Staking is a great way to earn passive income in the form of $SAFE. Staking your $SAFE will also help towards the network’s voting process, keeping the network running, and increase decentralization if the stake is spread out evenly over the network.
No up-front costs: Running a validator requires that you dedicate resources to a computer 24 hours a day 7 days a week 52 weeks a year. This means increased electricity costs (though not nearly as much as mining a Proof-Of-Work cryptocurrency). If you’re running a Full-History (not pruned) node, it also requires 2TB of SSD storage every year to keep the entire ledger. If you don’t have your own computer, you can rent one (called a VPS or VDS), but that costs a monthly fee too. In addition, you will be spending $SAFE on voting fees cutting into the validators profitability.
Easier: If you own a validator, you also have to pay attention to it and make sure it stays up and running which means performing regular maintenance on it, etc. If you’re delegating, you can easily place some SAFE in a staking account and check in on it every once in a while to see what kind of rewards you are accumulating.