The Ethereum Shapella hard fork, also known as the Shanghai upgrade, is scheduled to take place within the next five days, or on April 12. This upgrade will enable users to withdraw their staked ETH. The upgrade is anticipated to take place on April 12 at approximately 10:27 p.m. (UTC) at epoch 194,048.
Data from Etherscan shows that over 18 million ETH (18,096,791) worth $33,590,177,959 have been staked on the network since the Beacon Chain got live in December 2020. The whole amount will not be unstaked immediately after the upgrade, but the 1.1 million coins that were earned as staking rewards can.
Depending on where their stakes are held, Ethereum stakeholders may need to join queues that change over time. For instance, Lido anticipates enabling withdrawals in May and already possesses approximately a third of the staked Ether.
It might take months for ETH holders to withdraw their funds because Ethereum has placed restrictions in place to prevent too many users from withdrawing at once and rendering the system vulnerable to attack.
Reasons for the Market’s Attention
When Ether is released, it’s unclear how many people will want to withdraw their funds, but at least initially, demand for withdrawals is expected to outpace demand for fresh Ethereum staking deposits.
According to some analysts, the consequent increase in selling pressure might be worth a billion dollars. In the long run, however, it’s likely that the option to withdraw staked tokens would make ETH staking more enticing as it will reduce the risk for the participants.
The price of so-called liquid-staking tokens, which stand in for staked Ether, is expected to fluctuate. Although there may be glitches after Shanghai goes live, Ethereum developers have a track record of releasing software fixes without any significant issues.
Regulators have been closely monitoring Ether since the Merge. In particular, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asserted that some companies that guarantee returns by staking coins are unregistered securities offerings. The Shanghai upgrade may result in more scrutiny by allowing staked Ether to be unlocked.