The latest Shapella upgrade is already live on the Ethereum mainnet, paving the way for the unstaking and withdrawals of Ether
Ethereum Shapella hard fork has finally been executed on the Ethereum mainnet. Now, Ethereum validators can withdraw their staked Ether from the Beacon Chain.
The long-awaited upgrade went live at 10:27 pm UTC on April 12 at epoch number 194,048.
The crypto community, excited by the news, has driven the ETH price up to $2,000 – the level unseen since August 2022. However, Reuters report states that many blockchain users find it hard to perform a newly-enabled withdrawal. Thus, blockchain data firm Nansen estimates that ether worth around $1.4 billion was stuck in a withdrawal queue as of late Thursday.
The delays are caused by the existing limits in the number of transactions Ethereum can process at a time. Such deficiencies still prevent the network from becoming a widely-used financial infrastructure.
At the same time, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin stated that “the hardest and the fastest parts of the Ethereum protocol’s transition are basically over.” Therefore, the next planned upgrades which will further boost the network’s performance can “be done at a slower pace.”
Besides, some delays may be connected to the precautionary mechanisms network had prepared to ensure a flood of withdrawn Ether doesn’t disrupt the market.
Within the first hour of the hard fork, over 12,8oo Ether were unlocked in 4,333 withdrawals. The majority of withdrawals ranged between 2.8 to 3.2 ETH, suggesting that people were mostly withdrawing their staking rewards. It coincides with the expectations of the blockchain analytics firm Glassnode that estimates less than 1% of Ethereum validators are planning to sell their staked ETH.