Month-by-month tracking of my ETH2 staking investment
Month-by-month tracking of my ETH2 staking investment
I originally staked 1 ETH with Ankr Staker on February 17, 2021, and added the resulting aETH token to an ETH2 liquidity pool at SnowSwap. You see results from my first month here.
Less than 2 months in, though, I saw a tremendous opportunity. The Guarda team tweeted that GETH was trading on Uniswap at a rate of 1.5 GETH per ETH! I promptly pulled my funds out of SnowSwap and traded them, earning me about 1.2 SNOW and 1.47 GETH. So, that’s where the story picks up this month. (For reference, the GETH:ETH rate on Uniswap this morning was 0.98 GETH per ETH — so that turned out to be a really great deal.)
Even though I’ve swapped my original Ankr token to Guarded Ether, I can still track the investment month-to-month. Let’s look at the numbers!
Rewards = $ 1,090.89 Txn fees (est) = $ 200.00 --------------------------- Total ROI = $ 890.89
In a month that saw ether exceed $2,500 and set a new all-time high, it was pretty incredible to add 50% to my staked funds. I have earned an estimated $890 from 1 ETH in two months, which amounts to a 40% gain. Factoring in the growth of ETH, the investment has grown more than 70% in terms of USD in just two months.
GETH rewards accumulate each month and are paid in GETH, which means I can continue reporting monthly rewards. It’s unclear if I’ll receive rewards at the beginning of May or if I need to hold for a complete cycle. Either way, I’ll report back next month!
I remember reading about Ethereum 2.0 staking when it was announced last year. You needed 32 ETH, which is nearly $64k in today’s money, to do it — well out of reach for me, even then when ETH was only $700 or whatever it was at the time.
Leave it to the community to come up with solutions, though. Ankr, Kraken, and others offered the opportunity to stake ETH quantities as little as 0.1. This was perfect for me — I promptly staked my 1 ETH with Ankr, and I was given an ankrETH in return.
The cool thing about staking with Ankr is that the rewards accumulate, and you redeem your staked ETH plus the rewards when you exchange the ankrETH back to Ankr after the Ethereum 2.0 locking phase is over. It also means you can exchange the token, so if I suddenly started feeling bad about staking ETH, I’m not locked in the same way as if I’d done it officially with Ethereum. This proved to a really, really good thing for me.
I was immediately curious — I hopped over to Uniswap and checked the exchange rate. Sure enough, 1 ETH was trading for 1.60 GETH. Wow — mind blown. It felt a little too good to be true, and I wanted to do a little more research before committing. So, I got to work.
You can see step 1 of my research on the tweet itself. I asked Guarda why the value of GETH was so low compared to ETH, and they promptly fired back a 5-tweet reply explaining the history of GETH and why the market varies, along with a note about wanting to make their customers aware when a rare opportunity presents itself.https://adamprescott.wordpress.com/media/928f8b1f8e62c9a56d1ea68895f758f7Source: Twitter
Okay, this was still sounding pretty good. I looked up GETH on both CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko, and it all felt very suspicious. It was only a part of 5 watchlists on CMC, and it had just 17 likes on CG. The trading volume was also insanely low.
So, the next thing I did was to open a support ticket through my Guarda wallet. In the ticket, I raised the potential of a GETH scam that they were promoting via their Twitter account and asked if they could confirm the GETH token’s contract address, which isn’t found anywhere in the Guarda documentation.
Alright then. At this point, I decided to take the plunge. I went over to SnowSwap, where I had staked my ankrETH, and withdrew from their Eth2 liquidity pool. I checked exchange rates and found that WETH had a more favorable GETH exchange rate on Uniswap, so I elected to withdraw that instead of the ankrETH that I had originally deposited.
With WETH in-wallet, I headed to Uniswap and swapped it to GETH. Magically, the 1 ETH that I started with had been transformed into 1.47 GETH.
I logged into Guarda and imported my Ethereum wallet. Without any additional steps, the GETH was showing as staked ETH:
Additionally, as you can see in the screenshot, the next reward distribution will occur on May 1, 2021. That’s part of the deal when you stake with Guarda — they distribute rewards they earn to GETH holders each month.
The final step in my journey was to visit Guarda’s Telegram community to ask if need to do anything else to receive rewards. Once again, my question was answered promptly — and I was assured that I didn’t need to do anything else. I just need to hold onto my GETH to collect rewards.
I was already enjoying Guarda for staking ONE, ADA, and ATOM tokens, and I feel like I just hit the lottery with this swap. At the time I’m writing this, it looks like GETH has regained a lot of its value against ETH, and the exchange rate is not nearly as favorable. Still, getting an 18% bonus on your ETH isn’t too shabby…
Now that I’m a GETH holder, it’s great to see that the value has rebounded & recovered. I feel even better about making the move! If you’re looking to make a similar move, keep an eye on the price of GETH at CoinGecko. If Ethereum starts to surge, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the GETH drop price again, and that’s your chance to make the same move.
Thanks for taking the time to read about my experience. All the usual disclaimers apply. Be careful about making swaps on and know what you’re doing. When you hold GETH, you aren’t locked in. You can trade it away on Uniswap at any point. But, if you keep holding it, you’ll receive monthly rewards and be able to exchange it 1:1 when the next phase of Ethereum 2.0 is reached.
A guided look at Harmony’s Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain bridges
A guided look at Harmony’s Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain bridges
Harmony protocol announced yesterday that they’d expanded their bridge to support Binance Smart Chain (BSC) in addition to Ethereum, which was already supported.
This is great news for two reasons. First and most obviously, it provides another on & off ramps to BSC, which has a vast ecosystem of dApps. Second, it provides me, a user in the United States, with a bridge from Ethereum to BSC.
You see, the Binance Bridge isn’t available to US users. There’s no great way for me to get funds onto BSC other than by going through Binance US.
I’ll explore both the existing Ethereum bridge and the new Binance Smart Chain bridge in this story.
The Ethereum bridge
A bonus third-and-more-personal reason to be excited is that it won’t cost me $20 to try it out #TheFeesAreTooDamnHigh. I haven’t played with Harmony’s Ethereum bridge because I don’t have any “real business,” and it’s simply too expensive to use just for tryin’ it out.
To that end, I won’t complete a transaction, but let’s at least take a look at the experience.
To use the Ethereum bridge, browse to https://bridge.harmony.one and select ETH > ONE. Connect your Ethereum wallet via MetaMask, and you’re ready to go.
Let’s say I want to move 500 REEF tokens from my Ethereum wallet onto the Harmony chain. REEF isn’t one of the pre-configured tokens, so we select ERC20 and enter a custom address. When the Change token button is pressed, the token is recognized, and the prompts & available quantity will be changed & populated accordingly.
Specify the amount to transfer and ONE wallet address, then click Continue. Since I’m using the same wallet on Harmony, I can conveniently use the Use my address link button to populate my address.
Next, you’ll be prompted to approve the amount. I won’t lie — I don’t quite understand this step. It tells me that the minimum is my transaction amount, but I can specify a larger amount to save on approval later. Perhaps to cover additional gas fees? (If you know, please help me understand by leaving a comment!)
Click Continue again, and we get to my favorite part — the final confirmation, where we learn that it will cost $23 to transfer $20 of REEF!
That obviously doesn’t make sense, so we’ll cancel the transaction and leave our 500 REEF for another day.
The Binance Smart Chain bridge
Those fees, right? Binance Smart Chain is much better than Ethereum in this regard, so let’s attempt the same operation using Harmony’s BSC bridge. The steps are the same, except this time, we’ll click the Binance toggle and connect a BSC wallet with MetaMask.
Once again, I’ll enter the REEF contract’s custom address, and the page will update with the prompts and correct balance.
Click Continue through to the confirmation, and this time we see that the transaction fee is just $3.23 — much better!
While it’s still not ideal to pay $3 to move $20 of assets, it’s infinitely times better than paying $23 to move $20 of assets! So, this time we’ll go ahead and proceed. You know, for science.
When you click Confirm, the view expands to show a step-by-step view of the actions that must be executed. The experience is actually quite nice, and the full operation takes about 2 minutes to complete.
Once it’s done, you can easily see the new tokens in your ONE wallet by connecting the wallet to the bridge UI.
If I wanted to move the tokens back to BSC from Harmony, I repeat the steps of specifying the custom token address and clicking through to the confirmation — but we see the return trip will cost less than $1.
Harmony continues to impress me with its speed and low fees every time I touch it. The bridge experience is a huge step toward making cross-chain everything we might want it to be — a place where you can move tokens quickly and cheaply between blockchains. It feels less like the experience we’ve come to expect from Ethereum and more like the real-time native web app we’re accustomed to.
If you haven’t tried Harmony, give it a shot. It only costs you a couple of dollars. Once you experience how fast it is, you won’t want to go back.
Ethereum, BSC, and others aren’t going anywhere, and we’ll surely see different apps on different chains that emerge as clear leaders for their various purposes. Bridges like what Harmony has created are essential for the cross-chain ecosystem to thrive, and they show us that it doesn’t need to be hard, slow, or expensive.
Harmony is making me redefine my expectations for blockchains. The Ethereum and BSC bridges are an important step, and they work great. I can’t wait to see what comes next from Harmony!
Ankr Staker shows rewards earned by displaying the current value of aETH in ETH. Similarly, SnowSwap’s liquidity pool displays the number of SNOW that have been earned. Each month, I’ll record the current prices of ETH and SNOW in USD, aETH value in ETH, and the total value of assets.
Txn fees (est) = ($200.00) Rewards = $ 81.78 -------------------------- Total ROI = ($118.22)
After 1 month, my net loss with estimated transaction fees is ($118.22), but most of the loss is due to the decrease in the value of ETH. In that regard, the SNOW I’ve earned offset some of the losses, but I’m still at a net loss due to transaction fees.
The combined ETH and SNOW staking rewards represent a 4.6% return in one month, which is more than I could’ve earned with other staking options, but SNOW is at a low point right now — we’ll see if it can turn it around next month!
A tour of Ankr Staker & liquidity provider SnowSwap
There are a lot of really cool dApps on Ethereum right now. The problem with Ethereum, though — as everybody knows — is the fees associated with its current proof-of-work validation. And that’s the promise of Ethereum 2.0: that the move to proof-of-stake will speed everything up and reduce fees.
Given my excitement for Ethereum 1.0, I was eager to get involved with 2.0. Unfortunately, staking ETH2 requires 32 ETH — and I had more like one.
There’s a solution for that, too! Staking pools! Today, I’ll share my experience with staking ETH2 and using the wrapped token to gain bonus rewards while my ETH assets are frozen.
Usual disclaimers apply. I’m a hobbyist. None of this is advice. Do your own research, and don’t gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.
Staking with Ankr
There are few ETH2 staking options available, but the first one I learned about was Ankr. Ankr Staker allows you to stake ETH2 with as little as 0.5 ETH. When you stake, you will exchange your ETH for an equal amount of Ankr’s wrapped token, aETH.
The cool thing about aETH is that it represents your ETH investment plus earned rewards.
When I joined, I staked 1 ETH and received 0.99 aETH. This was a little confusing to me at first, but it made sense after a week or so — I could see that 1 aETH was now worth 1.01 ETH, and after another week, it had grown to 1.03 ETH.
That’s pretty cool. My 1 ETH is frozen until the launch of Ethereum 2.0, but I can watch the value grow by checking in with Ankr.
What’s cooler is that even though I’m staked with ETH2 and my assets are frozen, I still have the wrapped token to play with!
SnowSwap’s eth2SNOW liquidity pool solves two problems. First, it eliminates the ETH entry requirement for anybody interested in staking ETH2. You can trade for whatever fraction of an aETH you’d like, and any aETH you obtain can later be exchanged for the corresponding percentage of staked ETH plus rewards.
The second problem it solves is that it allows people who have staked their ETH to earn rewards immediately by serving as liquidity providers. Providing liquidity to the eth2SNOW pool offers a high APY, currently around 24%. Rewards are paid in SnowSwap’s native token, SNOW, so the profitability of rewards is tied to that.
Sound good? Let’s set it up!
First, you need to withdraw your aETH tokens from Ankr at the site above: eth2.ankr.com. Now head to SnowSwap and connect your wallet. Providing liquidity is a two-step process. First, exchange aETH for the LP token, eth2SNOW. Then, stake the eth2SNOW to begin earning rewards.
SNOW tokens have seen a lot of volatility in the past week — like just about all cryptocurrencies — and are currently worth about $46 each. The screenshot above is after just 10 days. At the presumably-budget-rate of $46, this still represents a $302 gain for the year. SNOW has been as high as $150 in the past month, though, so the final value earnings after a year could easily be 3x or more.
It’s also worth noting that SnowSwap is in its infancy and still running a beta version. I think this bodes well for its future, though, and I’ve seen estimates for SNOW as high as $700-$1500. The investment has the potential to be quite lucrative for the “frozen” ETH!
Using Ankr’s staking pool is a great way to start earning ETH2 rewards today, even though the rewards won’t be accessible until Ethereum 2 launches in 1 or more years. The wrapped token they return in exchange gives a distinct advantage, though, allowing you to provide liquidity and effectively earn double-rewards while you wait.
The gas fees to retrieve aETH, exchange for SnowSwap’s LP token, and stake the LP token were annoyingly high. It probably cost me $100 to do it all, but now that the resources are parked and earning, I feel pretty good about it.
Ethereum’s hurting right now because of its fees leading to an exodus to other chains like Binance Smart Chain, but they have a big lead on the rest of the pack. The competition will certainly chip away at it, but if Ethereum 2.0 can deliver on its promises before it’s too late, it’s going to see tremendous growth in value.
The pieces are in place, and now we wait and double-earn rewards along the way!
I’m looking for feedback! Are you excited about Ethereum 2.0? Have you staked elsewhere, or have you found a better use for a wrapped token? Leave a comment and let me know!
This article was originally published on read.cash on February 28, 2021.