What exactly is staking? How does Pandacoin earn 2.5% interest per year by leaving it in the PandaBank? Pandacoin’s Crypto Crash Course walks you through the most commonly asked questions when it comes to interest staking and how it works.
Introduction to Staking (Earn Interest)
The simplest way to understand “staking” is interest provided to your Pandacoins stored in the PandaBank, like interest would be applied to your bank account. If you are staking, you will earn 2.5% interest on all of the coins which which you are staking. So, if you have 100 coins, you will earn approximately 2.5 Pandacoins every year. This will wind up being slightly more due to compound interest, but you get the idea. Beyond providing interest, it also helps to secure the Pandacoin network, by using a small percentage of your computer’s processing power in order to make transactions. The amount of processing power used is minimal, such that it would be completely unnoticeable, however every little bit helps to make the network strong and secure.
If your PandaBank is closed, or offline, you cannot stake. In order to stake your computer must be on, your PandaBank must be open, and unlocked for interest staking, and it must have some amount of Pandacoins inside. Essentially, in return for the small amount of processing power you’re donating to the Pandacoin network, the network pays you in interest! It is important to remember that it takes 3 days after receiving coins for those coins to begin to stake. If you have Pandacoins, staking is an excellent way to strengthen the Pandacoin network. Do your part, and stake with your Pandacoins today!
What is Proof of Stake (PoS)?
Proof-of-stake is a method of securing a cryptcurrency network through requesting users to show ownership of a certain amount of currency. It is different from proof-of-work (PoW) systems that run hashing algorithms to validate electronic transactions. PoS is a system that rewards the coin holders for securing the network. They do this by putting some of the coins in their wallet “at stake” to generate new PoS blocks, unlike PoW blocks which are created by computing a large number of hashes.
Thus, there are no power hungry mining rigs that are required to create PoS blocks. All you require is the latest version of PandaBank installed (download PandaBank HERE) and some Pandacoins stored in it. While PoS is an efficient way of securing the network (an attacker needs to own half the total supply of coins to control the majority of newly created blocks), it doesn’t solve the issue of coin distribution. Fortunately, Pandacoin was launched as a pure PoW coin with a lengthy mining phase of over 3 months (95 days), which gives it far better distribution than most other PoS coins, making any attack against the blockchain highly unlikely.
How do I earn interest (PoS blocks) on Pandacoins?
Once you have installed our latest version of PandaBank installed (download PandaBank HERE) and have transferred some Pandacoins to your Pandacoin Account Address, you simply need to have PandaBank open and “unlocked to earn interest” to stake PoS blocks (interest).
Proof-of-Stake can only be done by an unlocked PandaBank. As soon as you unlock your PandaBank (there is a difference between encrypted & locked) the process of earning interest will start. You will start to see coins being moved from your balance to your ‘Earning Interest’ balance. Coins will not be lost. After a while you will start receiving transactions with your earned interest.
Please note that all coins stored on exchanges will not earn you any interest. It is highly recommended to move your Pandacoins out of exchanges to help secure the network and start earning PoS interests.
When will I receive interest?
Earning interest (PoS staking) is, much like PoW mining, a random process. Every unspent transaction made to one of the addresses in your wallet are eligible for creating PoS blocks provided that it was received at least 72 hours ago. However, the likelihood of a transaction actually creating a new block depends on two important factors: the transaction amount and the coin age. Furthermore, these two parameters also control the reward granted by a PoS work.
The basic rule is that transactions are assigned a weight computed as the product of the transaction amount by the number of seconds since it was received. The higher a transaction weight, the higher the chance it will give you a reward, which itself is proportional to the weight. You can check your total weight (the sum of the weight of all unspent transactions in your wallet) by hovering your mouse pointer over the staking icon located on the bottom right on your wallet. This also provides a rough estimate of when you can expect to receive your next reward (see question on difficulty below for details).
Please note that there is a limit to the weight: after 30 days, it will stop increasing. This means that if you don’t bring your wallet online at least once a month, the potential interest will stop accumulating until the coins are actually put at stake. This is why you should open your wallet for staking at least once a month.
Earning interest suspended due to locked PandaBank?
You are not earning interest due to your wallet being locked. To unlock it simply press ‘Unlock’ icon on the top right of the PandaBank screen. Type your password to unlock your PandaBank!
How to lock my PandaBank?
To lock your PandaBank, simply press ‘Lock’ icon on the top right of the PandaBank screen. Now your PandaBank is locked and you’ll stop earning interest.
What’s the difference between Available, Earning Interest and Pending?
Just like Proof-of-Work block rewards cannot be immediately spent (for blockchain security reasons, they require a certain number of blocks generated after them, or confirmations, before they become mature and their status goes from ‘pending’ to ‘available’), the coins in the transaction that was used to create a new Proof-of-Stake block are said to be ‘Earning Interest‘: you promise the network not to spend these coins in exchange for the PoS interest stake. Since Pandacoin doesn’t allow the creation of new PoW blocks, the ‘Pending’ line will only show a balance when you have just received PND (ie multi.pandapool.info payout, or incoming payment from another PND account address)
On the other hand, coins will remain at stake for 520 blocks after they are used to create a PoS block; this means they won’t be available to spend for about 8 hours.
If you are uncomfortable about being unable to spend all the coins in your wallet, it is possible to set the reserve option in the wallet to ensure that the available amount always stays above the threshold you configured.
Do I have to leave my PandaBank open to earn interest on Pandacoins?
No, you won’t have to keep it open all the time. PoS interest staking will be generated after holding your coins for at least 72 hours in the PandaBank and your coin-days will not be lost during the PandaBank being locked. As soon as you unlock your PandaBank, the interest staking mechanism will start and if your coins meet certain requirements you will be getting Proof-of-Stake interest blocks based on your coin-days generated.
Note that you will not generate interest stakes if your PandaBank is locked, but it will resume once unlocked. Also keeping the PandaBank open and generating interest stake secures the network as it will replace PoW mining and is much more energy efficient. Remember that you also need to open your PandaBank every month and put your coins to earn interest stakes or you will stop.
What is Coin Age?
Eligibility is earned when your coins have sufficient “Coin Age”. Coin age refers to the amount of time the coins have been inactive. Meaning they have not been transferred across the Pandacoin network or moved from the PandaBank. 72 hours (3 days) of coin age is required for your coins to be eligible to earn PoS interest stake blocks. You do not need to have your PandaBank open or do anything to gain coin age. Just don’t move them from the PandaBank. You can have some coins that are eligible and others that are not in your PandaBank. The reward for creating a PoS interest stake block is proportional to the coin age of the transaction that was used to create the block.
The maximum Coin age for Pandacoin is 30 days. This means that coins that haven’t been spent or put for interest stake for creating a PoS block will grant the same reward even if they are held for longer. This is why we recommend opening your PandaBank at least one day each month.
How will I know when I receive a Proof-of-Stake Interest block?
A PoS interest block will show up in your transaction log (under View Accounts > Transactions) , similar to a normal PoW block. You will also notice that in the ‘My Home’ and ‘View Accounts > Transactions’ tab of your PandaBank you will see some coins have moved from your available balance into the “Earning Interest’ category. These are the Pandacoins that were used to generate your PoS interest block.
Why are some of the Proof-of-Stake Interest blocks rejected/not transacted/orphaned?
When a PoW coin is mined, or a PoS coin is staked, blocks new blocks are produced and added to the blockchain. These blocks are created, and then all of the copies of the blockchain are updated throughout the network. This takes time, as the information needs to be sent over the web. If it turns out that a block is generated somewhere else, and before your blockchain is updated with that new block you find the same block, yours will be rejected. For PoW mining, it means the block is rejected and you do not receive the reward, and for PoS mining, it means the interest payment will fail to confirm and you will not receive that interest payment. These are called Orphaned blocks.
These blocks, had they not been Orphaned, would have provided coins to the finder. This, however, is usually rather insignificant. That is, the amount of coins lost due to an orphaned block is usually low, because blocks are usually found rather frequently, and missing out on the payout for 1 block is usually unnoticeable.
Usually this is just a minor inconvenience for the individual who produced the Orphaned block. These blocks are not kept within the history of the blockchain and do not contribute to information storage within the blockchain, but neither do they produce any problems within the blockchain.
So if every you find yourself asking “Why did that interest payment get rejected” the answer is that the block you found was Orphaned, because someone found it just before you did.
What is PoS difficulty and why should I care?
The Pandacoin network is configured to maintain the creation rate of new blocks to one every minute. However, because of the history of Pandacoin as a PoS coin with a PoW distribution period of over 3 months (95 days), there is an unusually high amount of transactions to any of the 275,000 addresses seen in the blockchain that are eligible to create PoS block. To maintain the rate of one block per minute, the difficulty will increase if blocks are created too often and decrease if less than one block is found per minute on average.
Remember that the chance of finding a PoS interest block is proportional to the weight of the transaction it is based on – in other words to the amount and coin age. It is also proportional to the difficulty – the higher the difficulty, the less likely it is to be granted a Proof-of-Stake interest reward. A high PoS difficulty is an indication that there are many transactions competing to create new blocks: this is the sign of a healthy network where many users are participating in staking and earning interest.
Do I have to wait 1 year for the 2.5% compounded interest to arrive?
The nominal 2.5% compound interest is achieved only if your PandaBank is online and staking often enough that all the available Pandacoins in your PandaBank are used to create a new PoS block every 30 days. However, you will receive this interest in small fragments through the year as new PoS blocks are created, which can occur as often as every 3 days for each transaction.
I’ve kept my PandaBank open for days and have not earned any interest!
As explained in the question on difficulty, the network tries to limit the creation of new PoS block to one every minute. Since there are thousands of Pandacoin transactions eligible for PoS block creation, the ones with the highest amount and coin age will have priority over every other. Thus, if most of the transactions you have received are very small, you may have to leave open your PandaBank open for long periods and accumulate the maximum possible coin age (30 days) before they will be able to generate PoS blocks.
Do bear in mind that the amount of coins stake mined in your PandBank over a period of 1 year will still amount to 2.5% so long as you allow your PandaBank to stake mine as required.