During the first hour, validators withdrew 12,859 Ether (ETH), worth around $24.8 million.
Ethereum's highly anticipated Shanghai (Shapella) hard fork has been successfully executed, giving validators the ability to withdraw their staked Ether (ETH) from the Beacon Chain.
After over three months of anticipation, the launch took place at 10:27 pm UTC on April 12th, resulting in a significant volume of Ether being unlocked soon after. The Shapella hard fork was executed at epoch number 194,048.
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As indicated by Ethereum block explorer beaconcha.in, during the first hour, 12,859 Ether was released through 4,333 withdrawals.
It is believed that around 44% of validators, or 248,043 of 559,549 active validators, have the option to request either a partial or complete withdrawal.
The majority of withdrawals have been in the range of 2.8 to 3.2 ETH, suggesting that the primary focus is on withdrawing staking rewards. Data from Rated Network Explorer reveals that 3,996 validators entered the exit queue just before the Shanghai hard fork went live.
As per Nansen, crypto exchange Huobi controls the largest portion of withdrawable Ether at 30%, with the decentralized autonomous organization PieDAO trailing at 17.7%. Nansen's data also highlights that 7,948 validators are in line for a full withdrawal of 284,622 Ether, worth around $549 million.
Interestingly, the price of Ether has remained mostly stable in the first hour following the hard fork. This stability was foreseen by blockchain intelligence platform Glassnode in their April 11th report.
The Shapella hard fork holds the potential to unlock a staggering 18.1 million Ether on the Beacon Chain, which amounts to over $34.8 billion. Nonetheless, the Ethereum Foundation has instituted various mechanisms to thwart a sudden surge of ETH entering the market.
The road to the launch of the Ethereum Shanghai hard fork intensified in 2023. At the end of January, developers rolled out the Shanghai mainnet shadow fork. Afterward, in February and March, the team behind Ethereum actively worked on various testnets, including Zhejiang, Sepolia, and Goerli.