All of the negative commotion surrounding proof-of-work consensus mechanisms using up too much energy has negatively impacted networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Finding an alternative consensus algorithm is never easy, although proof-of-stake remains ever-popular. It is a very booming industry segment and one where a lot of value is concentrated.

The Ongoing Growth of Proof-of-Stake

Although not many people see Proof-of-stake as a subsegment of the cryptocurrency industry, it is a very different breed of projects and services. Staking cryptocurrency is very different from mining, as it does not require dedicated hardware. However, users will still need to keep their wallets connected to the internet on a 24/7 basis to make a successful network impact. One can usually do that through a computer, mobile device, or virtual private server.

Given the negative attention Proof-Of-Work blockchains like Bitcoin keep getting over the years, it’s not hard to see why there is a growing interest in proof-of-stake solutions. They are far more energy-efficient and give hodlers an option to earn passive revenue by providing network services. It is a different take on earning volatile crypto assets, although one that requires far less effort on the user’s behalf.

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BlocDesk Proof-of-Stake Stats
Source: StakingRewards

Over the years, there have been numerous cryptocurrency networks that support proof-of-stake rather than proof-of-work. Cardano recently made the switch, and Ethereum looks to do the very same in the coming months. Energy efficiency is a powerful topic at this time, forcing developers to think outside the box. Other popular networks with proof-of-stake support include Polkadot, Solana, Algorand, Cosmos, and others. Combined, they have a staking market cap of over $625 billion.

What is even more interesting is how over $145 billion of that market cap engaged in staking. It represents just over 20% of the total market cap, but not everyone stakes their assets right away. Many people prefer trading assets in search of quick profits over a slow and steady income generated by exploring proof-of-stake. At an average annual reward of 14.95%, staking and not looking back becomes a more appealing option, though. 

Staked Value Power Rankings

Not too many people will be surprised to learn that Cardano, Polkadot, and Ethereum 2.0 are all in the top three for assets ranked by staked value. Although Cardano is in the lead, it remains unclear if that will be the case for much longer. Its staked value represents over $31.1 billion, whereas Polakdot and Etheruem note $11 billion and $10 billion, respectively. However, that number is likely to go much higher where Ethereum is concerned, as its switch to proof-of-stake is more “final”. 

Interestingly, Binance Smart Chain only comes in the seventh spot, at under $4 billion. An exciting development, as nearly 60% of its value engages in staking purposes today. That is still lower than Cardano, at 74.17%, but much higher than Ethereum’s 4.73%. There is still a lot of room for growth across all of these proof-of-stake ecosystems, although it remains unclear which direction this market segment will head in next.

BlocDesk Staking Assets
Source: Staking Rewards

Regardless of how one feels about staking, it remains a worthwhile option to pursue. Most of the top assets in this segment have more than good rewards for their users, which is always a positive sign. Lesser-known currencies can offer over 275% in returns,  although they carry more significant risks for devaluation and whatnot. Making well-informed decisions is crucial before making any financial commitments.