Ethereum’s Shapella Upgrade went live on the mainnet last week without a hitch. The highly anticipated withdrawals are finally being opened after years of lockup. The event’s broader expected outcome was bearish, with stakers withdrawing to sell. However, the expected selling pressure did not happen. Moreover, Ethereum’s price was pushed above the mark of $2,000, a price level last traded in August 2022.
Latest ETH Withdrawal Statistics
Just a week after the upgrade went live, there were over 1 million ETH worth $2.1 billion in withdrawals from Ethereum’s Beacon Chain. The 1.03 Million ETH withdrawals came from 4,737,000 withdrawal requests. The largest withdrawal day was witnessed on April 15, accounting for 392,800 ETH.
Astonishingly, as of April 17, the number of ETH being staked was more than withdrawn. The ETH volume of 124,000 ETh exceeded the withdrawal volume of 64,800 ETH. The amount of staked ETH was 94,968 against 27,076 in withdrawals. However, the line for unstaking requests now faces about a 17-day waiting period. Last week, the waiting period was about 14 days. The unstaking request queue consists of 28,436 validators looking to exit the beacon chain.
Out of the total withdrawals, Lido DAO is responsible for most withdrawals accounting for 25%. It is followed by Kraken, equating to 18.94% of total withdrawals, or 205,608 staked ETH. Other entities that have withdrawn their staked tokens include Satofishi, Figment, and bankrupt Celsius.
Institutions Hovering on ETH Interest
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) trades a regulated Ethereum Futures contract on its exchange. Since April 10, the number of open futures contracts for Ether has risen 39% to 6,248. Open interest has increased by over 70% to $633 million in valuation. An increase in open interest alongside a price rise represents an influx of new money into the market and confirms the uptrend.
According to the latest data, the global ETH futures OI, excluding CME, has increased by almost 22% to $6.62 billion. OI in Deribit-listed ETH futures has jumped 30% to $750 million, reaching the highest since the May 2021 record high of $778.60 million.
Closing Thoughts: Regulations A Pivotal Point for Ethereum?
During a congressional hearing, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler refused to say whether ether was a security. Gensler also fended off questions about whether the regulator is pushing hard on proposed rules, providing less time for public comment and feedback, and how it approached crypto companies hoping to operate in the U.S. In the past, the former SEC Corporation Finance Director Bill Hinmand believed that ether was not a security. During the line of questioning, Gensler repeatedly said, “It depends on the facts and the law”, refusing to say yes or no.