Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius moved its staked Eth (stETH) holdings to another wallet address right before liquid staking protocol Lido Finance enabled withdrawals on May 15. The move triggered speculation that Celsius was preparing to withdraw the entirety of these funds – something that ended up playing out only a day later.
On May 16, Celsius sent 428,083 stETH, worth around $780 million at current prices, to the Lido withdrawal contract. Blockchain data shows that Celsius has requested the withdrawal in batches of 1,000 stETH. After the withdrawal process has been completed, Celsius will receive the equivalent amount of ETH and Lido will burn the stETH tokens.
At the time of writing, there were 141 withdrawal requests for 442,000 stETH in Lido’s withdrawal queue. According to a Dune dashboard from 21Shares, Celsius alone accounts for 96.8% of stETH withdrawal requests on Lido.
Industry watchers believe that Celsius intends to restake their ETH directly on the Beacon Chain without using Lido as an intermediary, although Celsius’ bankruptcy estate has not put out any official statement on the subject.
Some users were concerned that the large withdrawal request might increase the average time for unstaking on Lido. However, the protocol has a buffer of 440,000 ETH, which it expects will absorb a large request like this one.
At time of writing the Lido protocol has ≈440,000 ETH available in the protocol buffers.
— Lido (@LidoFinance) May 16, 2023
Earlier this week, Celsius sent 40,928 ETH, worth around $75 million at the time, to the ETH2 staking contract through Figment, an institutional staking service. On-chain data shows that the firm first transferred these tokens to a smart contract labeled Figment ETH2 Beacon Depositor 1, before sending it to Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake deposit contract.