Equilibrium Staking Levels in a Proof-of-Stake Blockchain

Fahad Saleh, Kose John, Thomas Rivera - May 24, 2022

Working Paper No.  00076-00

We study the equilibrium level of staking in a Proof-of-Stake blockchain when investors have different trading horizons. We find that, contrary to conventional wisdom, staking levels do not always increase in block rewards. Rather, block rewards serve as an inflationary transfer from short-horizon cryptocurrency investors to long-horizon cryptocurrency investors. Thus, increasing block rewards reduces short-horizon cryptocurrency investment which, under certain conditions, reduces the overall transfer to long-horizon cryptocurrency investors and therefore reduces long-horizon investment as well. When this is the case, increasing block rewards decreases total cryptocurrency investment which leads to a reduction in the equilibrium value of staked cryptocurrency.

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Blockchain proof-of-stake staking