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Guide to Solana Liquid Staking and Top Liquid Staking Platforms

4.7
| by
Joel Agbo
|
Edited by
Vera Lim
-

What Are the Top Liquid Staking Protocols on Solana?

The top liquid staking protocols on Solana based on TVL are Jito, Marinade, Blaze, and Marginfi.


Key Takeaways

  • Liquid staking technologies enable staked tokens to be used for other DeFi activities such as lending or trading, enhancing capital efficiency by ensuring they are not locked away while building a strong security layer for the network.

  • Stakers on liquid staking platforms receive a tokenized representation of their staked assets, which can be used for DeFi activities like lending, liquidity provision, yield farming, and more.

  • Stakers on Solana can also access liquid staking services through platforms like Jito, Marinade, Marginfi, and Blaze.

  • This article reviews staking platforms on the Solana network and guides users on how to stake their assets on these platforms.


Liquid Staking Solana

Over $54 billion worth of crypto assets are staked across liquid staking platforms according to data from DefiLlama. These assets are deposited on protocols that aim to improve the capital efficiency of staked tokens by issuing liquid staking tokens (LSTs) that act as derivatives of the staked assets, which can be used in various DeFi activities. This lets users retain liquidity while their assets are locked in staking, unlike traditional staking programs that lock away assets, leaving them dormant.

Liquid staking started on Ethereum, and has since expanded to include other chains and assets including Solana, Near, and BSC. In this article, we’ll look at liquid staking opportunities on the Solana Network.

Liquid Staking on Solana

Solana is the fifth-largest crypto asset by market size and the third-largest POS network. According to the official network explorer, over 360 million SOL (over 60% of the circulating supply) are staked to the network’s consensus system. These tokens contribute to the network’s security but could also result in reduced liquidity of the token. 

Liquid staking offers a solution to investors who want to unlock the liquidity of their staked assets, while still securing the network. Through liquid staking, users can take the opportunity to earn additional yield on top of their staking rewards, as they can receive a liquid staked derivative token for use in DeFi. 

Based on data from Dune, over 23 million SOL with a market value of over $3.6 billion are staked on liquid staking platforms. However, this still remains only a small fraction of the total amount of SOL staked, with 93.8% of staked SOL being staked natively, highlighting the opportunity for growth in the liquid staking space on Solana.

Solana LST TVL

Notable liquid staking platforms on Solana include Jito, Marinade Finance, Marginfi, and Blaze.

Jito Finance

About 91,000 Solana investors are staking on Jito. At the time of writing, the staking APR is over 8% with over 10.6 million SOL coins staked on the platform, according to data presented by the project. Jito operates the JitoSol (Jito Staked Solana), the platform’s Liquid Staking derivative, and allows stakers to unlock the liquidity of their staked assets. Stakers receive JitoSol equivalent to the asset they staked via the protocol; the staked Solana coins are committed to the network’s security system while the JitoSOL tokens can be used freely to engage in DeFi activities on decentralized exchanges like Jupiter, and other DeFi protocols like Raydium, Orca, and Solend, just like non-staked tokens.

JitoSol can be traded against other crypto assets on decentralized exchanges and is supported by Solana network liquidity protocols and money markets. Jito claims to maximize the benefits of MEV to the network. MEV (Maximal Extractable Value) is the maximum amount a validator can make by running extra duties on the network, such as reordering transactions before validating the blocks. According to the project, liquid staked Solana on Jito are staked to MEV validators, this enables the protocol to accrue additional rewards via MEV and redistribute to stakers, leading to an overall increase in staking rewards. Jito stakes to over 155 validators and is governed by the Jito DAO consisting of JTO token holders.

At time of writing, Jito offers users 8.06% APY and charges an annual management fee of 4% of total rewards that applies to staking rewards and MEV revenue after validator commissions. While there is also a fee of 0.1% on withdrawal value when users directly unstake via the website, users can sell their JitoSOL on DEXs to receive instant liquidity and avoid withdrawal fees.

How to Stake on Jito

  1. Visit the Jito liquid staking platform.

  2. Click Stake Now from the landing page to navigate to the staking portal.

Stake on Jito
  1. Click Connect Wallet from the top right corner of the platform.

  2. Select your wallet provider and proceed to connect.

Connect Wallet to Jito
  1. Enter the amount of SOL you wish to stake.

  2. Click Convert to JitoSOL to continue.

  3. Agree to the Liquid Staking Terms and click Continue to proceed.

Stake on Jito convert to JitoSOL
  1. Verify the transaction from your wallet to complete.

Approve transaction to convert to JitoSOL

As always, ensure you review and understand the platform’s terms, such as unlock period and APY, before proceeding with the staking.

Note that there could be significant differences between the amount of SOL staked and the JitoSOl received. This is because JitoSOL is a yield-bearing token and the value reflects the accrued value over time.

Marinade Finance

Marinade dubs itself a ‘staking optimization platform’. According to the project, it operates a protocol that routes staked assets through the available validator pool to select the best-performing validators at any given time, thereby maximizing staking yield for users. Marinade Finance offers native staking and liquid staking services to Solana investors. The native staking program doesn’t interact with extra smart contracts and functions like the traditional PoS staking; the only difference is the staking optimization as described by the project. 

Marinade Finance also offers staking delegation, which enables Solana stakers to redelegate their staked tokens via the Marinade dApp to any of Marinade’s validators to start receiving rewards according to the platform’s specifications.

Marinade Finance is the first liquid staking platform on the Solana Network. Stakers deposit their SOL into Marinade Finance and receive mSOL equivalent to the value of SOL staked on the platform. Like other liquid staking protocols, mSOL can be used for DeFi activities on supported platforms. At time of writing, Marinade Finance offers liquid staking APY of 7.43% . 

According to the project, over $1.2 billion worth of SOL is staked on Marinade Finance by over 150,000 across native and liquid staking. The protocol is governed by the Marinade DAO made up of MNDE token holders. MNDE also powers Marinade’s directed stake feature, which lets Marinade users direct a share of their SOL stake to specific validators. 

Users can unstake their mSOL tokens with no fee at the end of every Solana epoch, which occurs every 2-3 days. Liquid stakers can also unstake easily at any time, although this comes with a fee ranging between 0.1% and 9% depending on the total liquidity available and the amount to unstake. Marinade also takes a commission of 6% on rewards. 

How to Stake on Marinade Finance

  1. Visit the Marinade Finance website.

  2. Click Optimize your staking from the landing page to navigate to the staking portal.

Stake with Marinade
  1. Click Connect Wallet and select your wallet provider to connect to the platform.

Connect wallet to Marinade
  1. Select your desired staking plan and click Stake to proceed.

Select staking plan on Marinade
  1. Enter the amount of SOL you wish to stake.

  2. Click Stake to proceed.

Enter amount of SOL to stake on Marinade
  1. Approve the transaction from your wallet to complete.

Staking on Marinade Finance requires a minimum of 1 SOL. The amount of mSOL received might be significantly different from the amount of SOL staked because mSOL is a yield-bearing token.

Marginfi

Marginfi is a multi-purpose decentralized finance platform on the Solana network. It offers liquid staking services in addition to other services such as lending and the YBX stablecoin. Marginfi’s liquid staking platform allows SOL holders to mint the platform’s liquid staking derivative – LST – and enjoy improved rewards from their staking program. Marginfi generates yield by staking exclusively to validators that receive MEV rewards like Jito, and also by staking to validators that charge 0% commission.

Like other liquid staking derivatives, LST can be used on other platforms for routine trading, liquidity provision, and holders can also borrow against their LST on lending platforms or lend them. According to Marginfi, no extra fees are charged for using the liquid staking protocol. Staking APR at the time of writing is over 8.5%, and about $100 million LST tokens have been minted so far according to information from the platform.

How to Stake on Marginfi

  1. Visit Marginfi’s LST minting portal.

  2. Click Mint LST to proceed.

Mint LST on Marginfi
  1. Click Sign in to connect to the platform.

Connect to marginfi
  1. Select your preferred connection method.

  2. You can either sign in with your email, or connect your crypto wallet. Here, we will connect our crypto wallet.

Connect to Marginfi
  1. Click Select Token and choose the token you wish to mint LST with.

Select token to mint LST with
  1. Enter the amount of SOL you wish to stake.

  2. Click Mint LST to continue.

Enter amount of SOL and mint LST
  1. Approve the transaction from your wallet to complete.

Approve marginfi transaction in wallet

Like the other tokens in this list, LST is a yield-bearing token as well, therefore the amount of LST received could be significantly different from the amount of SOL staked.

Blaze

The Blaze platform offers several utilities for the Solana ecosystem, including a token minter, a SOL faucet, and a liquid staking pool. 

Blaze’s liquid staking protocol contracts over 300 Solana validators for its boosted staking program. According to data from the platform, over 2.3 million SOL are staked on Solana via Blaze’s liquid staking protocol. After users stake their SOL, they’ll receive the receipt token bSOL (BlazeStake Staked SOL). bSOL can be used in DeFi protocols like Solend, Orca, and Raydium. Blaze allows users to select specific validators for staking SOL, potentially providing extra benefits such as 0% commission. Alternatively, users can just delegate their stake to Blaze, which will distribute it across their network of validators. 

At time of writing, Blaze offers over 7.9% APY. Blaze also has the BlazeRewards program, which allows users to earn extra BLZE based on their contributions to the SolBlaze ecosystem such as staking SOL with BlazeStake or using bSOL in DeFi. 

How to Stake on Blaze

  1. Visit the Blaze liquid staking dApp.

  2. Click Connect Wallet and select your wallet provider to connect to the platform.

Connect wallet to Blaze
  1. Enter the amount of SOL you wish to stake.

  2. Click Stake to continue.

  3. Approve the transaction from your wallet to complete.

Enter amount of SOL to stake on Blaze

bSOL is a yield-bearing token, it accrues value over time, therefore the amount of bSOL received after your transaction is completed might differ significantly from the amount staked.

Special Mention: Sanctum

Sanctum is working on a liquidity solution for Liquid Staked Tokens (LSTs). Its Infinity Pool solution offers a collective pool for existing LSTs and ones that will be created in the future. According to the project, every LST needs sufficient liquidity to operate. It aims to make this liquidity available by pooling LSTs together and allowing users to swap freely between them without slippage

To achieve this, Sanctum has developed an automated pricing system for every LST by taking into consideration the actual amount of SOL staking in the liquid staking pool of the individual LSTs. It uses an oracle to feed the protocol with the floor price of every LST contained in the infinity pool. This way, the LSTs are fairly priced and can be cross-swapped easily.

In addition to the liquidity pool for LSTs, Sanctum also operates as a liquid staking protocol. Stakers receive INF, a liquid staking derivative representing the SOL staked to the platform. Like other LSTs supported on the Infinity Pool, INF can be also used on DeFi platforms in the Solana ecosystem. At the time of writing, APY for INF is over 11%. According to Sanctum, this is obtained from the base 7.9% staking APR and the revenue generated from the Infinity Pool trading fees and the LST basket. Over 2.3 million SOL are staked via the Sanctum liquid staking protocol.

How to Stake on Sanctum

  1. Visit the Sanctum liquid staking platform.

  2. Click Connect Wallet and select your wallet provider to connect to the platform.

Connect to Sanctum

  1. Enter the amount of SOL you wish to stake.

  2. Click Deposit to Infinity Pool to proceed.

  3. Confirm the transaction from your wallet to complete.

Stake SOL on Sanctum's infinity pool

Like other LSTs, INF is a yield-bearing token. The amount of INF received after your transaction has been completed could differ from the amount of SOL staked.

Final Thoughts

This article reviews the various liquid staking platforms in the Solana ecosystem and guides readers on how to use them. Using these protocols, you can earn rewards on your staked Solana assets, while using the liquid staked derivatives for other DeFi purposes and earning even more yield on your SOL. 

While this sounds appealing, always do your own research around the provisions of the platform before staking your tokens. Important points to consider include the staking duration, fees, and APY or APR. 

Finally, note that this article is only for educational purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. 

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Joel Agbo
Joel Agbo
Joel is deeply interested in the technologies behind cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. In his over 7 years of involvement in the space, he helps startups build a stronger internet presence through written content. Follow the author on Twitter @agboifesinachi

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