Learn more about the VSP
The Verified Staking Provider (VSP) Program improves the trustworthiness and transparency of Staking Providers by verifying specific Provider standards, including risk management, sustainability, security, and others. As a result of the Verified Staking Provider Program, stakers make confident and fast decisions when selecting a Provider and staking assets.
Stakers leverage the Verified Staking Provider Program to save time and increase confidence. Staking crypto assets earns you interest, but capital and technical barriers to staking exist for stakers. Hence why some stakers delegate crypto assets to Staking Providers. Delegating your crypto assets allows you to earn rewards without personally validating transactions. However, selecting a Provider is complicated and requires trust. For instance, you might hesitate to trust a staking Provider in different legal jurisdictions with minimal legal contracts or terms and conditions to safeguard you. It is difficult to determine the trustworthiness of Staking Providers and to assess whether a given Provider follows industry best practices. Our 2021 Ecosystem Study showed that most stakers base their decisions on Provider branding and reputation. Unfortunately, this approach is dangerous and misses key assessment criteria like legal, reliability, and security - factors known to have negatively affected crypto stakers. Our Verified Staking Provider Program assesses Providers through an in-depth due diligence process across an exhaustive list of factors. Ultimately the Verified Staking Provider Program saves stakers time and adds a trust layer, helping stakers make more informed decisions beyond just Provider brand and reputation.
Blockchains are trustless systems. All transactions are verifiable on-chain. Thus we encourage all stakers to, “Don't trust, verify!” However, when staking, stakers can only verify on-chain activity of Staking Providers' Validators. Staking Providers won't share details about operations or security setup due to sensitive information.
Our Verified Staking Provider Program provides a self-regulated platform for Providers to share information about operations and security setup securely. Where applicable, we then assess and verify provided information on-chain against predetermined industry standards and best practices. Staking Providers who pass the program are sufficiently trustworthy to provide reliable and secure services by VSPVerified Provider Program standards.
The Verified Staking Provider Program operational due diligence of Providers includes:
- Business Operations
- Security Setup
Additional areas include Customer Service, Governance Participation, Ecosystem Development and Community Development. These factors count towards a separate “Value-Added Score” which doesn’t require verification. More details on assessment factors are available on our public docs here.
Since 2017, Staking Rewards has been researching and assessing the staking industry. Through our experience working with hundreds of Staking Providers, we have determined the best standards and practices in the staking industry.
As a prominent staking Data Provider, we offer unbiased information about staking protocols and Providers. We do not offer competing staking services, allowing us to serve as a reliable resource for stakers.
Not running validators is one of our advantages. As a result, we have no bias towards protocols or Providers and this makes us the perfect company to provide an objective and unbiased opinion on the market. As a business, we do not compete with any Staking Providers. Instead, we direct users toward their services. We verify all legitimate Providers in the industry regardless of their scale. We foster trust and transparency in the industry while upholding decentralization and permissionlessness principles.
We prioritize what's best for stakers and the staking industry across all company decisions. Our dedicated research team uses established frameworks to analyze staking protocols and Providers. With a history of establishing and identifying standards and best practices in the industry, our team maintains close relationships with numerous providers and is open to receiving input to improve our verification program. All feedback is carefully considered.
Staking Rewards reevaluates Verified Staking Providers annually, updating the verification date on their profile on stakingrewards.com. Any provider that fails to maintain verification status is removed from the program and announced on our social channels.
Additionally, Verified Staking Providers are required to inform us of any changes to the information provided during the verification process.
The Staking Rewards profile of the Staking Provider is the definitive source for verifying any claims of verification. To confirm a provider's verified status, check for the VSP logo on their profile. If the provider does not have this logo on their profile, they are not a Verified Staking Provider.
Staking Rewards has entered into non-disclosure agreements with all Verified Staking Providers. These agreements allow Providers to share sensitive information privately about their operations and security setup. Staking Rewards will not disclose this information publicly without the Provider's consent. Our assessment of the Provider is provided publicly in their profile, which is issued after they have successfully completed verification.
Staking Rewards maintains high standards for Staking Providers to become verified. We only verify Providers if they are likely to provide reliable services. However, we cannot guarantee the reliability of any provider with 100% certainty. Verification is done in good faith based on information provided by the Provider.
As an independent Data Provider for the staking industry, Staking Rewards has conducted thorough due diligence on our Verified Staking Providers and consider them reliable and trustworthy. We re-assess the verification status of Providers once a year. If we notice that a Provider fails to maintain a reliable service or does not live up to their claims, we will immediately remove their verification status.
We reserve the right to remove the verification status of a Provider in certain circumstances, including but not limited to:
- Any indication of unreliability or potential security risks;
- Provided false or misleading information to us;
- Ongoing customer complaints;
- Claims made to us by the Provider have not been fulfilled;
- Service interruption for an extended period of time;
- Other behavior that may indicate unreliability.
Staking Rewards cannot guarantee the actual performance and reliability of Verified Staking Providers. stakers are responsible for their own investment decisions and should understand risks associated with staking.
Verification status and score serves as a reference point for stakers when making staking decisions. The Verified Staking Provider Program does not function as an insurance in any form. We are not liable for any claims resulting from unreliable services provided by a Verified Staking Provider.
We have several third-party integrations for the Verified Staking Provider Program. You can find them on Mintscan as well as Avascan and more will follow. Please contact your preferred wallet or block explorer to request that it integrates the Verified Staking Provider Program. We are motivated to integrate VSP Program information into trustworthy wallets and block explorers so that you can improve your staking decisions in real-time.
We have yet to conduct any due diligence on most Non-Verified Staking Providers, thus we cannot speak to their quality. Non-Verified Staking Providers may be more or less reliable than Verified Staking Providers. Please do your own due diligence before staking with any Non-Verified Staking Providers.
Our goal is to verify all trustworthy Staking Providers and we will do so for your favorite one as well if they agree to work with us through the verification process.
Staking Rewards has not conducted any due diligence on most Non-Verified Staking Providers. You should conduct your own due diligence (DD) when deciding whether to stake with them. Feel free to use this guide as a reference on how to conduct proper DD.
Twitter Verified Badges provide a way for people, businesses and public figures to prove the authenticity of their accounts. In essence, letting entities confirm that they are who they say they are. The VSP Program on Staking Rewards verifies the authenticity of a Provider's profile as well as the trustworthiness of their service offering and operations. The Verified Staking Provider status is applicable industry-wide. Click the "Verified" checkmark on a Provider's profile to review verification details.
The goal of the Verified Staking Provider Program is to verify all legitimate staking platforms in the market in order to provide a full overview of these platforms, without favoring one over the other. To be considered for verification, please contact us by filling out this form
If you want to learn more about the verification process, criteria, etc, make sure to read the documentation here.
What does it cost for Staking Providers to get verified? Aren't you gatekeeping many legit Providers like that?
In order to cover costs for running the program and initiatives attached, there is a cost to getting Verified. Pricing is determined relative to Provider AuM. We do not prioritize larger players.
The SR Rating is based on Staking Rewards' assessment of the Staking Provider based on a structured due diligence process. All providers with an SR Rating of AAA, AA, or A, meet our verification criteria and are considered entirely secure, reliable, and trustworthy. The SR Rating is a reference point for stakers and should be used as one of many factors for staking decisions.
The SR rating takes into account the Staking Provider's security setup, reliability, and business operations. The Value-Added Rating is not part of this calculation.
Security Setup: Pre-determined criteria for key management & insurance, internal alerting, and other areas demonstrate the extent to which a provider meets high standards in offering a resilient and consistent service.
Reliability: Provider uptime, slashing events, and other areas demonstrate the Provider's performance track record and its ability to maintain performance going forward.
Business Operations: We assess, among other things, the legitimacy of a Provider's business, delegator protection, and sustainability of services in a fast-moving crypto environment. In our assessment, we especially emphasize Provider business practices and the accuracy of the information they provide. We see these practices as the cornerstone of a trustworthy relationship between delegators and validators.
AAA – Exceeds our verification criteria
AA – Meets our verification criteria very well
A – Meets our verification criteria
B – Slightly missing some verification criteria
C – Clearly fails to meet our verification criteria
D – Extremely risky staking operation
Value-Added Services are contributions by the Staking Provider that go beyond contributing to network security. Anything that makes the staking experience for users more friendly, and anything that benefits the overall ecosystem and community, generally, fall under Value-Added Services.
Value-Added Rating provides a reference point for the level of ecosystem and community contributions by the Staking Provider. The rating focuses on aspects beyond contribution to network security. Staking Providers that are active in the ecosystem development or community rate higher.
The Value-Added Rating consists of Staking Rewards' assessment of four major components. Customer Service, Governance Participation, Ecosystem Development and Community Development.
AAA – Extraordinary Value-Add
AA – Strong Value-Add
A – Creates lot of Value-Add
B – Below average Value-Add
C – Minor Value-Add
D – No value-Add
The verification status is only a reference point for stakers conducting due diligence on Staking Providers. The VSP Program makes it easy to identify Staking Providers assessed by Staking Rewards which has access to self-reported Staking Provider private business operation details.
We are continuously striving to apply the most thorough due diligence process possible we can. We verify and fact-check any information provided to us during the due diligence process, but we do not have access to the Provider's infrastructure and thus cannot conduct any technical audits or provide 100% assurance of our assessment.
If we discover that a Staking Provider provides false information, we will immediately un-verify them from the program and disqualify them.
The above table displays all Staking Providers that successfully passed our Verified Staking Provider Program. However, passing the program does not imply that Staking Rewards recommends any of these Providers. The information presented is to the best of our knowledge only.
Nothing contained on the Platform or any other Tool is intended to constitute investment, legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice. You should consult with an appropriate professional for specific advice tailored to your situation and/or to verify the accuracy of the information provided herein prior to making any investment decisions.
Staking Rewards is not responsible for the performance or actions of any Verified Staking Provider. We cannot ensure that Verified Staking Providers are ongoingly secure or reliable. Staking transactions are solely agreements between stakers and Staking Providers. Please conduct your own due diligence before making any staking or investment decision.