The Ethereum Shanghai upgrade, poised to take place late Wednesday, will allow validators who run the blockchain to unstake and withdraw the ether (ETH) they’ve pledged to run the network.
The blockchain analytics firm says nearly 4,000 validators have already unstaked 141,499 ETH (worth about $270 million) that’s currently waiting to be withdrawn. This represents less than 1% of Ethereum’s total validators and staked ETH, according to Nansen. Crypto exchange Huobi is waiting to remove almost 40,000 ETH, making it the largest entity in the withdrawal queue.
All validators cannot withdraw at once; there’s a daily limit. “Currently, eight validators can exit per epoch which is about 1,800 [validators] per day,” Nansen data engineer Edgar Rootalu told CoinDesk over Telegram.
Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain by market capitalization of its native cryptocurrency, will undergo a hard-fork upgrade around 22:27 UTC Wednesday to change its execution and consensus layer. This will complete Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, allowing stakers, who secure the network, to withdraw their staked ETH as well as the rewards they’ve accrued.
Walter Teng, vice president of digital asset strategy at Fundstrat Global Advisors, told CoinDesk in a private message on Twitter there’s a few possibilities from unstaking, “1) restake with [liquid staking derivatives] 2) sell tokens 3) use tokens to lever up 4) hold tokens to sell later.” Teng’s “hunch is that 1 will actually be dominant” and that “everyone is overweight 2.”
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