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!
Then, three days after that, on March 24–a mere seventeen days after its launch — Viperswap reached $10 million in TVL.
That’s quite an achievement, but how does it stack up against its predecessors? Let’s make some comparisons against today’s top 5 DEXes, as ranked by DeFi Pulse:
At the top of the list is SushiSwap, which started on September 4, 2020, and exploded to $1.15 billion in TVL on September 9, 2020. This was largely due to a notable migration of assets from Uniswap. The migration may warrant an asterisk on the milestone, but it’s pretty incredible, nonetheless. 5 days.
Uniswap launched on November 2, 2018, and it took them until May 11, 2019 to reach $10 million in TVL. 190 days.
It took Curve Finance from February 10, 2020 until April 23, 2020 to accomplish the feat. 73 days.
Balancer launched on February 28, 2020 and hit the mark on June 1, 2020. 94 days.
Rounding out the top 5 is Bancor, which began on August 17, 2017 and passed $10 million 112 days later on December 7, 2017.
Reaching $10 million in TVL in just 17 days is pretty remarkable, especially when you compare it against the others listed above. Viperswap’s rise came about quietly, too, without much advertising beyond a handful of tweets from the community. It’s not slowing down, either, having already gained another 30% since hitting the $10M milestone yesterday. It could be halfway to $100M by this time next week!
This article’s focus has been total value locked, but the growth of Viperswap’s native token value and market cap has been equally impressive. The token began at $0.005 and has grown to just shy of $1, pushing the total market cap near $150 million.
I’ve written about Viperswap a couple of times now, and I maintain that if you try it yourself, it will re-write your expectations for blockchain apps. Harmony is so fast and cheap, and you can try Viperswap with less than $10 and see real earnings accumulate in real-time. It’s incredible.
The future for Harmony is bright, and Viperswap has the opportunity to play a central role. Harmony had its own news this week, launching a Binance Smart Chain bridge in addition to its existing Ethereum bridge. With that news, they explained that you couldn’t do a direct passthrough of tokens, for example, to send USDT from Ethereum straight to BSC. Instead, there will be separate ethUSDT and bscUSDT tokens. If/when Viperswap adds liquidity to facilitate this swap, it will be an easy, negligible-fee, non-issue to do the extra swap to make it happen.
I can’t wait to see what comes next from the Harmony and VenomDAO teams!
You’ve all heard about “mining” as it pertains to Bitcoin and Ethereum, right? Mining is necessary because these are proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains, and they require a lot of computing power to do all the verifications and validations to make it all work. The main complaints against PoW are that it’s slow because of the computing and expensive because of the computing fees.
The fees are a big problem, and that’s why Ethereum 2.0 is important — it represents the Ethereum network’s move from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. It’s also one of the main reasons why there’s so much excitement for “next-generation” networks, and perhaps none have more hype than Cardano.
Proof-of-stake means that instead of having miners competing and racing to find the next block in the blockchain, validators are randomly assigned to do it. To be a validator, you must “stake” collateral. Rewards granted to miners for discovering a blockchain block are instead given to the selected validator for doing its job.
That brings us to the point of this story. Not everybody wants to be a validator, but you can delegate your tokens to a validator and earn a share of the rewards. There are many ways to do this, but perhaps the easiest is to do it through a wallet provider, like Guarda. I’ll show you just how easy it is to stake Cardano using Guarda’s wallet in this story.
This tutorial assumes you have a Guarda wallet and that you’ve transferred ADA into it. Signing up for Guarda is pretty easy; go to guarda.com and follow the prompts. I purchased some ADA from CoinEx (note: referral link) and transferred it to my Guarda wallet, but there are many ways to do it.
Let’s stake some ADA!
Just a heads-up: this is going to be a short tutorial because it’s so easy. Begin by logging into your Guarda wallet and finding your Cardano wallet. Your balance should be visible, along with a Staking link below it.
When you click the Staking link, it expands to show a staking region. This is where you’ll see & claim rewards and stake/unstake. Click the Stake button to open a new Staking tab in the wallet.
Be sure to read the fine print. The approximate yield is 5%. Okay, that’s pretty good. Your funds will not be frozen and will remain free to move. Wait, what? The funds are still in my wallet, and I can move them. That’s downright awesome. Staking will be applied from the next epoch. The reward will begin to accrue from the 3rd epoch after staking. This means that it’s gonna take a minute before you start to earn rewards. You’ll see later in this story that the wallet view will show “round” information, which I believe represents these epochs.
Because it wouldn’t make sense to do anything less, the deposit amount defaults to the maximum and is read-only. Go ahead and click Next.
You’re presented with a confirmation screen. Note that I have to pay a network fee, so for small amounts — like the $50 I’m working with — it may not make sense. That’s 5%; it will take a full year of staking to earn that back! But, we’re in it for the science, right? So, onward we go. Click the Confirm button.
That’s it — done! The Staking link below your balance in the wallet list will now show additional details. Recall that in the staking details noted above, rewards will begin to accrue in the 3rd epoch after staking, and the epochs are about 5 days each.
Guarda makes staking Cardano and a handful of other tokens really easy. You maintain control of your tokens while you stake, and you begin earning rewards for many of them instantly. Cardano takes a few rounds before you start earning, but the process is completely painless.
Cardano is just starting to take off. It’s expected to launch support for smart contracts soon with its Goguen release, and many, many projects are being developed. There’s so much excitement for Cardano, and it will most certainly see a lot of growth in the future — so it’s a great token to hold onto for the long run. And, if you’re going to hang onto it, you might as well stake it and earn the additional rewards.
As a final note, I’m not affiliated with Guarda in any way. I first used it to stake Harmony ONE tokens and later staked Cosmos ATOM tokens, too. I’ve had great experiences with Guarda and will certainly move other tokens there for staking in the future.
The VenomDAO team just announced that they’d added APRs to their Viperswap liquidity pool UI, and they’re quite generous. Of course, it’s all very new and dropping quickly*, but the fact remains — the rates are insane right now.
*In just a few hours since announcing and sharing the screenshot, it’s already reduced to less than 14,000%. 14,000% still feels pretty okay, though, right?
The best part is that it literally takes less than 3 minutes (I used a stopwatch) to add funds to the liquidity pool, and there’s basically no minimum and near-$0 transaction fees. In this article, I’ll show you how to add liquidity with a tiny amount — just $30!
I’ve purchased ONE from Binance US, and there’s where the journey begins. We only need to do four steps:
Transfer ONE tokens to a MetaMask wallet on Harmony Mainnet
The easiest way to get your ONE address is to view your MetaMask account using Harmony Explorer, which can be accessed conveniently from the MetaMask UI.
Clicking the View in Explorer link will whisk you away to Harmony Explorer, where you can click-to-copy your ONE wallet address.
Now we take that value and enter it into the exchange’s withdrawal screen, jump through the necessary confirmation hoops, and seconds later, our funds are visible in MetaMask.
2. Swap for some 1ETH
To add liquidity to Venomswap’s pool, we need to provide equal amounts of two tokens. I want to contribute to the 1ETH pool, so I’ll convert half of my ONE tokens to 1ETH. Browse to https://viper.exchange and connect your wallet (make sure you have the Harmony Mainnet network selected).
$30 bought me 265 ONE tokens, so I’ll convert half of them to 1ETH on the Viperswap Swap page.
3. Add liquidity
After just a few seconds, the swap should complete, and you’re ready to switch to the Pool tab to add liquidity. Select the pair you’d like to provide and specify the amount. I have less 1ETH available, so I click the MAX button next to 1ETH to contribute the maximum amount. (I had trace amounts of additional 1ETH in my wallet, so I’m adding a little more than was shown previously in the swap screenshot above.)
4. Stake the LP token
Our final step is to stake the liquidity tokens we received for contributing to the ONE-1ETH pool. We do this by selecting the Staking tab and clicking the Deposit button.
As soon as the staking transaction is complete, you can watch your rewards begin to accumulate in real-time. For example, my $30 has earned 1.5 VIPER (about $0.30) since I’ve been writing this article.
It’s worth noting that rewards are boosted by the VenomDAO team for these first few weeks of launch, and 95% of rewards will be locked until the end of 2021, at which point they’ll gradually unlock over the course of 2022.
Still, Viperswap has been incredible, and I’m happy to sit on my VIPER tokens for these next 20 months. Since my last article, VenomDAO has hinted that a similar project will launch on Binance Smart Chain, and I’ve also seen VIPER appear as an untracked project on CoinMarketCap.
Harmony is so fast, and the transaction fees are so low. Viperswap really does a terrific job of showcasing both in addition to providing a tremendous earning opportunity during their first weeks of launch. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for both parties!
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!
I really fell in love with Harmony the first time I transferred ONE tokens. They boast 2-second finality and near-$0 fees, and it worked flawlessly as advertised.
Now that Viperswap is just getting started, I was pretty excited to try it out. Viperswap is forked from SushiSwap, which is forked from Uniswap, so you can easily think of it as “the Harmony Uniswap.”
Viperswap is very much in its infancy, and it doesn’t have all the coins you’d see with its ancestors. It wins massively, though: it’s fast and cheap! That makes it really easy — and fun — to experiment with.
In today’s article, I’m starting with just $20 in ONE, and we’ll head over to Viperswap and add funds to a liquidity pool and stake the resulting LP token for even greater rewards.
If you’d like to follow along at home, I started by buying $20 of Bitcoin Cash with my debit card and Uphold wallet, then sending the BCH to BinanceUS. (Why Bitcoin Cash? Find out here!) This was done to avoid lock periods with the funds and pay minimal fees. Once my funders were deposited, I swapped them to ONE, and that’s where our story begins.
Deposit ONE to your wallet
Viperswap works like many web3.0 applications. You connect your wallet and — boom! — you’re ready to go. So, to use Viperswap, we first need to move funds into a wallet.
I’m using the MetaMask browser extension. One hurdle to overcome is that you need a “one1” address to send your funds to. Getting the address is easy, but it’s a manual two-step process.
First, you need to add the Harmony Mainnet to your MetaMask account. This is done easily enough by following the instructions provided by Harmony here.
Once you’ve created the account, copy the “0x” address from MetaMask and head to the Harmony blockchain explorer. Search your 0x address, and you’ll find your one1 address. Not super hard, but not exactly intuitive, either.
With your one1 wallet address, you can withdraw your ONE tokens from BinanceUS just as you would any other token. When you do this, you’ll experience speed and low fees that will blow your mind, so hang on!
Once the transaction processes, you should immediately see funds in MetaMask. (Even though I was expecting it, I was still amazed by how fast it happens!)
We’ve got tokens, now let’s play with Viperswap. Viperswap has four main applications: Swap, Pool, Staking, and ViperPit. Today, I’m going to cover Swap, Pool, and Staking.
I want to earn some VIPER tokens, so I’ll contribute to the ONE-VIPER liquidity pool. This means I need to convert half of my ONE tokens to VIPER. (Author’s note: it turns out that some of my deposited funds with BinanceUS were still locked, so I’m doing the tutorial with just 200 ONE, or about $10.)
With my wallet connected, swapping tokens was a breeze. Just pick how many I want to swap and click Swap. It’s essentially $0 in fees and instant. In the blink of an eye, I have 28 VIPER.
Now let’s add some liquidity. Just click on the Pool tab, and click Add Liquidity button. I selected to provide VIPER tokens and used the MAX button to contribute my entire $10 to the pool.
After approving the transaction, you’re presented with another dialog that lets you know about the pool you’re contributing to. Not surprisingly, my $10 is good for less than 0.01%, but that’s okay — we’re here for the experience! Click the Supply button to supply funds to the liquidity pool.
In exchange for supplying liquidity, you receive LP (liquidity pool) tokens. My contribution was good for just shy of 53 ONE/VIPER LP tokens.
Finally, we can stake our LP tokens to earn more VIPER rewards. Go to the Staking tab, and click the Deposit button that corresponds to your LP token — in my case, the ONE-VIPER token.
You’ll once again receive a transaction approval box with details about what you’re doing. Go ahead and approve that. (Or don’t — it’s a free world.)
And for the final step, click the Deposit button.
That’s it! You’re done. You will immediately start earning rewards.
Viperswap is pretty amazing. In this story, I covered how to take just $10 in ONE, convert half of it to VIPER, add to the ONE-VIPER liquidity pool, and stake the resulting LP token.
The entire process took me about 15 minutes. That’s less than the time it took for the BCH transaction I mentioned at the beginning of the article to process.
The entire process, which took about 5 transactions, cost me less than a penny in fees. That includes withdrawing funds from the exchange, swapping half the tokens to VIPER, adding them to the liquidity pool, and staking the resulting LP token.
I’ve also been writing the article in real-time as I do this, and in the time it’s taken me to write the article — about 15 minutes — I’ve also earned 1 VIPER token.
How amazing is that!?
Everything I’ve experienced with Harmony is completely blowing my mind and re-writing my expectations for what cryptocurrency should be. I was exploring and experiencing Viperswap for the first time, right here, in real-time, and it destroyed all my expectations.
Great job, Harmony. Great job, Viperswap. I’m really looking forward to the future!
I really like what Harmony has going on. First, they promise to solve Ethereum scalability by providing a sharding protocol with a trustless bridge. They also advertise 2-second finality and near-$0 transaction fees.
Those are great, but it seems like a hundred projects are solving these same problems. Harmony has the tools to be successful, that’s for sure. So, I love that the top priority on their 2021 roadmap is adoption. I was also excited to see partnerships with Reef and API3 announced.
On top of all that, the Harmony ONE token was still priced at just $0.03. I noticed that Binance US had staking available, but it required a minimum of 10k tokens and paid just 2–3%. Still, I was in. I bought my 10k tokens, and I was happy.
I could earn 12% by staking my ONE with Guarda? That’s more than a little better than what I was getting with Binance, so I needed to check this out.
The staking guide on Guarda’s site is very straightforward. It’s basically a two-step process: deposit funds & stake ’em. I grabbed some screenshots along the way, so I’ll show you what it looks like.
I didn’t have a Guarda wallet, so step one was to create one. Guarda is a non-custodial wallet. That means you’re in charge of the private keys, and if you lose them, you’re out of luck. When you create a wallet, you get a text file containing your encrypted private keys. Keep that file and your password in a secure place.
The default multi-currency wallet doesn’t have a ONE wallet, so you may need to use the Add new wallet link at add one. It’s a simple, intuitive process. If you do this, you’ll get a new wallet text file — again, back it up somewhere safe.
You’ve got your ONE wallet ready to go? Let’s get to business.
Click your ONE wallet and copy the wallet address. This is where you’ll send your ONE tokens. This was my first experience with sending tokens on the Harmony blockchain, and it was refreshingly instant.
I confirmed the withdrawal with Binance, and by the time I clicked refresh in my Guarda wallet, the funds were there. Well worth the $0.00 fee, I’d say!
Now that the funds are in your Guarda wallet, you’re ready to stake! Start the process by clicking the Staking link beneath the wallet, followed by the Stake button.
This will bring up a prompt for you to specify how many tokens you wish to stake. There’s a minimum of 1000 ONE. Enter the quantity and click Next.
You’ll be presented with a confirmation screen. We get hit with another transaction fee, this time for 0.000021 ONE — a tiny amount. It’s worth noting that, while wildly insignificant, you do need some funds to cover the small fees, so don’t stake 100%. I left 5 ONE, about $0.15, which is more than enough.
Finally, click the Confirm button, and — boom — you’re staked!
When you click the Staking link beneath your ONE wallet, you’ll now be given details about your staked coins and earned rewards.
I’m so glad I found the tweet from Harmony & Guarda Wallet. The entire process of moving funds from Binance to my Guarda wallet and staking my ONE was completely painless. Given how slow and expensive it is to move things on Ethereum, this was downright enjoyable!
With just a few minutes, my confidence and excitement for Harmony grew, and I’m earning a return rate that’s 5–6 times better than I was! It feels like a serious win-win!
In my short time as a cryptonerd, I’ve come to acknowledge two realities. First, my funds almost always enter via a centralized exchange. Think Coinbase or Binance. And second, whatever next coin I want will inevitably only be available on a different exchange than where I have the available funds to buy them with.
My solution to the coins-I-want-aren’t-on-my-exchange problem has been to sign up with multiple exchanges and deposit more funds to buy the new coins. This was possible in the past because I was transitioning from 100% money in banks and looking to slowly moving assets into cryptocurrency, anyway. In a way, it helped me by giving me an excuse to put more funds into cryptocurrencies!
More exchanges, more problems
But, alas, I’m getting to the point where I don’t have more assets I want to move, and “just deposit more” is becoming an increasingly less desirable option. So, what can I do?
Well, the first and most obvious thing I did was to transfer BTC between exchanges. It’s the currency of the future, right? And all the exchanges have it? Feels like a no-brainer.
Well, this is where we hit cryptocurrency’s biggest problem: fees. To send $15 of Bitcoin, I need to pay almost $2 fees. That’s a 13% tax to send money to yourself!
And that’s exactly where the miracle of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) shines through. Want to guess how much it costs to send $15 using BCH? It’s about 0.00000226, which is roughly $0.001.
The other beautiful thing about BCH is that it’s everywhere you want to be. At the time of writing, it’s the 11th largest coin by market cap. That means you can convert or trade any currency on any exchange to BCH and send it to any other exchange where it can then be converted or traded for another currency.
How about an example?
Here’s the specific task I needed to do yesterday. I had about $300 of The Graph (GRT) on Coinbase that I wished to convert to Cordana (ADA). I used Coinbase to convert the GRT to BCH, which cost me nothing. Then I sent it to my Uphold wallet, which again cost me nothing — a fraction of a cent. And finally, I converted the BCH to ADA in Uphold, which basically cost me nothing.
This entire cross-exchange coin swap was basically free, all because of Bitcoin Cash.
Compare this to doing the same operation on, say, Uniswap, where you could easily pay more than $15 in fees to exchange $15 in tokens. (Which I have regrettably done!)
I’m still pretty new to Bitcoin Cash, and I’m not sold on it as a long-term investment growth opportunity — but I can say this: it handles the job of low-fee fund transfers remarkably well. It makes moving funds between exchanges completely painless, which improves accessibility to many cryptocurrencies.
It’s certainly looking like BCH will be my go-to for fund transfers, and I’ll also be keeping an eye on its longer-term potential as a result!
The browser + token + wallet + DEX quadruple-threat
A chromium-based web browser that lets you earn BNB by simply using the internet like you always have. You get all the same extensions & functionality that you know & love from Google Chrome, but now you’re also earning BNB.
Binance introduced BNB as a native token, and they incentivize its use by offering reduced fees when you pay using BNB. Using the Binance browser would be a no-brainer, right?
I’ve got bad news: the Binance browser doesn’t exist. (Yet.)
However, what if I told you “the next big exchange” was just getting started, and its token will offer the same incentives as Binance offers for BNB on its platform — and you can buy this token today for, say, $0.50?
And what if I told you this new exchange already has a browser that you can use to earn its magical native token?
That’s exactly what the folks at Brave are attempting to do with their 2.0 roadmap.
The Brave 2.0 Roadmap
In the roadmap announced on February 22, 2021, Brave lists the Brave DEX Aggregator — “DeFi for everyone” — as a key objective.
Brave will bring DeFi to everyone through a new decentralized exchange aggregator to enable token swaps with distinct advantages and added value for Brave/BAT users, including: • Discounts when utilizing BAT for paying transaction fees. • Discounts for users that hold BAT balances in their wallet. • Multi-chain support with many assets and blockchains.
Replace BAT with BNB, and it starts to sound an awful lot like Binance’s value proposition, doesn’t it?
Except, Binance doesn’t have a browser. And they don’t have a mechanism to deliver their token to millions of daily users for free. And they don’t have a way to use their token to tip websites and content providers in popular corners of the internet like Twitter and Reddit.
All Binance has is an established centralized exchange and limited-time advantage in the dApps ecosystem with Binance Smart Chain (BCS).
It’s certainly a tall order but consider the possibilities. Think if you could go back in time and buy BNB for $0.50. I’m not suggesting that BAT is en route to USD 300, and I’m not suggesting a 10–100x spike in the next 6 months, but think about what they’re doing.
They already have a browser. They already have an established token.
As cryptocurrency and web3.0 starts to take off, the community needs to address things like Average Joe’s ability to connect a wallet to a website. The user will need to understand how to buy & trade tokens and interact with this new world.
Brave’s creating a new wallet and DEX that, coupled with incentives for using tokens earned for free just from using their Chrome-based browser, will surely become the default experience for the sea of lay users.
It’s a bold prediction, but Brave’s 2.0 roadmap is a step toward becoming the default gateway to cryptocurrency and the next generation of the internet. It’s an ambitious goal, to be sure, but it’s hard not to ask: what if they pull it off?
I’m looking for feedback! What do you think of the Brave 2.0 roadmap and my claim of their potential? Are we staring at a 100x opportunity, or will BAT continue to underwhelm? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!
This article was originally published on read.cash on March 2, 2021.