Ethereum switched to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism in September 2022, but an upgrade that allows users to withdraw their staked ETH from the blockchain has yet to be completed. That update is scheduled for April 12. However, crypto analytics company Nansen says it may take users a few weeks to withdraw their funds.
Ethereum started supporting staking in December 2020 after launching Beacon Chain to manage the process. At the time, the minimum ETH that each validator was required to stake was 32. This stake ETH enables validators to run their nodes while ensuring a continuous supply of blocks by maintaining the network and processing transactions.
Due to increased demand for staking, decentralized protocols like Lido Finance now allow Ethereum users to stake their crypto without necessarily managing their own nodes. Those who deposit ETH into Lido’s smart contract receive an ERC-20 token called stETH. It is worth highlighting that the user receives the same amount of stETH as the deposited ETH. In addition, the value of this token is pegged to ETH’s value.
Nansen analyst Andrew Thurman claims that once users start withdrawing their funds, staking protocols like Lido will definitely see a reduced total value locked but won’t change massively. That’s because stETH is largely accepted in many Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platforms, and most validators use the token to earn yield.
How Much ETH is Staked?
Data on Ethereum’s official website (Ethereum.org) shows over 18 million ETH has been staked, estimated to be worth $33.4 billion. The data also indicates there are about 563,500 validators who currently earn an annual percentage yield of 4.4%.
As stakers look forward to withdrawing their ETH after Shanghai Upgrade is completed, many are still asking about the expected timeline for receiving their funds once they initiate the withdrawal process.
Ethereum Foundation says only 16 withdrawals will be processed in a single block, meaning the network will complete 115,100 withdrawals daily. With over 563,000 validators, it could take up to five days for all withdrawals to be completed.
Meanwhile, crypto exchange Coinbase says it may take the company weeks to process users’ unstaking requests. Furthermore, Lido announced it won’t unlock withdrawals until mid-May to give room for security audits.
Crypto Guru Says Most Stakers Won’t Unstake
CEO of staking provider P2P.org, Alex Esin, whose company has over $1.1 billion worth of staked crypto, said he doesn’t expect a significant withdrawal spike after the upgrade, arguing that many stakers are tolerant of high risk and, therefore, they won’t rush to withdraw.
On the other hand, Thurman says even if stakers rush to unstake their ETH, they will eventually restake to continue receiving rewards. But how much ETH will be re-staked is tough to assess at the moment.