Digital asset financial services firm BitGo has launched a new staking service for the clients who store their assets with its qualified custodian subsidiary BitGo Trust.
Staking vs. mining
Staking is specific to proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains and essentially allows network participants to earn a form of “interest” by depositing their tokens to both maintain the network and potentially earn rewards.
As opposed to proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin, nodes in a PoS network are engaged in validating blocks rather than mining them. A deterministic algorithm selects block validators based on the number of tokens a given node has staked in their wallet — i.e. deposited as collateral in order to compete to add the next block to the chain.
According to BitGo’s press release, rates of return will vary for each specific supported asset — from 7% up to as high as 13% for Algorand. The firm also notes that clients’ assets will be staked while being held in a secure and insured (up to $100 million) cold storage.
BitGo acquires infrastructure firm Hedge
According to the press release, BitGo has also acquired Hedge — a firm specializing in the development of staking infrastructure.
It is noted that the acquisition forms the core of the new BitGo Staking venture via the integration of Hedge’s advanced cryptographic deployments and specialist hardware devices, including hardware security modules. In a statement, BitGo CTO Ben Chan outlined:
“We need to provide our clients with the ability to use their assets in custody. Staking provides our clients with returns on their investments without ever moving their assets out of custody.”
As Cointelegraph reported previously, staking holdings in a PoS network can yield significant percentage returns. After staking their coins, however, investors cannot immediately free them up for trading and can therefore potentially miss out on cashing in on their investment at the optimal moment.
BitGo’s press release points to the lower energy requirements of PoS blockchains as opposed to those using mining-based PoW systems, as well as noting that the possibility to generate passive returns on holdings may help incentivize long-term HODLing of assets.
Just this month, major cryptocurrency exchange Binance launched a dedicated staking service.