The Future Of Bitcoin Staking How Babylon Is Leading The Way

The Future of Bitcoin Staking: How Babylon is leading the way

June 28, 2024 written by 01NODE

Bitcoin, the first digital decentralized cryptocurrency, was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Currently, Bitcoin is more often used as a store of value rather than a medium of exchange or unit of account. It is primarily seen as an investment and has been described by many scholars as an economic bubble.


The invention of Bitcoin proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust. It started with the usual framework of coins made from digital signatures, which provides strong control of ownership, but it was incomplete without a way to prevent double-spending. To solve this, Bitcoin proposed a peer-to-peer network using proof-of-work (PoW) to record a public history of transactions. This system quickly becomes computationally impractical for an attacker to change if honest nodes control a majority of the network’s CPU power.

While proof-of-work was revolutionary, it brought significant issues related to computational expense and energy consumption. To address these problems, proof-of-stake (PoS) was introduced. PoS reduces the energy cost and computational expense by allowing validators to be chosen based on the number of coins they hold and are willing to “stake” as collateral. Despite the advantages of PoS, Bitcoin has continued to operate on a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, which has made it difficult for the community to earn rewards on their coins.

The Rise of Staking and Babylon's Role

Staking has gained popularity as a method for earning rewards in the cryptocurrency space. Unlike Bitcoin’s PoW system, staking allows users to earn rewards by holding and validating transactions with their cryptocurrency holdings. This method is energy-efficient and offers an incentive for participants to support the network.

Babylon, a pioneering platform in the crypto space, is at the forefront of integrating staking with Bitcoin. While Bitcoin itself does not natively support staking due to its reliance on PoW, Babylon is exploring innovative solutions to bring staking rewards to Bitcoin holders. By leveraging sidechains, wrapped tokens, or other novel mechanisms, Babylon aims to bridge the gap between Bitcoin and staking rewards.

Babylon's Innovative Approach

Babylon designs security protocols that scale Bitcoin to secure the decentralized world. They utilize the three primary facets of Bitcoin: Bitcoin the asset, Bitcoin the PoW-secured timestamping server, and Bitcoin as the most censorship-resistant blockspace in the world. Through pioneering protocols, Babylon envisions a more secure and Bitcoin-centric decentralized world.

To realize this vision, Babylon has developed a suite of Bitcoin security-sharing protocols. Currently, it includes two main protocols:

  1. Bitcoin Timestamping: This protocol sends succinct and verifiable timestamps of any data (such as PoS blockchains) to Bitcoin.
  2. Bitcoin Staking: This protocol allows Bitcoin, the asset, to provide economic security to any decentralized system through trustless (and self-custodian) staking.

Bitcoin Staking Protocol

Babylon’s Bitcoin staking protocol allows Bitcoin holders to stake their Bitcoin for PoS blockchains without needing any third-party custody, bridge, or wrapping. This protocol provides slashable economic security guarantees to the PoS chains while ensuring efficient stake unbonding to enhance liquidity for Bitcoin holders. Designed as a modular plug-in, it is compatible with various PoS consensus protocols and serves as a foundational component for building restaking protocols.

Security Guarantees

Babylon’s Bitcoin staking protocol achieves several security properties:

  • Fully Slashable PoS Security: In the event of a safety violation, 1/3 of the Bitcoin stake is guaranteed to be slashed.
  • Staker Security: Staked Bitcoins are guaranteed to be safe and withdrawable, as long as the staker (or the validator it delegates to) follows the protocol honestly.
  • Staker Liquidity: Unbonding of the staked Bitcoin is guaranteed to be secure and fast without the need for social consensus.

Bitcoin Staking Workflow

From a Bitcoin staker’s perspective, the protocol works as follows:

  1. Staking Bitcoin: The staker initiates the process by sending a staking transaction to the Bitcoin chain, locking their Bitcoin in a self-custodian vault. This creates a UTXO with two spending conditions: a timelock for withdrawal and an extractable one-time signature (EOTS) for delegation.
  2. Validation on PoS Chain: Once the staking transaction is confirmed, the staker (or the validator they delegate to) can start validating the PoS chain using the EOTS secret key. Depending on the behavior of the staker, there are two possible paths:
    • Happy Path: The staker follows the protocol and earns yield. They can unbond by waiting for the timelock to expire or submitting an unbonding transaction.
    • Unhappy Path: If the staker behaves maliciously, their EOTS secret key is exposed, allowing anyone to submit a slashing transaction and burn the staker’s Bitcoin.

Core Design

The protocol combines accountable assertions from cryptography and finality gadgets from blockchain consensus to facilitate slashing in response to safety violations. Using extractable one-time signatures (EOTS), it ensures that any safety violations result in secret key leakage, leading to the slashing of the staked Bitcoin. This modular approach can be applied to various BFT consensus protocols without altering the base protocols themselves, making it compatible with different PoS blockchains.

Benefits of Bitcoin Staking

  1. Passive Income: Bitcoin holders can earn passive income through staking rewards, providing an additional incentive to hold and invest in Bitcoin.
  2. Energy Efficiency: By integrating staking mechanisms, the overall energy consumption associated with securing the network can be reduced.
  3. Network Security: Staking can enhance network security by encouraging more participants to contribute to the consensus process.

Challenges and Considerations

While the idea of Bitcoin staking is promising, it is not without challenges. Ensuring the security of sidechains or wrapped tokens and maintaining decentralization are critical concerns. Babylon and other innovators in the space must address these issues to gain widespread acceptance.


The future of Bitcoin staking looks promising, with Babylon leading the way in developing innovative solutions to integrate staking with Bitcoin. By offering Bitcoin holders the opportunity to earn rewards through staking, Babylon is not only enhancing the value proposition of Bitcoin but also contributing to a more energy-efficient and secure blockchain ecosystem. As these developments unfold, Bitcoin’s role as a leading cryptocurrency is poised to evolve, offering new opportunities for investors and enthusiasts alike.

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