How to Stake Ethereum on Coinbase: A Step-by-Step Guide

Published: 25th June, 2023 | Last Updated: 19th September, 2023

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

Staking Ethereum on Coinbase is pretty straightforward. In this quick guide, I will walk you through all you need to know.

Ready? Let’s kick it.

What is ETH Staking?

When you stake Ethereum on Coinbase, effectively, you are lending your ETH to a validator on the Ethereum Network. Validators ensure the information on the Ethereum blockchain is accurate.

The validator who adds a new block of transactions to the blockchains is rewarded in ETH. As a validator, your chances of being selected to add the block increase the more Ethereum you put up as a guarantee that you will not mess around with the data.

Otherwise, if others show that your block contains incorrect or misleading transactions, then you lose the ETH you put up.

Your ETH is at stake so to speak. Hence the term staking.

Now, validators can use their own ETH to stake or they can crowdsource it from you and me. In return for staking your ETH with them, validators will give you a cut of the rewards.

There are two ways to go about staking.

  1. You figure it out on your own and select a validator to stake with
  2. You use Coinbase which cut out the complexity in exchange for a fee.

Should I stake my ETH?

Yes, if you plan to hold on to the ETH as a long-term investment then it makes no sense to just have it sitting there without earning any yield on your ETH.

Currently, ETH inflates at about 2% per year.

This means that if you do nothing then, all else equal, you lose about 2% in value per year.

The only reason not to stake is if you want to trade ETH in the short term.

If that is your strategy then yeah you probably shouldn’t lock up your ETH into staking.

The two ways to stake Ethereum on Coinbase

Coinbase rather confusingly has two apps (it used to have three).

The first app is the Coinbase exchange. This is Coinbase’s core product where you can buy and sell crypto and then do funky stuff with it like staking.

The second app is the coinbase wallet. This is similar to the coinbase exchange but it is meant as a place to store your coins.

The most significant difference between the wallet and the app is that with the wallet you own the keys to the wallet.

This means that only you have access to the wallet and that you are responsible for them. In contrast, the coinbase exchange holds your crypto for you.

If Coinbase were to suddenly declare bankruptcy one day that’s it. You wouldn’t have a way to get your crypto back from the exchange.

To understand more about the coinbase wallet check out my comparison here: Atomic Wallet vs Coinbase wallet

In this article, I describe how to stake Ethereum on the Coinbase exchange. However, staking on the Coinbase wallet is almost exactly the same.

how to stake Ethereum on Coinbase

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Stake Ethereum on Coinbase

#1. Create an account on Coinbase and complete the necessary verification process.

To begin staking your Ethereum on Coinbase, you’ll need to create a Coinbase account if you don’t already have one.

Head over to the Coinbase website and sign up by providing your email address, a secure password, and agreeing to the terms of service.

Once you’ve completed the registration process, you’ll receive a verification email. Click on the link provided in the email to verify your account.

After verifying your account, you’ll need to complete the necessary verification process. This involves providing personal information such as your full name, date of birth, and residential address.

#2. Transfer or buy Ethereum tokens

Duh, this is pretty obvious.

Buy ETH on Coinbase or alternatively transfer your coinbase from another account or wallet into Coinbase so that you can start staking it.

#3. Stake your ETH

Click where it says “Assets” in the bottom menu of the app.

stake eth coinbase step1

Scroll down to your ETH.

See how it says 5.1% APY? That refers to the yield you can get by staking. Nowadays the yield on Coinbase has dropped to around 3.3%.

stake eth coinbase step2

Scroll down to where it says “stake ETH”

stake eth coinbase step3

Enter the amount you want to stake

stake eth coinbase step 4

Once you preview the stake and are happy with the details click on “Stake now” and that’s it. The next screen will show you the history of your actions and you are not staking ETH.

stake eth coinbase step 5

Tips for Successful Ethereum Staking on Coinbase:

If you are new to crypto then get ready to have your mind blown.

Now that you have staked your ETH, if you visit your assets page you will see a new asset called CBETH.

What’s going on? Where did that come from?

CBETH stands for coinbase ETH. This is a token that represents your staked ETH via Coinbase on Ethereum. You can think of it like a receipt.

Or another way to think of it is like what a banknote it to coins. The whole point of banknotes is that you could exchange them for cash (or gold when countries were on the gold standard).

Now the mind-bending concept you need to become familiar with is that you can use this CBETH on other protocols in DeFi.

You could use it to earn more interest by lending it. Or you could put it up as collateral to take out a loan.

If this is starting to sound confusing then I have some homework cut out for you.

As a first step, I recommend you start by reading up on some of the most popular DeFi protocols:

In crypto, this process of staking ETH and getting CBETH in return is known as liquid staking.

Because while you have staked your ETH you still have liquidity that you can do stuff with in the form of CBETH.

How to unstake your ETH from Coinbase

The unstaking or withdrawal option was released on the Ethereum Network by the Shanghai/ Capell upgrade to the blockchain.

They still say that “All staked-ETH is locked until a future Ethereum protocol upgrade is complete.”

Other exchanges say it takes about 7 days to unbond your ETH

On Coinbase you can simply sell your CBETH for ETH.

Alternatives to Staking on Coinbase

If you don’t mind having your crypto spread out across protocols then you should check and see if you can get a better return on your ETH on other liquid staking protocols.

For example, Lido currently offers a 3.8% APR on ETH against 3.27% on the Ethereum wallet.

It may not sounds like much but it is.

Say you have $20,000 and add $500 per month to your stash for 30 years. At 3.27% you have $332,00 after 30 years. Whereas with 3.8% you end up with 366,000. So that small delta in the interest rate costs you about $34,000.

The trade-off is laziness. If you are too lazy to move it and research other options yeah then you will still earn a decent return by just using Coinbase.

In any case, if you are up for shopping around check out the following protocols that offer liquid staking for Ethereum.

  • Rocket pool
  • Origin Ether
  • StakeWise
  • Lido
  • Stakefish
  • Ankr Staking
  • Bedrock
  • StaFi

Understanding the Mechanics of Ethereum Staking on Coinbase

Proof-of-Stake (PoS) vs. Proof-of-Work (PoW)

In the world of blockchain, consensus mechanisms play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and security of networks.

While many cryptocurrencies rely on the energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm, Ethereum is transitioning to a more sustainable alternative called Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

Unlike PoW, where miners compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles to validate transactions and create new blocks, PoS relies on validators who hold and “stake” their ETH as collateral.

This shift brings several advantages such as reduced energy consumption and increased scalability for Ethereum (ETH).

The Role of Validators

Validators are central figures in PoS systems like Ethereum 2.0. Their primary responsibility is to propose and validate new blocks while ensuring network security.

Unlike miners in PoW, validators are not required to solve computationally intensive problems; instead, they are selected based on their stake size.

The selection process involves choosing validators randomly from a pool of eth stakers, with larger eth stakes having a higher chance of being selected.

By doing so, PoS systems incentivize users to hold and stake more eth coins since it increases their chances of becoming validators.

Slashing Conditions

To maintain the integrity of the network, PoS systems impose certain rules known as slashing conditions. These eth conditions penalize validators for malicious behavior or negligence that could compromise the network’s security or availability.

Examples of slashing conditions in the eth network include double-signing conflicting blocks or going offline for extended periods without proper justification.

Violating these conditions can result in penalties such as losing a portion of the validator’s stake or even complete removal from the eth system.

Validator Rewards and Penalties

Validators are rewarded for their participation in securing the network through block validation. In Ethereum 2.0, rewards are distributed proportionally based on each validator’s stake size.

On the other hand, penalties are imposed for actions that violate the rules of the eth system.

These penalties act as a deterrent against malicious behavior and ensure that eth validators have a vested interest in maintaining network integrity.

Staking Ethereum on Coinbase

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, offers users the opportunity to stake their Ethereum through its staking service.

By participating in this service, users can contribute to the security and decentralization of the Ethereum network while earning rewards for their participation.

To stake Ethereum on Coinbase, users simply need to hold their ETH in their Coinbase wallet and opt-in for staking.

Coinbase takes care of all technical aspects, such as running validator nodes and managing slashing risks. In return, users receive regular rewards directly into their Coinbase accounts.

Managing Risks: Minimizing Risks in Ethereum Staking on Coinbase

Cryptocurrency staking can be a lucrative way to earn passive income with eth, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved.

By taking proactive measures and implementing smart strategies, you can minimize these risks and ensure a secure staking experience on Coinbase.

Be aware of the potential risks involved in staking

When staking Ethereum on Coinbase or any other platform, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks that come with it. One of the major concerns is network attacks by malicious actors who aim to compromise the security of your staked assets. To mitigate this risk, consider the following:

  • Stay informed about recent security threats and vulnerabilities in the cryptocurrency space, especially in relation to ETH.
  • Be cautious when interacting with unknown or suspicious websites, as they may attempt to steal your eth credentials or compromise your eth funds.

Implement security measures for your Coinbase account

Protecting your Coinbase account is paramount when engaging in Ethereum staking. Here are some essential security practices that can minimize the risk of unauthorized access:

  1. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your ETH account: By activating 2FA, you add an extra layer of protection to your ETH account. This requires a second verification step, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device.
  2. Use strong and unique passwords: Avoid using easily guessable passwords and consider utilizing password managers for added convenience and security.
  3. Enable withdrawal allowlisting: Coinbase allows users to allowlist specific addresses for withdrawals. Enabling this feature ensures that only authorized addresses can receive funds from your account.

Consider diversifying your staked assets across multiple platforms

While Coinbase offers a reliable platform for Ethereum staking, it’s always wise to diversify your portfolio across different platforms.

By diversifying your staked assets, you not only minimize the risk associated with a single platform but also gain exposure to different networks and potentially higher returns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I unstake my Ethereum at any time?

A: Yes, you have the flexibility to unstake your Ethereum whenever you choose. Coinbase instructions are out of date. If you don’t see the option to unstake you can simply sell your cbETH for ETH instead.

Q: Do I need a large amount of Ethereum to start staking?

A: No, you can start staking Ethereum with any amount. However, the more Ethereum you stake, the higher your potential rewards will be.

Q: Are there any risks involved in staking Ethereum on Coinbase?

A: While staking Ethereum on Coinbase carries some risks, such as market volatility and network security concerns, these can be mitigated by staying informed and implementing risk management strategies.

Q: Can I stake other cryptocurrencies on Coinbase?

A: Yes, Coinbase supports staking for multiple assets including Avalanche (AVAX), Solana (SOL), Tezos (XTZ), Polkadot (DOT), Cosmos (ATOM), Celo (CGLD), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Liquid Staking (LsETH), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), Kusama (KSM), and Near protocol (NEAR).

Q: How often are rewards distributed when staking Ethereum on Coinbase?

Rewards are distributed monthly.

Q: In which states can you stake Ethereum on Coinbase?

You can stake Ethereum in all States on Ethereum apart from New York and Hawaii.

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Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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