It appears that embattled crypto lender Celsius is wasting no time in shifting its Ethereum staking tokens from liquid staking platform Lido, which has just enabled withdrawals.
On May 15, a transaction was identified on Celsius wallets for 428,015 stETH (Lido staked Ether) to the Lido staked Ethereum wallet. The whopping stash was worth $781 million at the time of transfer, which some believe is in preparation for withdrawal.
On-chain data points to Celsius performing a test withdrawal of 0.1 stETH a few hours later.
According to Bitcoin pioneer and Celsius creditor Simon Dixon, Celsius could be “lining up for staking directly without Lido in the middle.” It could also be loan collateral for Celsius restructuring plans, he added.
428k #Celsius $stETH on the move – likely lining up for staking directly without #LIDO in the middle. That’s the loan collateral proposed for NewCo. Should get an update during court hearing this week – 17th May – No court approval needed for this it seems https://t.co/pwT4fR1Qjt https://t.co/4tdSsMegA8
— Simon Dixon (@SimonDixonTwitt) May 15, 2023
Blockchain intelligence firm Arkham Intelligence highlighted that Celsius transferred 40,928 ETH last week to a smart contract called “Figment ETH2 Beacon Depositor 1”. This was then moved to the Ethereum Beacon Chain deposit contract on May 12, according to Etherscan.
Related: Celsius creditors demand transparency on ‘suspicious’ FTX transactions
Lido, which takes a 10% staking commission, enabled withdrawals on May 15 with a protocol upgrade to V2.
“Lido V2 introduces two major components, with the most user-facing aspect being Ethereum withdrawals. This allows Ethereum stakers with Lido to directly unstake ETH through the protocol.”
Lido currently accounts for 29% of all staked Ether (ETH) — 6.27 million ETH valued at around $11.3 billion.
Meanwhile, there is 54,046 ETH currently in the withdrawal queue, and this doesn’t include the Celsius stash yet, according to on-chain analytics firm Nansen.
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