Ex-Deutsche Telekom Team Launch Liquid Staking Division at Crypto Custodian Finoa

CoinDesk - Unknown
The move to PoS from PoW opens the way for liquid staking. (Chunumunu/iStockphoto/Getty Images)

Looks like Deutsche Telekom’s (DTEGY) loss is Finoa’s gain.

Six months after departing the European telecoms giant, Andreas Dittrich and Daniel Schrader – two of Deutsche Telekom’s former blockchain team – have helped create a unit at cryptocurrency custody provider Finoa for building infrastructure to support proof-of-stake (PoS) networks.

Finoa, regulated by Germany’s BaFin, will work with PoS specialist StakeWise, the companies announced Monday. The new Finoa Consensus Services subsidiary will offer liquid staking.

As Ethereum, the second-largest public blockchain, makes its transition from proof-of-work (PoW) mining to PoS, participants running transaction validator nodes are required to lock up ether (ETH) tokens on the network, for which staking yield can be earned over time. Offering participants a way to have their cake and eat it, liquid staking platforms provide users with IOU tokens representing assets bound to a network for staking and validation purposes, unlocking the ability to use those liquid tokens in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, for instance.

Finoa has offered in-custody staking for several years. It will run validators on the Ethereum network and become a StakeWise operator for both Gnosis and Ethereum, explained Dittrich, managing director of the new division.

“In our opinion, liquid staking will be on every single PoS network out there within a year or two,” Dittrich said in an interview. “Right now, this might be a new thing, but it will be abundant and very normal in the future. You can’t do without liquid staking.”

There’s a well-trodden path that leads innovators away from bureaucratic enterprises to nimble startups, a steady stream that flows from banks and blue-chip companies to crypto native firms.