Kraken: Top Validator After Shapella Update Allows ETH Unstaking
The eagerly anticipated Shapella update on the Ethereum (ETH) network finally took place last night. This update caused quite a stir within the crypto community, as it is now possible to unstake ETH from the Ethereum staking contract. At the top of the list of validators who have now unstaked their ether tokens is the crypto exchange Kraken, with a whopping 62% of the total.
Kraken and Staking
It is not surprising that Kraken is at the top of the list. This is because of regulatory problems for the exchange in its home country. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched an attack on Kraken earlier this year because it had allegedly provided unauthorized staking services.
“Kraken not only offered their clients unrealistic returns that were not based on anything, but they also had the right to never pay those returns. At the same time, they had no insight into the financial condition or whether they even had the ability to pay out the returns.”
As a result of this charge by the US regulator, Kraken paid a fine of around $30 million and also completely stopped offering staking services on their trading platform.
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Meanwhile, a lot of ether tokens were stuck in the Ethereum staking contract. These tokens could not be removed from the contract until last night. So it is actually logical that Kraken took the first opportunity to withdraw the staked ether tokens.
Shapella Update on Ethereum a Success
Overall, the Shapella update seems to have had only a marginal effect on the Ethereum network. On-chain data from Nansen.ai suggests that very little ether has been withdrawn from the staking contract, with only a 0.25% decrease in the total staked ether.
An earlier report from CryptoQuant cautiously predicted that fears of a sharp drop in the ETH price due to the release of ether tokens may have been overblown. They noted that 60% of all locked-up tokens were in the red, which does not contribute to selling pressure. Meanwhile, we can cautiously say that this prediction seems to be true.