The long-awaited upgrade will enable users to withdraw staked ETH for the first time since The Merge.
Ethereum has confirmed that the highly-anticipated Shapella (Shanghai/Capella) upgrade will go live on April 12, following a short delay. The upgrade will enable validators to claim rewards for participating in network consensus and to reclaim their staked ETH, giving them long-awaited access to their assets.
The upgrade will be a huge step forward in the development of Ethereum as a newly-transitioned proof-of-stake blockchain network.
The Ethereum Foundation stated in a blog post: “After a smooth Goerli transition, client teams have scheduled the Shapella upgrade for mainnet activation. Consensus was quickly reached on an April 12th date during the 157th AllCoreDevs Execution Layer meeting. This upgrade follows The Merge and enables validators to withdraw their stake from the Beacon Chain back to the execution layer.”
The Shapella upgrade is the first major upgrade since Ethereum switched to proof-of-stake by merging with the Beacon Chain in September 2022.
There are two main ways to stake ether:
- Committing 32 ETH (approximately $58,000) and becoming a fully-activated independent node. This 32 ETH is locked into the Beacon Chain.
- Participating in a staking pool or using a staking service, whereby users pool funds together to receive a shared reward.
If you’re a general ETH holder, you don’t need to do anything. If you’re an active staker however, you may need to take steps to prepare for the upgrade.
I’m a validator with my own node. How can I withdraw?
Firstly, to be compatible with the Mainnet upgrade, you will need to update your node to the version of your Ethereum client listed here. It’s important that you ensure both your beacon node and validator client are updated. If you don’t, your client will sync to the pre-fork blockchain once the upgrade occurs and you will be stuck on an incompatible chain. This means that you will be unable to send ether or operate on the post-Shapella Ethereum network.
Once that’s done, there are two types of withdrawals: partial and full.
1. Partial withdrawals are suited for those who wish to continue staking and validating. For a partial withdrawal, balances in excess of 32 ETH (earned rewards) can be withdrawn to an Ethereum address and can be spent immediately. The validator will continue to be a part of the beacon chain and validate as expected.
While rewards will be immediately accessible, you may be subject to a queue in order to actually obtain them, since each slot is limited to 16 partial withdrawal requests (slots rotate every 12 seconds).
2. Full withdrawals are for those who wish to fully exit the beacon chain. In a full withdrawal, the entire balance (32 ETH plus rewards) of the validator is then unlocked and allowed to be spent after the exit and withdrawal mechanism is complete. This is a manual process that takes time, and you can read more about it here.
I have staked ETH via a staking pool. What should I do?
Not many of us have 32 ETH laying around, so many users will have staked their ether via staking pools. Withdrawing from a staking pool will depend on your staking provider, rather than the Ethereum network itself.
Binance announced last week that it will support withdrawals one week after the function is available on the Ethereum network. Users will be able to redeem BETH to ETH on a 1:1 basis at the ETH 2.0 Staking, but they can also chose to continue staking and earning rewards, if they wish.
In a tweet today, the exchange announced that it will be temporarily halting ETH deposits and withdrawals in the minutes before the update:
Coinbase annouced two weeks ago that it will process unstaking requests around 24 hours after the upgrade is a success.
The tweet added that it may take “weeks or months” to process a large volume of unstaking requests, stating: “We anticipate that demand for unstaking will be high soon after the upgrade and it may take the protocol weeks to months process unstaking requests.”
For more details on withdrawing, read the FAQ on the Ethereum launchpad.