The second largest cryptocurrency by market cap had its day in the sun after the successful Shanghai upgrade was followed by positive price action.
Ethereum reached a 10-month high of $2,126 on Thursday, surging 10.63% over the last 24 hours. The blockchain underwent the highly-anticipated Shanghai or “Shapella” upgrade the day prior, which enabled withdrawals of staked ETH.
Data from Token Unlocks shows that 1 million ETH, worth around $2.29 billion at press time, are pending withdrawals as validators put in requests to redeem their staked rewards.
Many anticipated that the Shanghai upgrade would be a catalyst for an ETH sell-off, with validators likely looking to cash out after years of locking up their tokens on the deposit contract. Instead, the cryptocurrency saw a price increase even with a growing number of validators joining the exit queue.
The exit queue refers to validators looking to withdraw the entirety of their stake of 32 ETH. At the time of writing, there were around 17,000 validators waiting to exit the network, representing just 4% of the staked ETH eligible for withdrawal, according to data from Metrika. Meanwhile, the number of validators opting for a partial withdrawal is significantly higher at 285,000.
This is a positive signal as far as staking goes because most validators have withdrawn their rewards and not their principal, implying that they are not in a hurry to sell their stake. In fact, more than two-thirds of the staked ETH in the withdrawal queue belongs to Kraken, which was ordered to end its staking program by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this year.
and they aren’t liquidating, they’re just unstaking
— tomuky.eth (@tomuky) April 13, 2023
Some market participants also believe that the functionality to withdraw assets could encourage more users to join the staking industry.
There are likely a hell of a lot more people waiting to deposit ETH into the staking contract now that withdrawals are live than there are people dying to withdraw the ETH they staked… without a guarantee they would be able to withdraw in the first place.
— The Wolf Of All Streets (@scottmelker) April 12, 2023