Ethereum's validators are stuck waiting several days to withdraw their staked ether (ETH), and the defunct crypto lender Celsius may be partially to blame for the backlog.
Validators stake ETH to help secure the Ethereum network in exchange for a steady rate of interest, but there is a cap to the number of validators that can unstake their tokens on any given day, hence the present backlog.
The exit queue for Ethereum validators spiked to over 16,000 on Friday, while it was just at 26 the previous day, according to blockchain data from validatorqueue.com. The queue represents more than $1 billion worth of staked ETH at current prices, but the large backlog means it could take up to 5.6 days for that ETH to get back into the hands of its depositors.
Celsius, the crypto lender that filed for bankruptcy in 2022 and is now in the process of restructuring, seems to be responsible for the present delays.
Celsius shared on Thursday on X, formerly Twitter, that the “significant unstaking activity in the next few days will unlock ETH to ensure timely distributions to creditors.”
Ethereum has previously seen longer lines. In April, Ethereum validators had to wait upwards of 17 days to get their staked ETH back following the blockchain’s Shapella upgrade, which enabled staked ETH withdraws for the first time. At the time, some 28,000 validators were in line to leave the network at one point.
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