Crypto exchange coinbase introduces liquid staking token before Ethereum merge

The Coinbase Wrapped Staked ETH (cbETH) will have several uses, including selling and transferring staked ETH as well as using it as collateral in DeFi protocols.

Coinbase (COIN) will introduce its own liquid staking token called, Coinbase Wrapped Staked ETH (cbETH), ahead of the Ethereum blockchain’s Merge in September, the crypto exchange said in a tweet Wednesday.

The token will be Ethereum-based and after the Merge, can be used to stake ether (ETH), the native token of the network, through Coinbase, according to the tweet. Liquid staking allows investors to generate extra yield on top of standard rewards for staking or locking coins in a network.

In liquid staking, locked staked assets are “wrapped” into transferable tokens that represent ownership of the underlying staked assets and any rewards earned, Coinbase said in a whitepaper. The resulting tokens are fully transferable and can be unwrapped to claim the underlying staked assets.

Aside from this liquid token there have been other services that are expected to provide similar services. On July 19, Lido Finance said it will soon offer staked ether on Layer2 networks, which process transactions faster and more cheaply than the Ethereum mainnet.

The Merge or Ethereum’s upgrade from proof-of-work consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake is slated to be finalized at some point between Sept. 10-20. The switch will substantially lower the network’s energy consumption.

Coinbase is hoping to spur massive adoption of the token, which will have several uses, after the Merge. “Our hope is that cbETH will achieve robust adoption for trade, transfer, and use in DeFi [decentralized finance] applications,” according to the whitepaper. “With cbETH, Coinbase aims to contribute to the broader crypto ecosystem through creating high-utility wrapped tokens and open sourcing smart contracts,” the whitepaper added.

Separately, cbETH investors will be able to exit their staked ETH for cash as well as transfer their staked ETH to another non-custodial wallet, according to the whitepaper.

Trading of the liquid token will start on August 25, if all liquidity conditions are met, Coinbase said in a tweet thread. Once sufficient supply of this asset is established, trading of cbETH-USD trading pair will begin in phases, the thread added.