One of the most groundbreaking and attractive features of the Tezos blockchain is the practice of “baking” your tokens to earn rewards of more tokens by securing the network and validating transactions. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, which rely on “mining” to validate transactions, Tezos does not require expensive computer hardware for average or home users to become a part of the blockchain validation process.
If you own at least 10,000 XTZ tokens, you can self-bake, since the minimum required is 1 roll, which equals 10,000 tokens. In most cases, however, you probably have fewer tokens than that or you simply aren’t inclined to run your own sever and/or maintain the infrastructure needed to reliably bake on the network. As stated above, it’s not that you need outrageous computer hardware to self-bake, but there is a level of technical knowledge and commitment involved. Most users will settle on delegating their tokens to a delegation service so that they can earn rewards for participating, but not actually be responsible for any of the technical aspects of baking their own tokens. Delegation is perfectly safe since you cannot lose your coins by delegating, but your earnings can vary depending on the delegation service that you choose.
As we previously reported, Tezos recently hit the milestone of having over 100 bakers active on the network. Many of those bakers offer delegation services to Tezos token holders. That number will continue to climb and there will end up being far more than that over the next 12 months. So, how do you find a service to delegate your tokens and begin earning rewards on the network? Here are some helpful resources that will help you evaluate services and begin to understand the delegation landscape.
As a recipient of a recent grant from the Tezos Foundation to continue expanding their resources, My Tezos Baker is a great website for quickly examining a thorough list of reputable delegation services. The site focuses on curating accurate information about important details, such as fees, over-delegated status and whether a sign-up is required with the service to receive a payout. The site is intended to be a thorough listing of delegates rather than trying to “rank” the quality of delegates. As a result, the numeric order on the site is not intended to promote one delegation service over another or act as a benchmark for the quality of any given service.
Just recently, My Tezos Baker announced the addition of a new tool which lets users input their number of Tezos tokens they plan to delegate and receive a breakdown of how much they can expect to earn from any delegation service in the list. This will help in comparing delegation services by their annual rate of return.
TZRate offers a similar listing format to that of MyTezosBaker, but they go one step further in providing a rating for delegation services based on a number of factors. The “TzR Score,” as it’s called on the site, is calculated based on owner identity, reputation, features and payout model. TZRate also simplifies the question of payout interval (excellent, good, bad, abysmal and limbo), since it varies from service to service, and can be difficult to understand since it’s often based on the number of cycles on the Tezos chain. The list at TZRate is shorter than that of My Tezos Baker, but that’s because TZRate only lists services which score within the top 20 on their proprietary TzR Score metric.
It’s important to note that having the lowest delegation fee will not get a service moved to the top of the list since several factors go into the ranking. Sometimes it’s the fineprint from delegation services about payment model, payout interval and minimum payouts that will set services apart and make them a better value compared to services with less generous terms.
Along with running a delegation service, Tez Baker also provides community tools to compare services and examine the health of the Tezos network. The tools offer a list of bakers on the network along with important technical stats including available vacancy, blocks missed and overall baking ratio of blocks missed to blocks awarded. This provides a little deeper insight into the underlying infrastructure and management of a delegation service since missing a block which is allocated to a service means the service may have had technical problems and was unable to bake the block they were awarded in that cycle.
Tez Baker also has another tool called the Bake Off which allows comparison of up to four bakers simultaneously to see what kind of return they provide over time. This can be helpful to judge the long term viability of a delegation service to see how consistent they have been in recent months.
You may be familiar with TZScan being the flagship block explorer for the Tezos project built by OCamlPro. There are, however, many other tools at your disposal on the TZScan website which go beyond simply exploring the Tezos chain. Under the Community section, TZScan manages a list of delegation services which display in random order each time you refresh the page. The goal of the TZScan community section is geared toward broad awareness of a service and then letting users go and research delegation services individually.
The TzScan page doesn’t provide any details, such as fees or payout information, rather it simply provides links to the individual services and a brief description provided by the service itself. This is more of a “do your own research” kind of listing page.
• TzScan Delegation Services
If there are more websites and resources not listed here, please leave a comment below or contact us with suggestions. Happy delegating!