Crypto-focused Swiss bank Sygnum Bank hannounced that it has become the first bank in the world to allow its clients to stake Ether (ETH).

According to Tuesday's blog post, the firm’s clients can now stake ETH through Sygnum’s institutional banking platform to earn yields of up to 7% annually.

Sygnum describes itself as the “world’s first digital asset bank,” having secured a banking license in Switzerland and a capital markets services license in Singapore during August 2019 and October 2019, respectively.

The firm asserts that “the vast majority of decentralized products and services run on Ethereum,” noting the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector’s total value locked (TVL) has grown by more than three times since the start of 2021:

“With Ethereum powering the exponential growth of decentralized finance applications, staking is a compelling choice for long-term Ethereum investors also seeking attractive yields.”

Thomas Eichenberger, Sygnum’s head of business units, described Ethereum staking as “a core element for digital asset portfolios.”

Sygnum launched a staking service for Tezos (XTZ) in November 2020 and has offered a fixed-term deposit product for its digital Swiss Franc stablecoin, or DCHF, since March.

The bank faces competition from many crypto-native staking providers and centralized exchanges, including leading-United States firms Coinbase and Kraken.

The digital asset bank is also looking to support DeFi assets, launching regulated banking services for eight leading tokens including Uniswap's UNI, Maker (MKR) and Curve DAO Token (CRV) last month.

According to Staking Rewards, Ethereum 2.0 is currently the second-largest proof-of-stake network by staked capitalization with $13.5 billion, despite only 5% of circulating Ether currently having been locked for staking.

Cardano's ADA has the largest staked capitalization, with $31.8 billion and 70.7% of supply currently locked.