The Ethereum blockchain underwent a critical Shapella upgrade on April 12, marking a milestone in the history of the blockchain. The upgrade enabled validators to withdraw their staked Ether (ETH) from the Beacon Chain after three years, opening up the possibility of mass selling. However, the latest data suggests that most validators are choosing to restake their unlocked Ether, contributing to an increase in staked ETH volume.
According to the on-chain analytics firm Nansen, as of April 17, the ETH staking volume of 124,000 ETH exceeded the withdrawal volume of 64,800 ETH for the first time since the Shapella upgrade. In the last 24 hours, the amount of staked ETH was 94,968 against 27,076 in withdrawals. Notably, the first round of withdrawals primarily consisted of partial withdrawals from Lido and old validators, and it takes approximately three days to get into the withdrawal queue.
The Shapella upgrade was a make-or-break situation for the Ethereum blockchain, with millions in unlocked ETH posing a risk of mass selling. However, the data shows that the majority of validators are choosing to restake their unlocked Ether. Crypto exchange Binance is set to open withdrawals on April 19, which could lead to further changes in staked and withdrawal volumes.
Out of the 1 million withdrawn ETH, three addresses restaked a total of 19,844 ETH, suggesting that validators are actively choosing to remain invested in the blockchain. Three addresses transferred ETH to centralized exchanges (CEXs) after withdrawal, with 71,444 ETH sent to different exchanges. Other whales did the same, with some sending it to Huobi staking addresses and a few others to CEXs, according to data shared by Lookonchain.
While some validators, like Kraken, had to exit to comply with a United States Securities and Exchange Commission ruling, the majority of early withdrawals are staking rewards. Currently, 22,231 validators have signed up for a complete exit out of 574,624, while 910,930 ETH of the 18.6 million staked ETH is slated to be withdrawn.
One of the reasons for the decrease in withdrawals could be attributed to the current price of ETH. The average price of staked ETH is about $2,137, which suggests that validators are choosing to hold their assets rather than selling them at current prices.
In conclusion, the Shapella upgrade has been a success for the Ethereum blockchain, with the majority of validators choosing to remain invested in the platform. While some early withdrawals were staking rewards, the majority of validators are restaking their unlocked Ether, which has contributed to an increase in staked ETH volume. As the situation continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how the balance between staked and withdrawn ETH evolves over time.