Is Crypto Staking Legal in the US?

While crypto staking is a popular practice in the crypto community, there is some uncertainty surrounding its legal status in the US.

One of the main questions people have when it comes to cryptocurrency staking is whether or not it is legal in the US. The short answer is yes; crypto staking is legal in the US. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes cryptocurrency as an asset. So, staking rewards incur income tax upon receipt and a capital gain or loss upon disposal. However, there are some important considerations when understanding the legality of crypto staking in the US.

Most notably, each state may have laws governing how staking is regulated. This article will explain the topic and what stakers in the US need to know before participating in this type of investment.

Key Takeaways

  1. Crypto staking is a legal activity in the US. Still, specific regulations must be followed.
  2. Staking requires you to hold a certain amount of cryptocurrency for a specified period of time, and the staking rewards can be significant.
  3. Investors should be aware of the risks involved in crypto staking, such as tax implications, legal obligations, and security considerations.
  4. There are 2 ways to go about staking: through proof-of-stake networks and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.
  5. It is important to remember that cryptocurrency staking can be subject to taxation, so it is vital to make sure all taxes are paid correctly and on time.

There is some debate about whether earning income from staking crypto is legal. It is legal to earn income from staking crypto as there is no law in the US prohibiting it—however, their laws and regulations regarding crypto activities, including crypto staking.

Is Crypto Staking Taxable in the US?

In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats cryptocurrency as property for tax purposes. Though the IRS has not provided clear guidance on the tax treatment of crypto staking rewards, they are treated similarly to mining. This means that earning income from activities such as staking or mining cryptocurrency is generally subject to taxation. Failure to report this income can lead to penalties and interest. With that, crypto staking rewards are subject to income tax upon receipt and capital gains or loss upon disposal, which includes sales, exchange, or for payment of goods.

What Is Staking Crypto and How Does It Work?

Staking crypto is a process that enables cryptocurrency holders to earn rewards by locking their funds in a wallet. This process works by placing the coins into an online staking pool, where they are then held as collateral for a certain period of time. The process is akin to depositing funds into a bank account and earning interest on those deposits. Still, users are rewarded with additional crypto coins instead of receiving payments in fiat currency. ETH, TRX, QTUM, KSM, ADA, and others are examples of cryptocurrencies that can be staked to earn rewards.

In order to participate in staking, users must first purchase and store enough of a given coin to meet the minimum staking requirements. After that, users must choose a non-custodial wallet that supports staking, like Guarda. Once the user has selected a wallet, they will need to go through the process, which involves depositing funds and choosing a trusted participating validator node to stake with.

From there, the wallet will automatically start generating rewards for the user over time. Rewards typically come in the form of transaction fees or new coins created as part of a network’s protocol. The amount of reward received depends on the type of cryptocurrency being staked, the number of coins held, and the length of time the coins have been staked.

Earn Up to 25% Staking Your Favorite Assets

Proof-Of-Stake vs. Proof-Of-Work

Proof-of-stake (PoS) and proof-of-work (PoW) are two distinct consensus algorithms used by blockchain networks to validate new blocks of transactions. PoS works on the basis that those who own coins in the network can use them as ‘stakes’ to prove their commitment to the network and earn rewards for validating transactions. This way, stakers do not need to buy expensive hardware or consume large amounts of electricity to mine new blocks.

On the other hand, PoW requires miners to use specialized hardware and consume large amounts of electricity to solve a cryptographic puzzle and, thus, create a new block. Once the block is created, the miner is rewarded with newly minted coins, transaction fees, and an additional reward called a block reward.

Both these consensus algorithms have their strengths and weaknesses. PoS is more energy efficient than PoW, as it does not require large amounts of electricity. PoS also reduces the risk of a 51% attack since it requires holding many coins to gain control of the network. However, PoS presents challenges, such as the risk of centralization due to coin hoarding and the lack of security compared to PoW.

DeFi Staking

Defi staking is an innovative way for users to earn passive income by providing liquidity to decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. By depositing digital assets into a smart contract, users can stake their tokens and receive rewards while helping maintain the network’s health and integrity. The rewards are based on the time the asset is staked and the current market conditions.

Additionally, users may benefit from additional yield farming opportunities as well as governance rights associated with the protocol. DeFi staking allows users to easily diversify their portfolio and increase their returns without actively trading or managing their funds.

Is There Any Regulation of Cryptocurrency Staking in The US?

The regulation of cryptocurrency staking in the US is complex and multi-faceted. First, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken the stance that most digital tokens qualify as securities. This is designed to protect investors and ensure compliance with existing laws. As such, for cryptocurrency staking, SEC regulations require registered broker-dealers to adhere to certain rules before engaging in staking activities. Additionally, entities offering staking services must be registered with the SEC and comply with their regulations.

How the SEC Relates to Staking?

The SEC is a regulatory agency in the United States responsible for enforcing federal securities laws and regulating the securities industry. And as mentioned above, the SEC treats cryptocurrency as a security. Accordingly, the SEC has been closely monitoring the use of staking in the cryptocurrency industry and even set regulatory frameworks for staking activities.

For instance, on February 9, 2023, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a novel case against the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken. The SEC alleged that Kraken’s crypto staking services should have been registered with the SEC in violation of federal securities laws. After months of negotiations, Kraken and the SEC agreed that Kraken would cease offering crypto staking services to American customers and pay $30 million in penalties. This is a landmark decision for the crypto industry, as it sets a precedent for other crypto exchanges to ensure their services comply with applicable laws and regulations.


Currently, no clear-cut laws in the US prohibit crypto staking. However, it is important to remember that when engaging in any form of financial activity, including crypto staking, it is essential to understand the relevant laws and regulations to ensure compliance. It is also important to keep up with any changes in the law as they arise. Additionally, it is important to research the various platforms available for staking and the associated fees and risks involved.

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1. Can US citizens stake crypto?

Yes, US citizens can stake crypto as it is legal.

2. Where can you stake crypto in the US?

There are a few options for those looking to get involved in staking cryptocurrency in the US. Many popular exchanges allow you to stake your crypto assets through their platform. In addition, several providers offer specialized staking services for cryptocurrencies. These platforms often offer more control over the staking process and can be tailored to individual needs. DeFi projects also provide staking opportunities where users can stake their crypto assets and earn passive income.

3. Is there any regulation of cryptocurrency staking in the US?

When it comes to the regulation of cryptocurrency staking in the US, it is largely unregulated at the moment. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started regulating t

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