also need to wait 2 epochs before earning rewards.

How do I claim my staking rewards?

Your SOL rewards are automatically claimed for you and added to your staked balance so you can automatically earn more rewards. No manual claiming is necessary.

However, if you want access to your rewards balance, then you will need to unstake all of your SOL and withdraw it to your wallet as the Solana network does not allow you to unstake only a certain amount.

Does Steakwallet take a cut of my rewards or charge a fee?

No. Steakwallet never charges a fee on your staking rewards.

Is SOL staking safe?

Given that you always maintain custody of your assets (as Steakwallet is non-custodial), you always remain in full control.

While staking SOL is relatively safe, and while we work together with Figment as they are one of the most reliable validators in the industry, there's always a risk of slashing. If a slashable event happens, you can lose a portion of your staked SOL.


Staking SOL through Steakwallet: Step-by-Step Guide‌

Staking Semantics

Staking SOL tokens is relatively straight forward.

Once you stake your tokens, it takes about 2 epochs until your SOL earns rewards. Rewards are automatically claimed and restaked so you can auto-compound your rewards. When unstaking, there is a 2 day unbonding period, after which you can withdraw your SOL.

Key SOL Staking Considerations:

  • Rewards are distributed every epoch (ca. 2 days)
  • Slashing occurs via governance vote
  • 7.2% reward rate (stay up to date on the Steakwallet app!)
  • 8% Inflation, deflating 15% every year
  • 2 day unbonding period
  • Rewarda are automatically claimed and restaked
  • Leave a little SOL leftover in your wallet for bonding and unbonding fees

For this guide, we will walk you through the steps of setting up your Steakwallet from scratch and then staking your SOL. If you already set up your Steakwallet, you can scroll down to the staking section.

Steakwallet can be downloaded on iOS or Android. Steakwallet is a non-custodial wallet, and requires you to keep track of your own secret phrase (often also referred to as "mnemonic").

  • To begin staking with Steakwallet, you first need to download the wallet from either the iOS or Android app store onto your mobile device. Once downloaded, you can open the app and begin the setup process.
  • Start by creating your Steakwallet account, following the steps on the screens below. Simply create a new wallet, agree to the terms, and backup your 12 word phrase. It is extremely important that you backup your secret phrase. Be sure to write down and safely secure your wallet's 12 word backup phrase. This is the only way to recover your  wallet. Once you have created your wallet and backed up your 12 word phrase, you are ready to use Steakwallet.‌
  • Now that you're setup, welcome to the Steakwallet home screen. Here in our "Prime Yields" section you can find the best opportunities to put your money wor work and find many different tokens when you scroll down. From Yearn Vaults to our super simple native staking integrations.
  • Select Solana from the list and you'll get to the token details page showing you recent performance, your available balance, your staked balance, and if you scroll down further the Staking Info already discussed above.
  • Clicking "Receive" brings up your SOL address allowing you to deposit your SOL. ‌
  • Once you have funded your wallet with SOL, head back to the staking section on the token details screen in your Steakwallet.
  • When you are ready to start staking, click “Stake”.
  • From here, select how much of your SOL balance you wish to delegate. Important reminder: Be sure to leave some SOL left over for delegating and undelegating fees. Select the amount of SOL you wish to stake, click “Preview Stake”, and then confirm the stake on the next screen.‌
  • After waiting a couple of seconds for confirmation, your stake will be confirmed and you can view the staking transaction on the explorer. Congrats, you're now staking your SOL through Steakwallet. If something went wrong, you'll receive an error screen.
Remember that it takes 2-4 days for your SOL stake to be warmed up and earning rewards. In this initial period your SOL may not show in your wallet for a few minutes.
  • Now, the Steakwallet’s token details screen will show what you are staking versus your available balance.

More on Steakwallet

Steakwallet is a mobile-first, multi-chain, non-custodial wallet that allows users to easily stake tokens and earn rewards. Steakwallet can be downloaded on iOS or Android, allowing you to instantly secure, send, receive, and stake over 10 different cryptocurrency assets.

Being non-custodial, Steakwallet gives you full ownership of your assets and wallet private keys. With Steakwallet, you are always in control of your assets.

Steakwallet makes every part of the staking experience user friendly from delegation, rewards claiming, unbonding, and more.

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⚠️ Steakwallet should update automatically with every release. If it doesn't, you can manually update it by following the simple steps below. You can also download it based on the steps below:

iOS

  1. Go to Steakwallet on the Apple App Store
  2. Click the "Update" button on top right to update the app or "Download" if you have not yet downloaded the app
  3. Wait for the update/download to finish and voilá

Android

  1. Open the Google Play Store app Google Play
  2. At the top right, tap the profile icon
  3. Tap "Manage apps & device"; apps with an update available are labeled "Update available"
  4. Tap "Update"


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