Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFT and new trends

Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade pushes ether price past $2,000 for first time since August

Market Updates • April 13, 2023, 5:25AM EDT

Quick Take

  • Ether was trading at $2,000 shortly after 9:30 a.m. EDT — up over 1% in the past five hours. 
  • Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade was implemented on Wednesday night, enabling staking withdrawals. 
  • Pending withdrawals crossed $1.6 billion in the early hours. 

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Ethereum’s native coin, ether, is trending higher following the blockchain’s Shapella upgrade. 

Ether was trading hands for $2,000 by 9:30 a.m. EDT — up 1.1% over the past five hours, according to Binance data via TradingView. The move follows Ethereum’s first significant upgrade since The Merge, Shapella, which was completed around 6:30 p.m. EST last night. 

The price of ETH has increased following Shapella. Source: TradingView

The Shapella upgrade made it possible to withdraw staked ether on the network for the first time. Now that stakers can withdraw ether, the blockchain has completed its transition to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

Over 822,000 ether is pending withdrawal, with a dollar value of around $1.6 billion, according to the token.unlocks application. Earlier today, the dollar value amounted to $1.34 billion.

However, the potential sell-side pressure has done nothing to deter traders, with ether volumes increasing as the price approaches pre-Merge highs. Volumes of the most popular trading pair, ETH/USDT on Binance, topped $1.28 billion in the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko data. 

Ethereum liquid staking tokens are also surging

Ethereum liquid staking governance tokens also appeared to benefit from the successful upgrade. 

The three most-prominent governance tokens for liquid staking protocols have all jumped 5.2% in the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. The tokens — Lido DAO, Rocket Pool, and Frax Ether — are up between 3% and 3.2% over the past seven days. 

Liquid staking protocols allow users to stake ether and receive a derivative token representing the previously locked cryptocurrency. Users can then use their liquid staking token like any other cryptocurrency. 

(updated to show ether price has since gone above $2,000)