Let’s get down to business. We assume you already know what staking is and the potential risks and rewards. But if not (or you need a refresher), please check out our ATOM staking tutorial.
Staking ATOM is a great way to earn passive income with tokens you already hold. But staking comes with risks. Choosing the right wallet and validator is a crucial decision. In this article, we’ll help you make it. So without extra preamble, here is our advice on the best and worst places to stake ATOM in 2022.
The 8 Best Places
Like Keplr, Cosmostation is a cosmos-native wallet. It will give you the 2nd best access to the Cosmos ecosystem and is loved by mobile users.
The wallet dashboard isn’t quite as user-friendly as Keplr, but still works great. ATOM staking is done in-wallet and you’ll see your delegated tokens right up top.
Like Keplr, you’ll have access to all 150 validators. See the image below.
3. Ledger Live
At Blocks United, we ALWAYS recommend using a hardware wallet. It will provide extra protection. You need to press the buttons on the physical device in your hand to approve transactions and move funds.
The Ledger Nano X is a great choice. The added protection will help you sleep at night. See image below.
ATOM staking can be done in-wallet, using the Ledger Live software that connects to your nano and you’ll have access to all 150 validators. However, the wallet software sometimes has connection issues and doesn’t sync properly with the Cosmos blockchain.
So, it’s recommended to connect your Nano to Keplr. You’ll then use the Keplr user interface to manage your Cosmos ecosystem tokens, but will still have to press the buttons on the physical Nano in your hand to approve transactions.
Remember, not every wallet supports every token. You’ll have to connect your Nano to Keplr to claim your airdrops.
4. Guarda Wallet
Guarda is a great option because you can use it as a mobile app, web wallet, or connect your Ledger Nano. Using your connected Ledger Nano only gives you access to a few tokens (Not ATOM) and that’s why we’ve ranked it #4.
The in-wallet exchange is a great feature. Tons of tokens and multiple chains are supported. You can swap Bitcoin into other tokens right in-wallet.
You can also stake your ATOM in-wallet, but what we don’t like is that the Everstake node appears to be the only staking option.
You’ll have to click “advanced options” to gain access to all 150 Cosmos validators. See image above.
5. Rainbow Wallet
Rainbow Wallet is for mobile users and allows cross-chain transfers, token exchanges and staking. The wallet doesn’t have many options, so it’s best for those who like to keep things simple.
Rainbow Wallet does give you access to all 150 ATOM validators though, and that’s why it’s our #5 pick. Additionally, you’ll have to import your Rainbow Wallet seed phrase into Keplr to claim your airdrops.
6. Trust Wallet
Coming in at our #6 pick is Trust Wallet, which is owned by Binance. The wallet is mobile only, which is a bummer for desktop users because it’s so easy to use.
Plus, wallet connect allows you to connect your Trust Wallet to most web3 compatible websites. This allows users to stake tokens that aren’t available for in-wallet staking.
The 2 things we don’t like about Trust Wallet are the lack of access to all 150 Cosmos validators, and the inability to claim airdrops.
You’ll see that our Blocks United node is available as a staking option in Trust Wallet. But, we had to pay 1000 TWT tokens to be listed, so there are only 40 or so validators to choose from.
If you stake your ATOM tokens in Trust Wallet and want to claim your airdrops, you’ll have to import your seed phrase into Keplr. We have a tutorial that shows you how to do that.
7. Exodus Wallet
Exodus is hands down the most beautiful wallet out there. It’s intelligently designed and easy for beginners to use. Plus, they have desktop and mobile versions.
The in-wallet exchange feature is cross-chain and offers plenty of options.
And you can type notes into each transaction, to label where funds came from or went to. For example: “Sent to Coinbase” could be a note you type into the wallet’s ledger.
Now for the bad news. Exodus only uses the Everstake validator node. That’s a bad thing for several reasons. Everstake is the 12th largest node as of this writing and huge nodes are terrible for network security.
- They’re the obvious targets for DDoS attacks. That’s when a hacker floods the nodes with hundreds of thousands of spam transactions in an effort to knock the node offline and disable the network.
- And, huge nodes can potentially deceive to profit by double signing blocks. Meaning, they say funds went one place when they actually went another. Once those transactions are immutably made into a block on the chain, it’s not easy to fix.
Staking your ATOM using Exodus wallet might disqualify you from receiving airdrops too, because the largest nodes are often excluded. Additionally, you’ll have to import your seed phrase into Keplr to claim them.
We’ve also written a comprehensive guide to staking with Exodus that you can follow.
8. Atomic Wallet
Atomic Wallet has both desktop and mobile versions and a decent in-wallet token exchange, but is our least favorite wallet for staking ATOM tokens.
The wallet is easy to use, but they run their own validator node. Like Exodus, you only get one option.
Atomic wallet is user-friendly and you can stake in just a click or two, but the fact that you can’t choose your validators is a major drawback.
Lots of people like to stake with multiple validators to hedge their risk of downtime slashing. If that’s you, avoid Atomic Wallet.
Plus, they charge a hefty commission. As of this writing, the staking yield on our Blocks United node is 15.5%. Scroll up to see the image from Keplr wallet for proof. You’ll see in the image above that staking with Atomic Wallet cuts your rewards by a third!
Now, the places to absolutely avoid are centralized exchanges. In general, CEXs charge hefty commission, have huge validator nodes, prevent you from voting on network proposals AND prevent you from receiving airdrops.
The 4 Worst Places
The worst place to stake your ATOM is Binance.us. They only pay 1.5% to 3%. Wouldn’t you rather have 15.5% on Keplr?
Shame on them! Especially since they have the second largest Cosmos validator node. They are collecting 15.5% and paying their users as little as 1.5%!
Binance.us flat out sucks. The only reason to use Binance.us is to buy the handful of tokens that you can’t get on Kraken or Coinbase, like BNB.
I’m thrilled to say that Binance.us will soon close their ATOM staking program.
The 2nd worst place to stake your ATOM tokens is Coinbase. Take a look at the staking yield in the image above! And, they try to shame you into staking with them by offering the 2nd option of “no interest on your ATOM.”
All screenshots in this article were taken on the same date, March 14, 2022. Would you rather get 15.5% staking directly with Keplr, or 5% at Coinbase? Duh!
The Coinbase validator is the 4th largest Cosmos node and as mentioned previously, huge nodes are TERRIBLE for network security.
If you want what’s best for the ecosystem and thus the value of your ATOM tokens, DO NOT STAKE AT COINBASE.
Kraken is a great exchange, but ranks as our 3rd worst place to stake you ATOM. If you just want to keep it simple and stake all in one place, it’s a good option, but their commission is high and their validator node is huge.
As of this writing the Kraken ATOM validator node is the 5th largest. Huge nodes are TERRIBLE for network security.
Rounding out our “worst places to stake ATOM tokens” list is Binance.com. United States residents don’t have to worry about this one, because they can only access Binance.us.
As a centralized exchange, Binance.com is by far the best. They have the widest variety of tokens and options to earn yield on them.
Airdrops incentivize people to stake with smaller validators to encourage decentralization, which strengthens the network.
Binance.com offers attractive yields, but lock your tokens up for 30, 60, or 90 days. When your staking term is up, it’s a competition to lock your tokens up for the most attractive term. Sometimes staking isn’t available because all the spots have been filled and you’re forced to just have your tokens sit idle.
Plus, The Binance validator node is the 2nd largest so please, DO NOT STAKE WITH BINANCE.
Now you should know the Best and Worst Places to Stake ATOM Tokens.
Fortunately, there are lots of options and as time passes more options will likely open up. But for now, the best place to stake your ATOM is with Keplr and the 2nd best place is with Cosmostation. If you’d like to see both those wallets in action, check out our ATOM staking tutorial.