2023 would be remembered as the year which galvanized Ethereum [ETH] staking into becoming one of the hottest money-making opportunities in the crypto space.
Stakes are high for whales
The Shapella upgrade, which went live in April, closed the loop on one of the key aspects of staking that had been eluding stakers for more than two years – withdrawals. With freedom at their disposal to control their funds, users turned to staking with much more confidence.
The renewed enthusiasm was reflected in the actions of Ethereum whale investors. According to Lookonchain, some of these prolific holders were steadily pulling out ETH from trading platforms and locking them up in Ethereum’s deposit contract.
One particular whale withdrew 4,288 ETH coins from Binance exchange, worth $7.4 million at going prices, and staked it a few days ago for further yields.
More recently, another whale wallet took out more than twice the amount, about 9,530 ETH, and subsequently deposited in the smart contract.
The staking revolution
These whale moves served as another evidence of how staking has become lucrative in the market. As per the latest data from Glassnode, the total value of ETH’s staked supply topped $50 billion.
In ETH’s terms, a total of 30.47 million coins were staked on the network, marking a 67% jump since the execution of Shapella.
The rise in staked supply was in stark contrast to ETH’s dwindling liquid supply on exchanges, as shown above. The balance on exchanges was 14.6 million, less than half of the staked supply.
This underlined that people were taking ETH out of the market and using it as an investment to earn rewards.
ETH looks bullish
Ethereum blasted past the $1,700 mark for the first time in a month, as a wider market rally jolted many of the top crypto assets out of dormancy. As of this writing, the precise cause of the breakout was unknown.
However, the rally fueled hopes of reclaiming the $1,800 level, which was lost after the market crash of August. The king of altcoins exchanged hands at $1,733.85 at the time of writing, per CoinMarketCap.