Ethereum’s exit queue skyrockets to record high

According to Validator Queue data, the queue for stakers wanting to exit Ethereum’s consensus layer, the Beacon Chain, has increased record high of 16,283 validators on January 4 – significantly beating the previous high of 3,829 from December 4.

This waitlist is expected to take 5.5 days to complete. Since a maximum of 13 validators can be processed per epoch, with each epoch lasting approximately 6.4 minutes.

Analysts attributed the move to failed CeFi lender Celcius announcing it would unstake all of its existing ETH on the same day. Celsius said it is in the process of recovering and rebalancing assets to prepare for distribution to creditors. In August, the company revealed plans to distribute nearly $2 billion worth of BTC and possibly ETH to creditors.

“Significant unstaking activity over the next few days will unlock ETH to ensure timely distribution to creditors,” Celcius tweeted =2>.

Celsius filed for bankruptcy in July 2022 after halting user withdrawals a month earlier. The July 2023 settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission found Celsius embezzled more than $4 billion from customers before suspending operations.

On December 20, An Ape’s Prologue, a Web3 researcher, tweeted that Celcius sold $243 million in ETH in 30 days. Data from Arkham Intelligence shows the company still holds $227 million worth of ETH.

ETH ETF speculation is rampant

While it is possible that Celsius liquidates the remainder of its sizable ETH holdings, many believe that spot ETF speculation could soon boost returns for the altcoin.

With prominent analysts predicting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to greenlight the first spot Bitcoin ETF next week, more and more researchers are turning their attention to Ethereum as the next potential candidate for spot ETF approval.

James Seyffart, a Bloomberg analyst, initially expected the SEC to approve a group of spot Bitcoin ETFs, having tweeted :

“Expect more spot Bitcoin ETF filings in the coming days.”

In workshoponline on Jan. 4, Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas argued that the launch of the ETH Futures ETF in October tacitly treated ETH as a commodity and paved the way for spot ETFs to also be approved.

“By approving those ETH Futures ETFs, they are tacitly accepting ETH futures as commodity futures. If they called ETH a security, it would go against the CFTC regulator… That’s why I think we could see potential ETH ETFs approved this year as well.”

Satoshi Flipper, a famous trader and analyst, argues the current price of ETH does not reflect the outlook for a spot ETF .

“Not even $0.01 of the proposed spot ETH ETF is priced. In my humble opinion… if the market has that mindset and forward thinking, ETH price will rise to $3,000 once the BTC ETF is approved as soon as this week.”

DCinvestor, a famous investor and KOL Web3, agrees with this point of view.

“After the successful BTC ETF, everyone in the emerging “crypto TradFi sector” will see the fact that there is only one other asset with CME futures, an active Futures ETF where previously referred to as commodities by the CFTC and previous SEC chairmen. That is ETH.”

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