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How does staking work?

If a cryptocurrency you own allows staking — current options include Ethereum, Tezos, Cosmos, Solana, Cardano and others — you can “stake” some of your holdings and earn a reward over time.

The reason your crypto earns rewards while staked is because the blockchain puts it to work. Cryptocurrencies that allow staking use a “consensus mechanism” called Proof of Stake, which is the way they ensure that all transactions are verified and secured without a bank or payment processor in the middle. Your crypto, if you choose to stake it, becomes part of that process.