Ethereum Staking Tokens Rally as Shanghai Upgrade Nears – Decrypt

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As the withdrawal date for unstaking Ethereum closes in, tokens powering various liquid staking protocols are enjoying a hefty rally.
Lido Finance (LDO) and Rocket Pool (RPL), for example, have already posted significant gains over the past 24 hours, according to data from CoinGecko.
LDO, the governance token powering Lido Finance, Ethereum’s largest liquid-staking protocol, gained over 17.2% in the last 24 hours and trades at around $1.88.
Intense trading for the liquid-staking derivative crypto pumped its daily volumes across multiple exchanges to $276 million, a 436% jump over the previous day.
With a market capitalization slightly above $1.5 billion, LDO is now the 33th-largest cryptocurrency, per data from CoinGecko.  
Over $1.61 million worth of LDO futures positions were liquidated over the past 24 hours, according to Coinglass. Most liquidations (~66%) came from blown-out short trades.
Last week was extremely rewarding for LDO. Lido Finance has become the largest decentralized application in terms of total value locked (TVL), dethroning DAI’s creator MakerDAO.
LDO is also the largest weekly gainer, posting a tremendous 74.8% gain over the past seven days compared to Bitcoin’s meager 3.8% gain over the same period.
Another liquid staking token, Rocket Pool’s native token RPL, has also enjoyed steep gains of 14.2% over the past 24 hours, according to data from CoinGecko.
As of this writing, RPL trades at around $26.13, boasting an 802% increase in daily trading volumes to $7.8 million over the past 24 hours.
Despite today’s greenish momentum, RPL is still down 56.6% from its historical all-time high of $59.46.
Besides liquid staking tokens, Ethereum itself enjoys 4.4% in daily gains and over 10% in weekly gains. 
Ethereum successfully switched to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism in early September 2022. 
The switch removed the need for energy-intensive mining equipment essentially overnight, replacing these machines with a leaner staking mechanism. In order to become a validator of this network, users must first put up 32 Ethereum. 
They can earn a percentage yield for doing this and validating the network honestly, or, conversely, can face hefty fines on those staked funds should they behave maliciously. 
Despite the lucrative yield on offer, which today can earn users up to 4%, putting up 32 ETH, or roughly $42,000, is a big ask for many. Services like Lido and Rocket allow investors to stake any amount of Ethereum and still earn their rewards. 
And besides the hefty upfront charge, once those funds are staked, they can’t be removed (until the next Ethereum upgrade). 
Here’s why Shanghai has become such a highly-anticipated upgrade. Once executed, this change will let users withdraw their staked Ethereum.
Disclaimer
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

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