Ethereum’s shift from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) in September 2022 increased interest in staking across a number of parties — including institutions.
The success of the Merge propelled Ethereum from “a smart contract platform lagging behind” into “something that was doing things right,” Diogo Mónica, co-founder and president of Anchorage Digital, a crypto bank last valued over $3 billion, said to TechCrunch. “Interest from investors grew and the appetite changed dramatically.”
And it’s true: Institutional interest in ETH staking increased after the Merge, Matt Hougan, CIO at Bitwise Asset Management, said to TechCrunch.
“All of a sudden, by holding Ethereum, you went from holding a bet on smart contract platform to holding a bet that holds yield,” Mónica said.
Staking is a way of earning rewards for holding a certain token (in this instance, ETH) for a certain amount of time. In return for staking, people are paid out yield or additional rewards in exchange for holding their coins to secure the network.
In a way, it’s like having cash in your wallet or parking your cash in a bank CD, Hougan said. “You lock your money up in the CD and the bank pays you interest. In this example, you lock your ETH up in a staking pool and earn interest.”