Market Analysis

Harbor Offers Institutional Liquid Staking on Ethereum

Key Takeaways

  • Blockdaemon and Stakewise have announced Harbor, a liquid staking service for ETH and the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Institutional clients who stake their crypto will receive a derivative token that they can use in certain DeFi protocols.
  • Though few other institutional liquid taking services exist, Alluvial and Lido are among Harbor’s competitors.

Two notable blockchain firms have announced the launch of Harbor, a liquid staking protocol for the Ethereum blockchain.

Harbor Is Now Live on Mainnet

Blockdaemon and StakeWise launched Harbor’s mainnet version this week on Jun. 6 following an earlier testnet phase in March.

Harbor offers a staking service aimed at financial institutions and tech companies. Unlike other cryptocurrency staking methods, Harbor’s approach gives clients the ability to earn staking rewards without losing access to their funds during a lockup period.

Harbor will initially work with the Ethereum blockchain and accept deposits of its native cryptocurrency token, ETH.

Participants who stake ETH will receive the derivative Harbor token. They can use these tokens with permissioned DeFi platforms for lending, borrowing, options writing, and interest rate swaps.

Harbor also aims to be fully secure and compliant with regulations. Its userbase will be made up of KYC-approved participants. Slashing insurance, multiple code audits, and fully secured smart contract keys will additionally ensure that funds remain safe.

Blockdaemon founder and CEO Konstantin Richter emphasized Harbor’s unique approach, calling it “the first ETH institutional-grade liquid staking solution available in the market today.”

StakeWise co-founder Kirill Kutakov likewise said that the Harbor’s launch marks the “first time traditional institutions can participate in staking and DeFi on the terms they are accustomed to.”

Liquid Staking Is on the Rise

Though few other staking services offer liquid staking as Harbor at the moment, other services with competing features are on the way. Coinbase Cloud and Figment are backing a liquid staking project called Alluvial, which was still under development as of May.

Non-institutional liquid staking services are also popular. Lido, a DeFi platform, accounts for a large share of liquid staking on Ethereum. Rocket Pool is another highly-regarded alternative.

Still, Harbor will likely attract plenty of value thanks to the funds accrued by its operators so far.

StakeWise claims to have 50,000 ETH ($93 million) delegated to its validators to date. Blockdaemon, on the other hand, claims to have $11 billion delegated to its own validators.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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