Where to Safely Stake on Solana

Learn about some of the best places to safely stake on Solana. From Solana validators to liquid staking pools, there are thousands of options to stake SOL!

This article explores safe staking possibilities on Solana. With over 2,000 Solana validators on the network, there are quite a few ways users can stake SOL, including liquid staking protocols that do a lot of the hard work to make sure Solana becomes further decentralized.

Hubble has recently written about staking on Solana in past articles. If you’re new to staking, these posts are a good starting point to learn more about staking before taking the plunge into the world of staking SOL:

In the next two sections, we’ll look at staking directly with Solana validators and staking through a pool. This article is not financial advice, but the resources within these paragraphs can be used to help better understand how to participate in staking SOL.

Staking SOL Directly with Solana Validators

If you’d like to stake directly with a Solana validator, you can do some research and delegate your SOL to a validator you think is a safe bet. Currently, slashing on Solana Mainnet Beta has not been implemented, so validators who go offline or miss votes are not subject to losing your stake from slashing, which can be a major concern.

Solana validators who go offline are not earning SOL while they fail to help validate transactions, and this can be problematic for users who delegate their SOL to a validator that isn’t operating in top form.

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Staking.wiki is one of many tools for researching Solana validators.

However, choosing to delegate to one of the validators in the staking super-minority, which includes 31 validators at present, doesn’t help decentralize the network, so some due diligence is required to vet validators outside this group.

Fortunately, there are several tools that can be used to research validators on Solana. You can find information about their recent rates and past performance on these sites:

Again, finding validators who perform well and are outside of the super-minority is an incredibly important part of strengthening Solana. If doing the research to find a deserving validator who votes on time and takes their position seriously is too much work, then staking SOL with a liquid staking pool is a fantastic option.

Staking SOL with a Liquid Staking Pool

Liquid staking pools provide an incredible service for SOL stakers who are interested in participating in decentralized finance (DeFi). Not only will a staking pool do users’ due diligence for them, but each will provide users who stake through their platform with a liquid staking token that increases in value at a rate of SOL Price + Staking Rewards.  

Most of these protocols are helping decentralize Solana by staking SOL with deserving validators outside the super-minority and increasing Solana’s Nakamoto Coefficient, or the number of validators that would need to work together to overtake the network. If you’re a long-term SOL holder who also wants to participate in DeFi, then participating in a liquid staking pool gives you the opportunity to “have your cake and eat it too.”

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MonkeDAO has stepped up to help decentralize the network with its staking pool.

The opportunities to earn yield from DeFi composability increase through staking with these protocols. For example, users on Hubble Protocol are earning ~10% APR in LDO rewards for borrowing USDH against stSOL, which is a considerably strong rewards program from the world’s largest liquid staking pool!

The more you participate in composable DeFi, the more smart contract risk you become exposed to, and it should be noted that additional smart contract risk is introduced with liquid staking pools. Additionally, the stress of the market can knock a liquid staking token off of its peg with SOL, which can lead to liquidation if the token is used as collateral for borrowing.

Tons of Opportunities for Safe Staking SOL for APY

The number of Solana validators that users can delegate their SOL to for securing the network is increasing all the time. It seems like yesterday that there were only 1,000 Solana validators, and now that figure has doubled in very little time.

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The next best thing to becoming a validator is delegating to one.

Solana is geared towards speed and performance, and making Solana the most performant blockchain in crypto relies on staking. If you don’t have the technical expertise or time to become a validator yourself, you can help increase the network’s Nakamoto Coefficient and make Solana one of the most decentralized public blockchains on the market by delegating your SOL to a validator either by yourself or through a liquid staking pool.

When you stake SOL, you’re doing your part to securely increase the network’s efficiency. As a reward for participating in the network in this way, you can earn steady rewards paid in additional SOL, which is an amazing deal if you believe in the future of the network—and if you’re reading this, you probably believe Solana is going somewhere already.

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