Ethereum’s next major software upgrade, which could make crypto’s biggest commercial highway more attractive to investors and developers alike, is scheduled for April 12.
Shanghai, the much anticipated Ethereum smart contract platform, is set to go live on September 13th. This will allow those who pledged their Ether tokens to order transactions on the Ethereum blockchain to withdraw them. The staked Ether, worth about $29 billion at current prices, has been inaccessible on the network, although the coins do earn their owners a yield. Ethereum software developers have been working on Shanghai for months, and have finally been able to set the date after deploying a final software test earlier this week.
As Shanghai prepares to launch, investors are preparing for a wave of withdrawals. However, these withdrawals will be limited in order to ensure the network’s security. This could mean waiting in line for weeks or months to access your coins. Fortunately, many investors are using crypto platforms such as Lido, which give them some flexibility with their coins.
Henry Elder, head of decentralized finance at Wave Digital Assets, doesn’t believe we’ll see a surge of withdrawals to sell the underlying Ether. “Stakers, especially the earliest and most illiquid ones, are generally the most committed participants in the Ethereum ecosystem,” he said.
Shanghai’s new staking policy will give investors more flexibility and could potentially make Ether a more attractive investment.
“I think there could be some short-term disruption in ETH prices as the market tries to decipher withdrawal data, but ultimately this is a positive catalyst,” Elder said. “It de-risks ETH by allowing withdrawals, which could lead to increased demand and a higher price.”