Leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched Ether (ETH) staking service for institutional investors in the United States as the Ethereum network moves closer to the long-awaited Merge.
This means that U.S. institutional investors can now join other institutional clients on Coinbase to stake ETH using Coinbase Prime accounts and claim their yield after the Merge, which is expected before the end of the year.
Coinbase Now Offers ETH Staking to U.S. Clients
Coinbase Prime is the exchange’s crypto solution for institutional investors, giving them access to various services, including offline storage, staking, and advanced trading.
According to the announcement, when customers stake their ETH on Coinbase, the exchange automatically uses ETH2 to represent the staked crypto asset.
“The price of ETH and ETH2 is identical. Once the upgrade to the Ethereum network is complete, the tickers ETH and ETH2 will merge into a single ticker: ETH,” Coinbase said.
The exchange noted that institutional clients using Coinbase Prime could also access supported staking services for Solana, Polkadot, Cosmos, Tezos, and Celo, among others.
ETH Devs Almost Ready for PoS Transition
The Merge is a crypto slang used to describe Ethereum’s transition from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm to a proof-of-stake (PoS). The upgrade is expected to significantly reduce the energy consumption of the Ethereum blockchain while also improving security and scalability.
The Merge represents the formal adoption of the Beacon Chain, the cornerstone of ETH 2.0’s architecture. The upgrade is currently awaiting final testing.
Last week, the network developers announced the details of the final preparations, noting that the Merge will be simulated on the testnet between August 6 and 12. If the test is successful with no significant issues, the Merge is expected to be implemented on September 19.
Over 13.8 Million ETH Staked
With the Merge only a couple of months away, Ether holders have deposited more than 13.8 million ETH on the staking deposit contract on the Beacon Chain.
At the time of writing, the total amount of staked tokens in the address was 13,877,800 ETH, valued at $21.9 billion at current prices.