What if we tell you that keeping your cryptocurrencies safe is not as complicated as you might think it is? 

To answer this, we created an easy-to-read article, which includes the definition of a seed phrase, how it looks, what’s the difference between public and private keys, what kind of wallets have a seed phrase, how to generate one, and most importantly, why you should keep a watchful eye on it.

We’re going to start with a very well-known saying: Not your keys, not your coins. We follow this motto, and you should, too. To explain this in just a few words, we advise you to hold a non-custodial wallet, so that you hold a pair of private and public keys, a seed phrase, and can access your funds anywhere and make whichever transactions you want, but with a very important note: you have full responsibility of your wallet.

As there are still a lot of people who keep their assets in a custodial hot wallet, on crypto exchanges that are third-party custody, we strongly suggest you should move to a non-custodial one and mind only one thing: keeping your seed phrase safe. We’re going to show you below how to properly do that, so let’s dive in!

What’s a seed phrase?

You might have seen several names for it. 

Seed Phrase = Secret Phrase = Secret Key = Recovery Phrase = Backup Phrase = Crypto Seed = Mnemonic phrase = Mnemonic sentence

Cool, right?

If the above names are not enough, you can also call it the “Master Password” for all crypto accounts you own. Typically, it’s a set of 12 to 24 words long, depending on the wallet provider. This sequence of random words is generated when a wallet is created. After that, it serves as the key to your wallet and proof of ownership for the assets. You will only use it later in case you want to restore your crypto wallet, if you lose it or it’s stolen, allowing you to regain access to your funds. It’s the only backup you have in that bad scenario. This is why it’s so important to keep it safe and secure.

Even if the "mnemonic" word implies that the phrase should be memorized, we recommend you not to. Your memory, even if you think it’s super strong, should not be in charge of such responsibility. It’s a gamble, and it’s risky to memorize the seed phrase. The decision about the way you store it should be carefully thought ahead.

How does a seed phrase look?

Seed phrases are long strings consisting of groups of random 12-24 words. The order of the words is very important because mixing the words would give another seed phrase. The phrase is usually generated by the wallet software automatically, so you can’t customize it. 

These words are taken from the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39 (BIP39) list, which contains 2048 unique words. To avoid mistakes, similar words will not be included in the same seed phrase. 

A Seed phrase is an easier way to convey a complex number from the private key, expressed in simple, readable words. Each word represents a series of bits from the private key.

BIP39 List

BIP39 (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals) describes the implementation of a mnemonic code or mnemonic sentence, a group of easy-to-remember words, for the generation of deterministic wallets. It consists of two parts: generating the mnemonic and converting it into a binary seed. This seed can be later used to generate deterministic wallets using BIP-0032 or similar methods.

The list has 2048 words that can be used to create seed phrases. The modern wallets generate seed phrases drawn from this 2048-word list. At this point, you may wonder: But how safe are these 2048 words? Are they enough? Isn’t it easy to guess a seed phrase with only 12/24 words from this list? So here’s how it goes: even if 2048 words might seem like a small number, it’s not. It’s impossible to guess the sequence of words from a seed phrase. There are more than a decillion (2048 to the power of 12) word combinations for a seed phrase. Take that worry off the list. 

Seed phrase vs Private key

Because both Seed Phrase and Private Key are ways to access a cryptocurrency wallet, they are often seen as the same thing. Despite being related to each other, there is a difference between a Seed Phrase and a Private Key. Let’s see!

A Private Key is a long string of characters (letters and numbers) used for transacting cryptocurrencies and proving ownership of the funds in a wallet. When exporting a private key, you gain access to the assets in that specific wallet. 

You can create multiple deposit addresses (i.e. private keys) using the same seed phrase. By exporting your seed phrase, you will be able to access all wallets with the same seed phrase (each with its own separate private key). Due to its length and difficulty in reading and remembering, you don't usually handle your private key directly. So, public keys are encoded in the form of a seed phrase.

What kind of wallet has a seed phrase?

There are 2 types of wallets: custodial and non-custodial wallets. We made a really in-depth analysis in a previous article: Custodial & Non-Custodial Wallets. If you choose a centralized exchange like Binance or Coinbase, you don’t need to have a seed phrase. That’s because your assets are in the custody of the exchange (hence the name of the custodial wallet). You actually don’t have full control of your funds, in this case. All of your private and public keys are generated and stored on your wallet app, by a third party. You can't access them in any way. 

But in case you opted for a non-custodial wallet where you are given full control and ownership of your funds, you will also have a seed phrase for it.

How to generate a seed phrase

Most crypto wallets automatically generate a seed phrase when you set them up for the first time. So, if you hold a Ledger, it will generate the seed phrase of your wallet. If you set up a wallet in an app like Maiar App (soon to be XPortal), this will generate your seed phrase. There aren’t other chances available, because the process is automatic. 

So you can't really manually generate the secret phrase for any hardware wallet, nor for most software ones, at the moment it is initiated. Using pseudo-random words for the seed phrase of a hardware or software wallet could be possible, but it’s tricky. However, your wallet might not accept it if the last word is a checksum and you don't know how to calculate it.

If you are curious about how a seed phrase is generated, let us tell you the process!

  1. At first, you need to generate entropy, which gives the source of randomness. This entropy is actually a very large number, a series of bits. It has to be a multiple of 32 bits, somewhere between 128 and 256 bits.
  2. Secondly, you encode the entropy in a mnemonic. After adding a checksum, 1 bit is taken for every 32 bits and it’s added at the end. Then, you split the number into groups of 11 bits that are converted from base 2 to base 10 (that is, in the numbers that we humans understand) and these numbers will correspond with the words in the BIP39 list.
  3. The last step is converting the mnemonic into a seed. The backup phrase obtained above is passed through a PBKDF2 function which hashes it several times until a final result of 64 bytes (512 bits) is obtained - hexadecimal. This is the seed that produces a Master Extended Key for a deterministic hierarchical wallet.

What happens if someone has my seed phrase / if I lose it?

It’s simple and heartbreaking. You are in danger of not owning your assets anymore. 

In the first case, when someone has your seed phrase, he can access your wallet with it. If it has access to your wallet, it could also do anything with the funds. So he could transfer all of them to his wallet and steal your money. It’s that easy to understand. This is why you should absolutely protect and store well your seed phrase.

If you lose it but didn’t give access to anyone else, it’s still bad news. Usually, you can’t do anything about it.

There is a way, though. If you've lost your seed phrase for your MultiversX blockchain wallet, you can still access it if you use the web wallet, with the json file. So make sure you keep that in a known folder, in case you need access. So if you don’t have your seed phrase anymore, but still have the json file, you can access the wallet. After that, make sure you transfer the funds to another wallet of your own. And protect that wallet’s seed phrase. If you only use the Maiar App and not the web wallet, you'll need to have previously entered your seed phrase in the web wallet, in order to recover your wallet. 

What is the best way to keep safe a seed phrase?

At the moment you set up your wallet and your seed phrase is generated, you have 2 options. Either you have to note down the 12/24 words and store them well, or it’s encrypted in your cloud. For example, Maiar App offers you the possibility to make a backup of your seed phrase in your Drive. Even if it’s online, the fact that it’s encrypted makes it safe. You will have to set a password for the encrypted file, so it’s your mission to keep that one safe. 

On the other hand, Ledger will ask you to note down one word at a time. Ledger also has some papers in its package for this purpose. After you note down all the words on the paper, it’s your final mission to keep them safe. What’s the best way to do that? You know we’ll say this - Kryptodots! If you haven’t heard of it, you should know Kryptodots is a device. Not an electronic one, but a very solid one made of stainless steel. Its scope is to protect your secret phrase - therefore, your digital assets. 

Now comes the interesting part… your secret phrase’s 24 words - or 12, by case, can be converted into dots, using a bip39 word list. After that, you mark the dots on the plate, following the instructions you find within the Kryptodots kit.

What’s neater about this product is that you can apply any scrambling/encoding algorithm you can think of to the passphrase, so only you know how to extract the information.

So, to sum up, Kryptodots is the best way to ENCODE, STORE, and PROTECT your digital assets. The only reasonable alternative to the Kryptodots is a piece of paper. But we all can imagine its weaknesses. It can easily degrade, catch fire, or get wet and become useless. And it’s not just that. Let’s say you choose to make a laminated paper that's impermeable. It’s true, you get a higher level of protection, but not the best one. It still can burn easily and also your words wouldn’t be encoded. Owning a Kryptodots assures you of this protection, too.

What NOT to do with a seed phrase?

Clearly, you should not give it to anyone. Even if you have a problem and need help from someone, you should still NOT share your seed phrase. There are many scams in crypto around this issue. 

Secondly, you should never store it somewhere digitally. That means you must assure you don’t make screenshots of it, note it in Notes or any other app. Also, don’t keep it in your gallery, and don’t take photos or videos with it. Keep it only offline, away from digital “view”. 

And even offline, we advise you not to keep it in only one place, just in case. Don’t just write it down on a piece of paper and put it in an insecure location. 


Now you know why you should protect your seed phrase so well. So keep this in mind: Always back up your Secret Phrase in a safe offline place. Your seed phrase is the key to your wallet. Make your journey in the DeFi universe a safe one!

Crypto space is increasing with newcomers day by day. Some try to understand how blockchain works, while others just want to invest in cryptocurrencies. Even if both technology and digital assets have a huge potential in changing the world we know today, there is a soft spot in this ecosystem, especially for newbies. Take a guess?

Oh yes, that’s right! We’re talking about the scammers! But how can they affect people’s journey into the crypto space, especially in the beginning? Let’s dive in! 👇🏼

New to the crypto space?

First things first! From the outside, the crypto space might not look so good for everyone, especially in a bear market. There are people who don’t understand the importance of the crypto world and the potential of blockchain technology. Yet, from a biased point of view, they argue that crypto is nothing but a scam. Fortunately, it’s not true.

So we’re here to clear that up.

If you’re new to crypto, we know you may feel overwhelmed. It’s quite true what they say: do your own research (DYOR). But there is a lot of info to assimilate: terms, strategies, recommendations, and a lot of articles you can lose yourself in trying to catch up with everything.

Also, the crypto space looked quite grim lately, with the early November FTX collapse being on top and negatively impacting a lot of other industry actors. This crisis came in an already unstable and bad-looking macroeconomic environment, so it only accelerated the fall. But what we want to convey at this point is this: no matter how the entire industry may look at a specific moment, you should always have crypto conduct, discipline, and cautiousness.

We won’t give you any financial advice, and we won’t talk about investing or trading. We’re here to show you the most common types of scammers and how to stay away from them, no matter what project you’re involved in.

Not to mention that we strongly advise you to own a non-custodial wallet and to take full responsibility for your digital assets. This, of course, implies not sharing your seed phrase with anyone.

Ok, now that we have cleared that up straight from the beginning, we can go deeper. Let’s see the most common scams and how to avoid them!

The Most Common Scams

People are creative, we can be sure of that. Scammers are not far, either. Nowadays, there are quite a several ways of scamming people in the crypto space, especially beginners. And that’s not because there is something wrong with the latter, but because there is quite little known in the crypto space, yet. Scammers give high hopes, especially for winning great amounts of money. Their offers are certainly tempting. So, let’s see below the most common scams and red flags you should know about.

🚩 Impersonating

Scammers create fake social media accounts pretending to be important public figures, community moderators, admins, or members of some project teams. After that, they send private messages with all kinds of promises. It’s easier for people to fall into the trap when they see a message from a known public figure, not thinking they are actually scammers. Admins or members of teams will never ever contact people by private messages first.

🚩 Investment schemes & Fake Giveaways

Whether the scammers impersonate a public figure or not, they promise big wins after you make a payment in advance or pay an upfront fee. After that, they steal the money and you’ll never hear from them again. This is one of the most common types of scams.

Also, unusual drops or giveaways are scams. If they request from you a payment in advance in order to be able to participate, be sure it’s a scam. It’s also a very common practice for scammers to promise to multiply your investment. Other scammers frequently rush to comment that they already participated in this way and won a huge amount of money. Just remember this: no one will multiply your investment and give it to you, no matter how convincing they seem to be! 

🚩 Rug pull schemes

When it looks so good to be true, it’s usually NOT. 🙂 In this type of scam, the creators pump a new project, coin, token, or NFT with a lot of publicity. After getting enough investors, they exchange the cryptocurrencies into fiat and eventually run away with the money. One of the most known rug pulls was the Squid coin scam. 

🚩 Pump and Dump (P&D) schemes

The fraudsters create FOMO on a particular project or coin, even if this is an obscure one. They can associate with some “influencers” who live luxurious lives and sell an image of a life that you could also have if you invest in their project. 

Their goal is to build a big community that can invest in a particular coin, only mentioned at specific moments. The members are invited to invest fast and as much as they can, while the coin is at a low price. After the coin will artificially be pumped and reach high value, the community could sell the coin and get a “beautiful profit”. The moderators of this scheme orchestrate the moments when people can buy and sell the coin. But of course, only a few manage to sell at high prices within a few seconds, and they are mainly within the moderators of the game plan.

🚩 Ponzi schemes

They’re fraudulent schemes. Long story short, early investors receive profits only with the investments of recent investors. And the story goes on. This type of scheme can be a tricky one, as it seems quite sustainable until it blows. This is the reason why you should make your DYOR!  

🚩 Romance Scams

As strange as it may be, it’s a common practice for scammers to use this type of fraudulent arrangement. With the digital rise in our daily life, online relationships are more frequent, too. So scammers use fake relationships to manipulate people. Eventually, they persuade their partners to send money in the form of cryptocurrencies.

🚩 Phishing Sites 

What are they? Well, mostly fake websites. Scammers usually lure people into clicking some malicious links to these websites. Afterward, they gather your personal info, such as name, email, address, etc with several scam strategies such as “You need to reset your account password”. 

Their ultimate goal is to obtain your wallet's key information - whether you have a custodial wallet on an exchange, or a non-custodial one and have poor storage of your seed phrase. Always be extremely vigilant against this type of scam. No company will ask you to reset the password unless you request it. Also, no admin or platform will ask for your seed phrase. That’s only meant to stay with you, so you should NEVER EVER SEND YOUR SEED / BACKUP PHRASE.

How to stay away from scammers? 

💡 Be Vigilant

As we said before, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s most probably NOT! No matter the type of scam, you need to stay aware all the time. Check every detail, and take into account any sign that it may lead to a scam situation. Think twice before you send your personal info to someone. Crypto Universe is where extreme vigilance should come to play.

💡 Ask yourself some relevant questions

Why would some people you don’t know make a promise to you? What’s in it for them? Why would they help you so easily with something? Why would they ask so many questions? What can they do with your account information? How can they use it? When in doubt, it’s important to ask yourself some questions in order to clarify a situation.

💡 Don’t trust an “admin” that sends you a message first

In the majority of cases (let's say 99,9%), if someone messages you first, he’s not an admin, no matter what name he appears to have. It’s just someone who steals the identity of an admin and wants to lure you into his scheme. Everybody knows the admins won’t message first. So always pay attention to this issue. 

💡 Don’t click on suspicious links

If you receive the invitation to click on a specific website, you need to always verify in advance that the website URL is exactly the same as your platform’s address. Most of the time, they are almost the same, but not entirely.

Also, verify the email address of the sender or the social media account, depending on which platform he contacted you. And if you click on a suspicious link by mistake, you absolutely need to avoid sharing your personal info. Someone may record your login details and can steal your assets, eventually. Also, ensure you don't connect your wallet anywhere until you don’t double-check the site.

Even if you don’t receive a suspicious link from someone and just want to access a website or exchange, we strongly advise you to always go directly to the specific website to stay away from phishing scams. How can you do that? You can make a bookmark with the exchange page or save the link in your notes and access it every time you need to.

💡 Don’t send money and expect to have them multiplied or returned

“Get rich quickly” might be the scammer's motto, but you should never buy it. Be cautious, these opportunities are not real, therefore not achievable. The huge rapid gains are only possible in a fraudster scenario. Only you can “multiply” your funds if you are into trading. If someone promises you to multiply your investment, be sure you could be a targeted victim of a scammer. 

💡 Report the scammers

Most probably, if you send your funds to someone, or lose them, it’s highly improbable to recover them. What you can do to prevent that is this: if you see a crypto scammer (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc), you can report it to the Support Center. On Telegram, you can report the scammers to @notoscam. In the MultiversX ecosystem, you can report the scammers on the @ElrondScambusters Telegram group.

💡 Turn off your Telegram & Discord DMs

Telegram and Discord are the most popular platforms where you’ll find scammers easily. Or… they will find you. 🙂 Being a hub for several crypto communities, these platforms are often targeted by fraudulent people. It’s very common for people to be assaulted with private messages, especially after they had a conversation in a group. What you can do is turn off DMs from unknown people on Discord. On Telegram, you have the option to update the setting in order to prevent random calls and group invites.

💡 Store your seed phrase in a secure location

And when we say that, we mean an offline location, which only you know. We can give you a tip: Kryptodots is the best way to encode, store, and protect your digital assets. Kryptodots is an offline device made of stainless steel. Its scope is to protect your secret phrase, therefore, your digital assets. 

The only reasonable alternative to the Kryptodots is a piece of paper. But we can all imagine its weaknesses. It can easily degrade, catch fire, or get wet and become useless. And it’s not just that. Let’s say you choose to make a laminated paper that's impermeable. It’s true, you get a higher level of protection, but not the best one. It still can burn easily and also your words wouldn’t be encoded. Owning a Kryptodots assures you of this protection, too.

💡 Don’t share your seed phrase with anyone

It might be the last point on our list, but definitely not the least. This is actually the most important thing for you to remember. Your wallet’s seed phrase is unique and therefore it’s like the key to your wallet. Anyone who has your seed phrase also has access to your wallet. So your money would be compromised if they have your seed phrase.

Your seed is the master key to your wallet, also meaning that it has all the information needed to recover the wallet. If your computer breaks, your hard drive becomes corrupted or even the hardware wallet, i.e. the Ledger, gets lost, broken, or stolen, you can download the same software wallet again or buy another hardware wallet and use the seed phrase backup to get your assets back. Apart from that, you will not need to enter your seed phrase anywhere. If someone asks for it, it’s a scam. Don’t share it and make sure you report it. 

Remember that as long as you don’t share your seed phrase with anyone, your digital assets are safe. 

You’re here, so you’ve probably heard that we launched the DISRUPTIVE token. If you didn’t know, no problem, we got you covered! Keep reading and learn what DISRUPTIVE token is, and why you should be interested in holding it!

As a Staking Provider with a firm commitment to bringing the blockchain world closer to anyone, we take a step forward in consolidating our ecosystem.

We bring something new to the table beside the 2 Delegation System Smart Contracts and Kryptodots product (you definitely know about it, don’t you?).

This time we bring you… a TOKEN!

Therefore, a new chapter begins. As the Litepaper mentions - you can find it here, introducing the DISRUPTIVE token in the Disruptive Digital ecosystem is one step further that we take in our mission to create a world in which anyone can become their own bank and be able to manage their digital assets simply and safely.

WHY did we launch the DISRUPTIVE token?

Elrond community is a source of inspiration to us. Outstanding and focused on long-term building. It provides support whenever someone is in need. So to us, it looks like it deserves an incentivization!

Part of our motivation in launching the token is the consolidation of our position as a committed Staking Provider and as a mediator between blockchain and people. We want to give DISRUPTIVE holders the chance to purchase Kryptodots products directly with this token. Easy and safe.


In its full name, DISRUPTIVE-c20f7c is a token launched/minted on the Elrond blockchain. It’s an ESDT token with a fixed value, therefore it’s not volatile. Don’t take it as a stablecoin, because it’s not one either! It is entirely an incentive token used in products and services acquisition.

HOW will we distribute it?

The token's launching days also come with an Airdrop! So if you are one of our delegators, expect to see a bunch of DISRUPTIVE tokens in your wallet! 🙂

Afterward, the token will be gradually unlocked and distributed within settled campaigns and specific marketing activities.

WHO can receive DISRUPTIVE token?

We’ll distribute it mainly to our delegators who contribute to our ecosystem growth. What does that mean, more exactly? It’s simple. If you’re one of our delegators and promote our social channels, share the educational materials we have on our blog, and maintain the engagement of our community, you will receive the token. Extra points for the ones who create educational content for our blog!

Non-delegators also have a chance of receiving the token! If you’re one of them and you stand out through exceptional involvement in promotion, help, and support to Disruptive Digital, Kryptodots, Elrond Network, and our Partners, you also qualify for receiving the token, but under different circumstances.

WHEN will we distribute the token?

The tokens will be distributed each time there is an active campaign in which we previously announced that we will offer DISRUPTIVE tokens. The first one is already ongoing… hence jump on the boat!

WHY you should earn it?

Firstly, because you can purchase Kryptodots products with it. 

For 60.000 DISRUPTIVE tokens, you can purchase 1 Kryptodots backup kit. 

Secondly, you can engage and be part of the community, by sharing educational content and information that would help the newcomers to the ecosystem to accustom to different blockchain and crypto space terms.  

Furthermore, you will help user adoption and contribute to the onboarding of 1 billion users who use the Elrond blockchain. 

Last but not least, you contribute to decentralization. You are the one who shares the information with the community. We can create a better future together.

2 years of Elrond Mainnet

Choosing a Staking Provider comes with quite an effort and research. You should consider a few criteria to make sure you make the best choice in accordance with your expectations and objectives. There are many options when it comes to staking providers (SP), so choose wisely before you stake your EGLD 

First things first: what is Staking?

In the cryptocurrency world, staking refers to “locking up” a digital asset by “staking” it, agreeing to hold it in a wallet on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain network. By agreeing to stake some or all of your holdings, you help ensure that the blockchain on which the assets are staked, operates correctly and securely. 

In exchange for helping to secure a PoS blockchain network, participants who stake their coins receive a share in the block reward in the form of newly minted coins. Staking is an integral part of a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and is designed as an alternative to Proof-of-Work that maintains the long-term security and reliability of a protocol.

Simply put, if you own some cryptocurrencies, you can “lock” them for securing the blockchain and get rewards in return. So, in the long run, you can earn a lot of coins. This is one of the easiest ways to have a passive income from staking crypto. 

There are 3 ways of staking 

You become a Validator

You create a node with at least 2500 EGLD locked in a system SmartContract (this is the minimum limit for creating a node until phase 4). The nodes are important for the Elrond network because they validate the transactions and they assure the efficiency and security of the network. The nodes are required to run on secure, reliable, and high-performing servers 24/7. 

In order to stake a node, you need to have a significant amount of EGLD and you need to assure the nodes have 100% uptime, are installed on very secure servers, and run the latest software version on the mainnet. A freshly stacked node is not producing rewards immediately. It is added to a queue. Note that in staking Phase 3.5 there is a maximum of 3200 nodes in the entire network, so only when a node from these 3200 becomes jailed, or someone unstakes a node, there is the possibility that your node can become eligible.  

If a validator has poor performance, the network will jail it, which means that it will no longer be able to participate in consensus, nor will it produce rewards. The node must be unjailed before it can resume its role as a validator.

This way of staking is highly unaffordable for most people due to the pretty high amount of EGLD needed.

You become a Staking-as-a-Service Provider

To become an SP you’ll need 1250 EGLD to start a smart contract and be able to accept staking from anyone. A node will be added to the queue once the staked sum reaches 2500 EGLD (1250 EGLD from initial SC + 1250 from outside staking). Note that the initial 1250 EGLD are locked as a network warranty and can’t be unstaked until all the delegators' funds are withdrawn and the initial SC is closed.

You will also need to run nodes in the same manner as a Validator + you’ll need to manage the Delegation System Smart Contract.

As this way of staking is still unaffordable for most people, and it’s not as easy to maintain the nodes without some technical background experience and constant efforts, you may consider the third way of staking which is the most accessible one.

You can stake your EGLD with a staking provider

This way, you are able to delegate your tokens to existing nodes operators and professional validators (staking providers) who accept delegations. They take care of the technical aspect of the staking process, which is the reason why the platform charges a fee - usually a percentage of the staking rewards. 

The minimum amount of eGold that you can stake to any staking provider is 1 EGLD. Thus, it is accessible to everyone.  

Now, what you should take into account when choosing a Staking Provider

We know that usually, you may refer to it as “a staking agency” but we choose to call it “Staking Provider”, as this is the correct naming. 

There are a few key points:

Other key info you need to know

Staking is non-custodial. No one has access to your funds.

That means that no Staking Provider you choose to stake your digital assets with will have access to your funds or to your private key. Also, the provider has no control or influence over the funds. The staking process will run securely through a smart contract using the Maiar app or Elrond web wallet. The Staking Provider operates the technical part so that you can be stress-free from it. The charge for that is the SP (staking provider) service fee which is already included in the APR displayed in the Maiar app or on the Elrond Web Wallet.

The staking can be done by anyone through the Maiar app or Elrond Web Wallet.

The top-up and the queue list

The system is done in a way that a Staking Provider can start with an initial fund of 1250 EGLD (valid for Phase 3.5) and be open to accepting staking from anyone. When the amount of 2500 EGLD is reached, the first node becomes active and enters the queue list. As more EGLD enters in the contract, this EGLD will become top-up. When the amount of 5000 EGLD is reached, the second node could be activated if the SP wishes to activate more nodes (entering the queue list) or can remain as a top-up if the SP doesn't wish to activate more nodes. And this process can continue in the same way for the following nodes. It is worth mentioning that for every EGLD that is staked on a queue node that stake doesn’t produce reward therefore the SP’s APR is significantly diminished. 

Capped vs uncapped Staking Providers

Any Staking Provider should maintain some top-up in order to safely operate their service. The top-up acts as a buffer - in case some users unstake their funds - the Staking Provider should have enough stake not to lose nodes.

The Staking Providers that have capped their staking don’t accept any more staking from other EGLD holders once their cap has been reached. They do this in order to maintain a relatively higher APR for the delegators by keeping a lower top-up per node.

For the Staking Providers that go with an unlimited cap, the APR can go down if more and more users stake their coins, because the Top Up APR comes with a small penalty to incentivize SP to care for more nodes thus contributing to a stronger and more secure network. However, since Phase 3.5 the Top Up APR and Base APR have been adjusted not to make such a big difference, helping the small SPs to catch up with the rest of the top SPs, helping the network decentralization.

The first 2500 staked EGLD to a single node is considered Base Stake, what is extra is considered Top Up stake.

As you can see, there’s a fine equilibrium that any Staking Provider should be able to achieve respecting his own business model by choosing the right amount of top-up per node or going uncapped.

It must be borne in mind that the network APR is a variable thing, depending on the total network stake and on the yearly issuance percentage/transactions volume. So the correlation is as follows:

The Staking Providers APR is tightly correlated with the network APR and also with each provider's interest and strategy.

Helping the decentralization

Thinking long term, any of us should have decentralization as our first goal because this guarantees us a fundamental and essential principle of the blockchain. Without this, the blockchain no longer makes sense. This means we encourage anyone to stake with small and trusted/reliable Staking Providers. DYOR (Do Your Own Research) to find out the SP that meets your needs. 

All of these being said, you can be sure that now you know what to check when choosing a staking provider. Also, you found out that staking is non-custodial, even if you stake with a rogue SP, being a non-custodial service no one has access to your funds. All the damage that can be done is just the waiting time for the unstake period (10 days).

If you read so far and you are not a beginner anymore, not new in staking / or when you feel ready and are up for a bigger challenge there is always the next level: Staking-as-a-Service Provider. You can upgrade your IT skills and join the trailblazers: the validators’ team. 

Any choice that you make on the staking provider must be documented, first.