Before we get started, this is not a recommendation or endorsement to buy any token(s) mentioned.
Given this week’s bullish price action, Solana’s SOL is earning lots of attention once again among DeFi investors. Although there are countless ways to earn SOL with DeFi lending, liquidity provisions, and perps trading, the easiest passive strategy remains staking. Solana’s blockchain consensus uses Proof of Stake, and like Ethereum, SOL holders can simply stake their SOL to get paid more for contributing to the network’s security.
Live for over two years, the top liquid staking protocol on Solana is Marinade Finance, with just over $260M in total SOL. With over 75,000 wallets holding mSOL, integrations with dozens of DeFi protocols, and traded on central exchanges like Coinbase, Marinade has attracted just over 3% of all SOL stake made liquid so far. When liquid staking SOL for mSOL, the price of mSOL goes up relative to SOL each epoch with Solana inflation rewards being accrued into the underlying staked SOL in the Marinade stake pool. The most obvious convenience to mSOL is the ability to still use liquid staked token representing SOL while passively earning SOL staking rewards.
However, Marinade is no longer just liquid staking. SOL holders can now use an automated staking strategy expertly designed by the Marinade core team and Marinade community.
Marinade stakers can stake natively or liquid stake to the same pool of 100+ high-performing Solana validators. When native staking with Marinade, there is no smart contract interaction, while when liquid staking you receive an equivalent value of mSOL that can be used in DeFi applications. Marinade’s native