Ethereum Shapella Upgrade Is Here, Over $2 Billion in Validator Rewards Unlocked

Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade is creating quite the buzz in the cryptocurrency world and for good reason. The upgrade promises to allow users and validators access to their staked ETH, which has been inaccessible since Ethereum introduced its staking layer, the beacon chain, in December 2020. On-chain estimates suggest that this upgrade will make over 1.13 million ether, worth over a whopping $2 billion, in accrued validator rewards available for claim.

Ethereum Shapella Upgrade Is Here, Over $2 Billion in Validator Rewards Unlocked
Ethereum Shapella Upgrade Is Here, Over $2 Billion in Validator Rewards Unlocked. Source: Wenmerge

Partial and Full Withdrawal Options: Keep Calm and Withdraw ETH

Once the Shapella upgrade is live—in about 14 hours from the time of this report—two types of withdrawal options will be available: partial and full withdrawals. Partial withdrawals, representing 6% of the total 18 million ETH currently staked on the network, will be distributed automatically to validators in a way that maintains their validator balance at 32 ETH. On the other hand, full withdrawals will involve closing the validator and recovering the entire staked balance. So, if you’re a validator, it’s time to make a decision: to partially or fully withdraw, that is the question!

Source: ETHUpgrade

Ethereum Developers Feeling Confident

The Ethereum developers are feeling confident about the upgrade. They have run through three different testnet upgrades, and all have worked smoothly, according to reports. Although there were some minor hiccups in the last trial run, developers have assured the community that there wouldn’t be similar issues on the day of the upgrade. As part of their commitment to ensuring a smooth upgrade, the Ethereum Foundation doubled its “bug bounty” program awards to $500,000 ahead of Shanghai to encourage individuals to report any vulnerabilities they could find.

Low Withdrawal Rates: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

It seems that not all validators are rushing to withdraw their stake after the hard fork. According to a report from IntoTheBlock, only 0.6% of Ethereum validators have chosen to withdraw their stake as of April 10, despite the Shapella upgrade making it possible to do so. Out of 562,717 validators, only 3,614 have opted for a withdrawal.

Source: Twitter (IntoTheBlock) 

However, some commentators anticipate a high volume of withdrawal requests once the update is live, which could take “weeks to months” to fully process. The low withdrawal rates may suggest that validators are choosing to stay put and continue staking their ETH. After all, why withdraw now when you can earn more rewards in the future?

Ethereum’s Price Impact: The Calm Before the Storm?

As we approach the launch of the Shapella upgrade, market analysts predict that unlocking billions of dollars worth of validator rewards could trigger another market downturn. Following the Merge update in September 2022, Ethereum’s price fell immediately after initially pumping in anticipation of the upgrade. But let’s stay optimistic. Perhaps the upgrade will bring new opportunities for growth, and we’ll see a rise in Ethereum’s price.

Final Thoughts: Keep Calm and HODL

The Shapella upgrade is set to be a significant milestone for Ethereum. It will enable stakers to access their rewards, providing an opportunity to claim their hard-earned ETH. However, the low withdrawal rates may suggest that validators are choosing to continue staking their ETH. As we wait to see how the market will react, one thing is clear: the cryptocurrency market is volatile and unpredictable. Whether you choose to partially or fully withdraw your ETH or continue staking, remember to keep calm and HODL.

Ethereum Price Action

Ethereum’s price action ahead of the major event is one of calm and optimism. In the last 24 hours, the blue-chip cryptocurrency has recorded a 1.4% increase to the $1,920 area after bottoming at $1,856 earlier in the day. 

ETH/USD Daily Chart on TradingView

Ethereum trades relatively close to its eight-month high of $1,942, with many traders expecting a bullish wave once the upgrade goes live. However, as mentioned earlier, some traders remain cautious as they expect a replay of the Ethereum Merge-induced price action, where the price crashed by over 10% within 24 hours of the rollout. 

Regardless, the immediate target for bulls is the $2,000 round figure, which could serve as a ramp to the $2,300 resistance level. 

ETH Statistics Data

Current Price of ETH: $1,920

ETH Market Cap: $230.5B

Circulating Supply: 120.4M

Total Supply: 120.4M

Market Ranking: #2

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Azeez Mustapha
Azeez began his FinTech career path in 2008 after growing interest and intrigue about market wizards and how they managed to become victorious on the battlefield of the financial world. After a decade of learning, reading and training the ins and outs of the industry, he’s now a sought after trading professional, technical/currency analyst and funds manager – as well as an author. He is a Senior Crypto trader and market analyst at

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