5 Best Platforms for DeFi Staking in 2023

By 

Filip Dimkovski

 on October 31, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Joel Taylor

A smartphone displaying pricee comparisons and heatmaps for various crypto coins on the Binance app.

In addition to yield farming and liquidity providing, crypto staking is one of the best ways to earn passive income from your cryptocurrency holdings. Namely, staking refers to the process of locking your crypto assets at a platform for a specific amount of time and then earning interest on it. In essence, this is how the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm is built and what it's based on. In the majority of cases, the interest is paid back in the crypto you staked—meaning that if you stake ETH, you will receive interest in ETH. On the surface, this might look similar to lending, but there are a couple of differences in staking vs. lending.

So, since staking usually involves locking up the assets for some time (often for weeks or months), you must take time to choose a reliable DeFi staking platform. Not sure how to find one? Well, we've got you covered in this quick and easy guide for the 6 best platforms for DeFi staking in 2023. Read to learn more about them.

1. Binance

Binance is primarily known for being one of the biggest crypto exchange platforms, often having a daily trading volume between $50 and $100 billion. However, the platform’s services and products don't end with just trading and exchanging crypto. Binance offers also offers DeFi staking via its Binance Earn sub-platform.

Namely, its good reputation and wide range of staking options make it a good choice for crypto enthusiasts looking to earn solid APY on their assets. You can find all the DeFi staking projects currently available along with their APYs, staking limits, status, and duration once you open Binance Earn, though expect to see all of the popular coins featured. Keep in mind that, with Binance, the staking options at Binance change frequently, so if there’s an option to stake ETH for 5% annually today, the option might not be there tomorrow.

Pros

  • Zero staking fees
  • Daily interest payments after 00:00 (UTC)
  • High rewards of up to 120% APY for the most volatile coins
  • 100+ cryptos available for staking

Cons

  • Minimum staking limits vary by coin
  • Long lock-in periods for highly volatile coins

2. Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the world's most-trusted cryptocurrency exchange platforms in addition to Binance and FTX. In addition to exchanging crypto, Coinbase also allows you to stake eligible assets in a few clicks, whether you buy them on the exchange or transfer them from an external wallet. Regarding the yield, you can expect anywhere from 4% to 6% APY depending on the coin you’re staking. Staking ALGO, for example, will give you 5.75% APY, while SOL is set at 4% APY.

It’s also worth mentioning that Coinbase’s staking process is quite simple and the interface is user-friendly. As a result, it's one of the best DeFi staking platforms for beginners. Unfortunately, we were disappointed to see that Coinbase didn’t feature staking for Bitcoin, though we hope to see that change in the future.

Pros

  • No minimum staking limit
  • Sleek interface
  • Available on mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • A regulated and publicly traded company

Cons

  • A staking fee of 25% of your staking rewards
  • Few eligible staking assets
  • Not the best staking yields in the market

3. Nexo

Nexo is one of the largest and most reliable crypto staking and lending platforms you’ll find today. Its business model is built around offering high returns for staking as long as you hold a certain percentage of your portfolio in their native token—NEXO. Namely, those who have at least 10% of their portfolio in NEXO tokens can expect a 5% to 7% APY on almost all cryptos, like BTC, ETH, and BNB, and up to 16% on stablecoins like USDT and USDC.

» Interested in stablecoins? Be sure to check out the safest stablecoins and the top sites for purchasing them safely.

Moreover, Nexo’s features aren’t just limited to staking. You can also borrow against the value of your staked assets and spend it. Those who have at least 10% of their account in NEXO tokens can enjoy loans with 0% interest. Thus, we would highly recommend Nexo for staking, though it’s best suited for long-term crypto holders willing to allocate at least 10% of their portfolios to Nexo tokens to grow their portfolio passively.

Pros

  • No lock-in period requirements
  • A variety of crypto assets for staking
  • A 2% bonus interest if you opt to receive your staking rewards in NEXO
  • Some of the best returns on the market
  • Zero fees

Cons

  • Requires holding the native token (NEXO) to get the best rates
  • The loyalty level is dependent on NEXO holdings and can be tough to maintain

4. Lido

Lido is a platform dedicated to liquid staking on a couple of cryptos, including Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, Polkadot, and Kusama. The platform was primarily built for Ethereum, but has now expanded and features 5 other cryptos.

So, how does staking with Lido work? Well, users can stake their assets and earn daily interest without locking them up for specific amounts of time. Once you stake your crypto, you’ll receive a liquid variation of the token on a daily basis. If you stake ETH, for example, you will receive stETH back, which is a tradable equivalent to ETH. You can then sell this stETH back for a profit.

Regarding the APY, you can expect around 5-6% for ETH, SOL, and MATIC, 8% for KSM, and 13.8% for DOT. Although Lido is an overall good platform, we wouldn't recommend it to absolute beginners as there are multiple aspects to keep in mind when it comes to understanding Lido.

» Want to learn more? Read Explaining Lido Through Liquid Staking Protocol and Key Insights to Maximizing Staking With Lido.

Pros

  • No minimum staking limits
  • No lock-ups
  • One of the best returns on the market

Cons

  • 10% staking fees
  • Might be difficult for beginners

5. BlockFi

BlockFi is a centralized crypto exchange (CEX) founded in 2017. On the platform’s website, you can buy, sell, and trade a variety of different cryptos. In addition to the features we mentioned, you can also stake your assets and earn rewards, with returns depending on the amount of staked assets.

Regarding ETH and BTC, the staking feature at BlockFi is divided into 3 tiers, making the APY vary from 2% to 3.5% and 2.5% to 3.5% for ETH and BTC respectively. The APY for other coins also varies, though it’s usually around 3-5%. There are, however, some altcoins like ADA and DOT which can be staked for 10% and 15% respectively.

All in all, BlockFi is a great platform for staking and we recommend it to crypto fans of all experience levels.

Pros

  • Allows borrowing against your crypto
  • User-friendly interface
  • Great returns

Cons

  • Services blocked certain regions
  • Past problems with regulatory authorities

» Compare BlockFi and Compound

Final Thoughts

There are numerous DeFi staking platforms on the market that can help you grow your portfolio with passive income. Because of this, you should perform due diligence and make sure you’ve got your money saved at a reputable platform. In our opinion, you can’t go wrong if you choose Binance, Coinbase, or Nexo for staking as passive income.

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