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Learn about The Graph Staking
There are several ways to earn a return on your GRT, including lending them out to custodial providers or through decentralized lending protocols, running your own indexer, or delegating your tokens to indexers of your choosing.
For the best security and control over your funds, we recommend using a Ledger Hardware Wallet. To delegate your tokens, you should ensure they are stored on your Ledger or the Metamask Wallet, and then follow these steps below:
Step 1: Go to the GRT Staking Dashboard and click on “Connect” at the top right to connect to your Metamask Wallet.
Step 2: Select an indexer from the list, press the button with three dots on the far right of it, click “Delegate”. Check our FAQ on how to choose an indexer if you are unsure who to delegate to.
Step 3: Once you have chosen an indexer and decided on the number of tokens you would like to stake, click ‘Manage’ and then press ‘Delegate’.
Step 4: Now you will be prompted to see a page with delegation parameters, where you may enter the amount of GRT tokens you would like to delegate, click “Allow GRT Access”, approve the transaction in your wallet, click “Delegate”, and finalize the transaction in your wallet.
- Rewards are distributed whenever the delegator’s indexer closes an allocation and the maximum allocation length is 28 epochs. This implies stakers can claim their rewards every 28 epochs.
- After delegating your GRT tokens, as a participant in The Graph Network, you can vote on snapshots by either holding, delegating, or staking GRT tokens as an indexer. Check here for a detailed voting guide. While your contribution and vote are highly valuable to the ecosystem, they won’t affect your rewards.
It is essential for users to stake their PoS tokens with dependable and highly performant validators (indexers), which is why we have rolled out our Staking Rewards Verified Staking Provider (VSP) Program in June 2022. Through this program, we thoroughly scrutinize potential indexers, evaluating factors such as security measures, their on-chain reliability, their provider setup, and value-added services for the whole ecosystem.
When choosing an indexer to delegate to, there are numerous factors to take into account:
Commission Rates: When staking your tokens with an indexer, there are two types of commission fees: Query Fee Cut and Indexing Reward Cut. Query Fee Cut is the percentage of query fee rebates accumulated on a subgraph that will be distributed to the indexer, while Indexing Reward Cut is the percentage of indexing rewards accumulated on a subgraph that will be distributed to the indexer. In general, these commission rates represent the percentage of your rewards that the indexer will retain for themselves. A high commission rate can result in lower returns for you, while a low commission rate may lead to financial difficulties for the indexer in the future. It’s important to note that indexers may change their commission rates at any time.
Amount of delegated tokens: A large number of delegated tokens may signal a positive reputation for an indexer. You can check the information via the Indexer Dashboard.
Indexers’ Self-Staked balance: Indexers with significant amounts of self-staked tokens may have a greater motivation to maintain their operations, as they have more at risk than those with lower self-staked balances. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this metric has some limitations, as indexers can choose to delegate their own tokens to another indexer, which is done to enhance the security of their funds.
Performance: To ensure the best results, it’s important to select an indexer with high uptime performance. You can view an indexer’s performance by hovering over the reward values listed in the Validator Overview table on this asset page. Our suggestion is to only choose indexers with a performance rate of 99% or higher and a track record of not being slashed.
Value Add to the Ecosystem: Another way to assess the long-term vision of indexers is to check if they offer additional services to their delegators, such as tax reporting tools, explorers, etc. This can be a useful filter when comparing different providers.
In The Graph Network, Indexers are individuals or entities who operate nodes and stake Graph Tokens (GRT) to offer indexing and query processing services. By participating in staking, they can earn rewards, which accumulate while their allocations remain active and within the 28-epoch limit. Indexers receive the rewards when they close the allocations, either through manual action or automatic closure by a delegator after 28 epochs have passed. Note that if the delegator closes the allocation, the Indexer will not receive any rewards. An epoch is approximately 24 hours long and 28 epochs is the maximum length of time for an allocation. This implies inexers receive rewards every 28 epochs. The staking rewards for GRT are generated by:
Indexing Rewards: Indexing rewards come from protocol inflation which is set to 3% annual issuance. They are distributed across subgraphs based on the proportion of all curation signals on each, then distributed proportionally to Indexers based on their allocated stake on that subgraph. An allocation must be closed with valid proof of indexing (POI) that meets the standards set by the arbitration charter in order to be eligible for rewards. POIs are used in the network to verify that an Indexer is indexing the subgraphs they have allocated on. A POI for the first block of the current epoch must be submitted when closing an allocation for that allocation to be eligible for indexing rewards.
Query Fee Rebates: Query fee rebates are compensation for processing queries on the network. These payments occur through state channels between an indexer and a gateway. Every query from a gateway includes a fee and a proof of the query’s validity in the response. Query fees are collected by the gateway whenever an allocation is closed and accumulated in the subgraph’s query fee rebate pool. The rebate pool is designed to encourage indexers to allocate stake in rough proportion to the amount of query fees they earn for the network.
It’s important to keep in mind that the total annual rewards are divided among all active stakers. As the number of staked tokens increases, the reward rate decreases.
Furthermore, there are governance proposals that could adjust some of the on-chain parameters, which could also change the APR if they are approved. You’re welcome to use our Staking Calculator to get a better understanding of how these factors can impact your rewards.
We strive to make staking as safe and transparent as possible, however, it’s important to consider factors that may influence whether a particular staking option is appropriate for you.
- Slashing risk: When delegating to an indexer, there is a risk of incurring slashing if the indexer is malicious and provides incorrect data to applications or indexes incorrectly. Additionally, queries and stake allocations made by the indexer can be challenged on The Graph during the dispute period. Queries/attestations have a 7-epoch dispute window, while allocations have a 56-epoch dispute window. If the challenge is accepted, 50% of the disputed indexer’s indexing rewards for the epoch will be burned while the Fisherman will receive the other 50%. In addition, the disputed indexer’s self-stake will also be slashed by 2.5%. For further information on disputes and slashing, click here.
- Unbonding risk: When staking GRT tokens, there is a lockup period of 28 days. This means that investors will not be able to sell their tokens immediately, but instead need to wait 28 days after initiating unstaking before they can be traded again. This is something to keep in mind when deciding to stake, as crypto markets are highly volatile. Consider keeping funds liquid if you do not intend to.
- Protocol security risks: There is an inherent risk that the protocol could contain unknown bugs, this risk applies not only to staking but also the investment in GRT tokens.
This list is not exhaustive and other risks may apply.
GRT is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, it is also the work utility token of The Graph Network that coordinates data providers and consumers. GRT serves as a utility for coordinating data providers and consumers within the network and incentivizes protocol participants to organize data effectively.
- Staking: Users can temporarily lock up GRT to contribute to the security of the network. In return for the service, both the indexers and stakers are compensated with staking rewards.
- Gas token: Every query on the network incurs a small fee that is paid to the indexer in the form of GRT.
- Governance: GRT is used to vote on governance proposals on the network. There are three groups of GRT holdings: Wallet GRT (simply holding GRT tokens in the wallet), Delegated GRT, and Indexer Staked GRT. The voting power is calculated based on the mix of the three groups of GRT holdings in your wallet. Check how the voting power is determined by clicking here.
The Graph Network consists of Indexers, Curators, and Delegators that provide services to the network, and serve data to Web3 applications. Consumers use the applications and consume the data. To ensure economic security of The Graph Network and the integrity of data being queried, participants stake and use Graph Tokens (GRT). Active Indexers, Curators, and Delegators can provide services and earn income from the network, proportional to the amount of work they perform and their GRT stake.
- Indexers are node operators in The Graph Network that stake Graph Tokens (GRT) in order to provide indexing and query processing services. Indexers earn query fees and indexing rewards for their services. They also earn from a Rebate Pool that is shared with all network contributors proportional to their work, following the Cobb-Douglas Rebate Function.
- Delegators are network participants who delegate (i.e., “stake”) GRT to one or more Indexers. Delegators contribute to securing the network without running a Graph Node themselves.
- Curators are critical to the Graph decentralized economy. They use their knowledge of the web3 ecosystem to assess and signal on the subgraphs that should be indexed by The Graph Network. Through the Explorer, curators are able to view network data to make signaling decisions. The Graph Network rewards curators who signal on good quality subgraphs with a share of the query fees that subgraphs generate.
- Developers are the demand side of The Graph ecosystem. Developers build subgraphs and publish them to The Graph Network. Then, they query live subgraphs with GraphQL in order to power their applications.
The initial token supply is 10 billion GRT, with a target of 3% new issuance annually to reward Indexers for allocating stake on subgraphs. This means that the total supply of GRT tokens will increase by 3% each year as new tokens are issued to Indexers for their contribution to the network.
The Graph is designed with multiple burning mechanisms to offset new token issuance. Approximately 1% of the GRT supply is burned annually through various activities on the network, and this number has been increasing as network activity continues to grow. These burning activities include a 0.5% delegation tax whenever a Delegator delegates GRT to an Indexer, a 1% curation tax when Curators signal on a subgraph, and a 1% of query fees for blockchain data.
In addition to these regularly occurring burning activities, the GRT token also has a slashing mechanism in place to penalize malicious or irresponsible behavior by Indexers. If an Indexer is slashed, 50% of their indexing rewards for the epoch are burned (while the other half goes to the fisherman), and their self-stake is slashed by 2.5%, with half of this amount being burned. This helps to ensure that Indexers have a strong incentive to act in the best interests of the network and to contribute to its security and stability.