Staking is what gives out rewards and is what makes new blocks on Gridcoin. When someone stakes, they make a new block and they get rewarded for it.
Staking is all based on probability. The more Gridcoin you have, the more likely you are to stake. This can often be frustrating to many, but it is unavoidable without creating a system that is extremely insecure
The name stake/staking comes from Proof of Stake which is the system that Gridcoin uses to reduce the amount of energy that goes into running the Gridcoin network. The aim is to put more instead into science.
When you stake, you receive newly minted coins. You get 10 GRC + research rewards. If you are a solo cruncher, rewards from research are added on top. Pool cruncher (see the pool section) and non-crunchers will only get 10 GRC when they stake. This 10 GRC is always there (called constant block rewards or CBR). This is to incentivize people to stake because more people staking helps increase the security of the network.
Previously (below v188.8.131.52) Gridcoin used a percentage based system, but lower difficulty (low number of people staking) which caused a fair number of issues. See the More Reading section for info about when this changed
How To Stake
If you are using the GUI, look for the icon to see if you are staking. If instead you see a different colored down arrow, hover over to see why it says you are not staking. Make sure you keep seeing this and just leave your wallet running — your wallet will keep attempting to stake
You need to keep your wallet running to stake because every 16 seconds, your wallet will look to see if you “won a coin flip” of sorts to see if it can stake. If you do, your wallet will craft a block and send it out along with proof that you “won”. You also need to leave the wallet unlocked if you encrypted it so that it can send out a block and let you earn rewards.
Odds of Staking
Your odds of staking are based only on the number of coins you have and how many coins other people on the network have that are trying to stake (called difficulty). The amount of research you’ve done will only affect your reward — not your odds of staking.
To see your odds, hover over the icon. You will see an estimate for how frequently you are likely to stake. Unfortunately since staking is probability based, your actual time to stake can vary more or less time than what’s shown.
1) If you don’t run your wallet 24/7 or close to it, this will make you less likely to stake. It’s like doing fewer coin flips — you are going to get less chances for the result you want
2) Cooldowns will change your odds of staking for the 16 hours they are active because fewer of your coins are able to stake. The wallet takes this into account in its prediction
After staking or moving some of your coins around, those coins will go on a 16 hour cooldown where they won’t be able to stake.
If you see a lot of coins on cooldown frequently, try using adding
in your wallet’s config file and then restarting. This will split up large UTXOs
when they stake to reduce the amount of coins on cooldown. See the
config file wiki page for more details about how to configure this
Putting things into one large UTXO won’t increase your odds of staking. This will only hurt things for staking. Putting it into smaller UTXOs will increase efficiency because when you stake a smaller amount will go on a cooldown. The main reason you might want to put things into larger UTXOs is to reduce fees when you try to make transaction in certain situations — not staking.
When none of your coins are on cooldown, how large/small your UTXOs are will not change your odds of staking.
If you are a pool miner, you might be wondering how you get your research rewards. The answer is that the pool stakes for you. When you crunch you do so on the pool’s account. The idea of the pool is that they have a large balance and so they can stake more frequently than you can. They then calculate what percentage of the reward you contributed to and send you back your percentage of the reward.
Note: As a pool cruncher, you can also stake separately on what you’ve received from the pool. You will only earn 10 GRC when you stake since the Gridcoin network doesn’t actually know that you contributed to a pool.
More technical information about staking can be found in the staking blue paper. This goes into much further details of the statistics involved and more.
The reward amounts currently used were chosen through a poll titled “Constant Block Reward (cbr) Proposal And Poll”. The 75/25 option was chosen meaning a 75% to 25% split of new coins between crunchers and non-crunchers respectively. If you would like an in depth reading about the economics of it see either the reddit, github, or CCT thread. This went into effect on version 184.108.40.206 after a hard fork (see this reddit post for more information for details)
List of some definitions of things that are useful to know
Blocks are what store transaction. They help give an order to when transactions happen letting your wallet agree with others that a transaction happened on block X.
The amount you have earned from doing work on BOINC with your computer
UTXOs (unspent transaction output) are what’s leftover from a transaction you received. Gridcoin and many other cryptocurrencies base most of how they operate on UTXOs under the hood. Under the hood staking looks at UTXOs