Using cbETH

Coinbase is allowing customers who stake ETH to receive an ERC20 utility token called Coinbase Wrapped Staked ETH (“cbETH”), which is a liquid representation of their staked-ETH.

All staked-ETH is locked until a future Ethereum protocol upgrade is complete. In the meantime, Coinbase has created cbETH to give customers the option to sell, transfer, spend, or otherwise use their staked-ETH while it remains locked.  

Holders of cbETH will be able to move these tokens to a self-custodied wallet and trade them off the Coinbase platform.

To wrap your ETH2 for cbETH:

  • Log in to your Coinbase account and navigate to the assets page.

  • Under ‘Your Assets' select ‘Ethereum 2’ to go to the ETH2 asset details page

  • At the bottom of your screen, select ‘Want to sell or send your ETH2’ 

  • You will be taken to the ETH2 wrapping page where you will be given information about cbETH.

  • Select ‘Continue’ to proceed to wrap your ETH2

  • Enter the dollar amount or absolute value of ETH2 you wish to wrap

  • Select ‘Preview’ to view how much cbETH you will receive

  • Select ‘Accept and wrap now’

On the completion page you can see the amount of ETH2 you have wrapped and the cbETH you have received. From there you can also choose to ‘Trade cbETH’ or return to your account by selecting ‘View cbETH balance’. 

No, there’s no fee for wrapping your ETH2. You’ll be charged standard fees if you later transfer or trade your cbETH.

The number of cbETH units you receive upon wrapping is based on the ETH2-cbETH conversion rate. The conversion rate will change over time as interest is earned on the underlying staked ETH, or due to an unlikely slashing event. The ETH2-cbETH conversion rate also represents the ratio of  ETH2 units underlying the total supply of cbETH.

Your account balance is based on the market prices of cbETH and ETH2, which can deviate. We always wrap at the conversion rate with zero fees, so the cbETH you receive represents the same amount of staked ETH even if the cash value is different. You can unwrap your cbETH at any time to restore your previous balance of ETH2.

Yes, you can unwrap your cbETH and receive the underlying ETH2. The amount of ETH2 you’ll receive is equal to the amount of cbETH multiplied by the conversion rate. The conversion rate will grow over time so long as staking interest exceeds penalties from very rare slashing events. 

cbETH and ETH2 trade on a wide range of crypto exchanges and their market prices can deviate. The market may value cbETH less than the underlying staked ETH it represents, which is how the market currently values many liquid staking tokens.

Separately, cbETH is designed to include all staking interest earned on the underlying ETH, which may also cause price deviations over time.

Yes, but not directly through Coinbase. Instead, the price of the cbETH utility token is intended to reflect the price of the underlying staked ETH plus any accrued interest. If you notice cbETH being worth slightly more than ETH, that’s because of the interest the token has earned.

cbETH is different in two ways. First, cbETH is not meant to track the price of ETH 1:1 like some other liquid staking assets (such as stETH). Instead, cbETH’s conversion rate represents its fair value. Second, we don’t charge a fee to wrap your ETH2. Therefore, the cbETH you receive represents the same amount of ETH2 you started with and earns the same amount of interest. 

We wrote a white paper for cbETH with in-depth technical details.

If you sell your cbETH then you won’t be able to unwrap it for ETH2. cbETH represents staked ETH on Coinbase, and if you sell it to someone else, then you’ll give up your ability to redeem it for ETH2.

At this time there is no official guidance from tax authorities available. In the reports we prepare for customers, we carry the cost basis of your ETH2 forward and do not recognize a disposition. When you unwrap, the same treatment applies.

APY (Annual Percentage Yield) is a better measure of the interest earned on staked ETH than APR (Annual Percentage Rate) because you earn interest on your accrued interest as well as your staked principal. Coinbase pools interest earned and distributes it to customers proportionally.

Yes, all eligible customers will be able to buy, sell, or transfer cbETH.

This includes: 

  • Wrapping your staked ETH (ETH2) for cbETH 

  • Buying cbETH directly on the Coinbase exchange

  • Selling / converting your cbETH into any available fiat or crypto

  • Sending / receiving cbETH off-platform to/from a self-custodied wallet

  • Unwrapping your cbETH for staked ETH (ETH2)

You will not be able to:

  • Unstake your ETH2 to redeem your ETH2 interest earned at this time.  This will be enabled after a future Ethereum protocol upgrade.

Please note that by transferring or selling your cbETH tokens, you’re transferring the right to redeem cbETH for the underlying asset (ETH2) to the new owner of the cbETH tokens.

When you wrap your ETH2 for cbETH you will see a decrease in your ETH2 balance. You will be credited with an amount of cbETH dictated by the conversion rate.

We expect that some dapps will integrate and support cbETH in the near future.

You can find your cbETH balance under the assets page. Select cbETH under ‘Your Assets’ and you will be taken to the cbETH asset detail page where you can view your balance.

Select your balance to go to the cbETH wallet page where you can view your balance and also see your history of wrapped transactions.

To transfer your cbETH: 

  1. Select the ‘Send’ button on the homepage of your Coinbase app. 

  2. Select the asset you wish to send - Coinbase Wrapped ETH (cbETH)

  3. Enter the dollar amount or absolute value you wish to transfer

  4. Enter the Ethereum address of the recipient and click ‘Preview send’

  5. Review the details of your transaction, including the Coinbase and network fee

  6. If everything looks good, select ‘Send now’ to send your cbETH

Please note that by transferring your cbETH tokens, you’re transferring the right to redeem cbETH for the underlying asset (ETH2) to the new holder of the cbETH tokens.

If you are sending the tokens to a self-custodied wallet, you will be able to send them back to Coinbase in the future.

View our other help articles to learn more about cbETH:

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