The Ethereum network is undergoing a major upgrade that has significant implications for validators and investors alike.
As Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4895 goes live, validators are now able to withdraw their staked Ether, which has been locked on the network since the launch of the Beacon Chain.
This means that nearly $2 billion worth of Ethereum tokens is set to be withdrawn from the network, as validators eagerly wait for their turn to collect rewards earned from securing the network.
The Shapella upgrade is the final piece of Ethereum’s transition to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. This is expected to produce short-term price fluctuations as some of the staked Ether is withdrawn.
Not all of the 18 million staked ETH will be available for withdrawal all at once due to limits on the amount that can be withdrawn. With the Shapella upgrade, validators have the option to make partial or full withdrawals.
Partial withdrawals keep the validators running by automatically distributing the ETH to them, so they have the required 32 ETH balance. Full withdrawals stop the validator and take out the whole staked amount.
Data from TokenUnlocks shows that there is around $1.9 billion worth of ETH that had been staked on the network waiting to be withdrawn.
Most Ethereum validators are withdrawing rewards they have received as a result of running Validator nodes, rather than withdrawing the principal invested to earn rewards. The number of validators has fallen by around 1,200 since unstaking has become available.
Nansen data reveals that out of all the Ethereum tokens waiting to be withdrawn, around 44% came from stakers who used cryptocurrency exchange Kraken to earn rewards, while 21% came from stakers who use Binance.
Out of all the Ethereum that has been withdrawn, roughly 19.5% came from Kraken stakers, while 24.6% came from stakers with liquid staking service LidoDAO.