A huge Ethereum ($ETH) whale that had been dormant for six years until October of last year transferred over 32,000 $ETH ahead of the network’s impending Shanghai upgrade, which will allow validators to withdraw their staked Ether.
The whale had been dormant until October, when it moved nearly 49,000 $ETH to stake the funds on the Beacon Chain, according to a tweet published by blockchain analysis service Lookonchain with its nearly 100,000 followers on the microblogging platform.
The whale has now transferred 32,015 $ETH, worth more than $53 million, to a new address. Crypto community participants speculated that the whale is not planning to withdraw its holdings, but rather is preparing to stake more.
The Ethereum whale got 120,00 $ETH, which is worth approximately $200 million at the time of writing, via three separate addresses during the cryptocurrency’s genesis initial coin offering (ICO). They were idle until October 2022, when they began transferring ETH to stake it.
Staked ETH and its associated rewards are frozen on the blockchain until the network’s Shanghai update is deployed. Since the launch of the Beacon Chain, Ethereum token users have been able to stake their $ETH on the network in exchange for fees awarded for validating transactions on the network. Following the Merge, which converted Ethereum from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake network, Shanghai is the next big upgrade.
As previously reported by CryptoGlobe, Ethereum’s core developers have selected March 2023 as the provisional date for Shanghai, implying that Ethereum stakeholders may soon be able to withdraw their staked assets off the network.
Notably, as Shanghai approaches and the price of Ethereum rises, on-chain data shows that shark addresses have been “aggressively” accumulating the cryptocurrency.
According to data from on-chain analytics firm Santiment, wallets holding 100 to 10,000 $ETH, or $162,000 to $16.2 million at the time of writing, have been accumulating the cryptocurrency since early November, with about 3,000 new shark addresses registered.
According to the company, there are now 48,556 shark addresses, the most since February 2021. It’s worth noting that shark addresses are associated with large holders, with the whale cohort being the largest.