Staking makes the ICON network go.
Staking not only provides the resources the network requires to operate, but also powers the ICON Republic’s blockchain democracy by serving as a virtual ballot.
As William McKenzie from Rhizome wrote last year, ICONists — as holders of a stake-based protocol — are “leaving money on the table” if they don’t stake their ICX and “neglecting your right as a holder to have a say in who you want to govern the ICON network moving forward.”
For the uninitiated, however, staking may seem daunting. It’s not. Staking with ICON is a simple, straightforward process. And if you’re willing to explore a bit, a number of third parties offer staking options that provide various benefits.
Staking with ICONex, the official wallet
One way to stake is to use ICONex, the official wallet of the ICON network.
Rhizome has posted a very good explanation of how to vote using the ICONex browser wallet, but to summarize:
- Download the wallet, which is a Chrome extension.
- Using the extension, create a wallet if you haven’t already. Don’t worry — it’s painless.
- After the wallet loads, you’ll notice the “Voting” link on the main menu. Click on it.
- In the Voting section, go to Status and choose the wallet you’d like to use to stake. If you’re using a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet to keep your crypto nice and safe, you can connect it to ICONex from the Status page, too.
- Now you’re ready to start staking. Just use the slider to select how much you’d like to stake.
- Once you’ve staked your ICX, you can start voting for P-Reps! Go to the list of P-Reps, click on the “+” sign next to the name of the P-Rep team you’d like to vote for (especially these swell guys) and use the slider to determine how much you’d like to stake.
- That’s it!
You can also use the ICONex mobile wallet, too. The mobile process differs little from the browser one, but if you need a walkthrough, Stakin has posted one. Apps are available for Android and iOS.
Need another walkthrough for ICONex? Check out Everstake’s very helpful guide.
For the more visually oriented, here’s a Youtube demo of the web wallet from ICONation and a Youtube demo of the mobile wallet from Rhizome.
Like ICONex, you can use MyIconWallet to stake, unstake and vote for P-Reps. To use it, you can create a new wallet or use your existing ICONex wallet.
MyIconWallet is pretty self-explanatory, but ReliantNode provides a good walkthrough if you need one.
‘Staving’ with VELIC
Crypto finance platform and ICON partner VELIC offers a unique “Staving” service that combines the concepts of “Staking” and “Savings.”
VELIC’s Staving lets you earn ICX staking rewards without having your ICX “locked-up” for five to 20 days — depending on the total number of ICX staked to the network — as happens when you stake to the network directly. You’ll need to pay a commission, and you won’t be able to use your stake to vote for P-Reps, but if you’d like to continue trading your ICX without a lock-up, Staving might be your best option.
PS: If you think opening an end-around ICON’s lock-up is an uncool thing to do, give the ICONOGRAPHER’s post on this and other VELIC-related controversies a read — it could change your mind. The ICONOGRAPHER also writes about some of the risks of staking through an exchange.
The non-custodial wallet Atomic Wallet is working to integrate ICX into its web-based and mobile wallets courtesy ICON’s monthly grant program. When this is completed, it will give ICONists another painless option for staking their ICX and taking part in ICON governance, i.e., voting.