SEBA Bank, a Swiss-regulated cryptocurrency platform, has launched ether staking services for large clients ahead of the network’s anticipated Merge event later this month.
The bank stated in a statement that the lauded institutional-grade service allows users to earn monthly incentives on their ether holdings.
Following the merger, variable lock-up periods will be implemented. No staked ether can be taken from Ethereum’s Beacon Chain until after the Shanghai network upgrade, which is planned for the second quarter of 2023.
The Beacon Chain’s merger with the Mainnet, which is expected to occur around September 15, is one of the most highly awaited and momentous developments in the project’s history.
The event provides the framework for increased network scalability and security while lowering its carbon footprint through the adoption of Proof-of-Stake, which is expected to reduce energy consumption by more than 99%.
The shift to PoS will replace miners protecting the network with validators who stake ether for the privilege. There are currently over 422,000 validators globally, staking 13.5 million ether (or approximately $20.5 billion at today’s pricing).
Those that deposit more than 32 ETH (about $48,500) to SEBA will have a validator activated on their behalf, which will be controlled by the bank.
“The launch of our Ethereum staking services will enable institutional investors to play a key role in securing the future of the network,” Mathias Schutz, the bank’s head of technology and client solutions, said in the statement.
SEBA’s ether incentives join the bank’s existing PoS services, which include Cardano, Polkadot, and Tezos, which were initially launched to market in October of last year with the launch of its Earn product.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)-regulated firm, founded by former employees of investment banking platform UBS, provides custody and crypto storage solutions to major clients.
Almost a year ago, it became the country’s first firm to gain an institutional CISA license from FINMA, allowing it to provide custody solutions to Swiss mutual funds and investment schemes that use liquid crypto.
To fuel growth, the bank raised CHF 110 million ($111 million) in Series C capital earlier this year. According to a separate release, that round was co-led by a coalition of blockchain and fintech investors, with participation from crypto exchange FTX.