After the long-anticipated Merge upgrade of the Ethereum (ETH) ecosystem occurred, some users have started to wonder when they will be able to unstake their already staked ETH tokens, receiving a direct answer from cryptocurrency exchange Kraken.
As it happens, Kraken allows users to stake and unstake their cryptocurrency assets with its Kraken Pro app. However, it seems that ETH unstaking will remain unavailable until the announced Shanghai upgrade to the Ethereum network, as the crypto exchange’s support informed its users on September 15.
In addition, Kraken’s support team said that the Ethereum Foundation expected the Shanghai upgrade to take place “6-12 months following The Merge.” The tweet also directed users to the exchange’s website, stating the same thing.
Issue not specific to Kraken
“Staked ETH cannot be unstaked or transferred on the Ethereum network until after the Shanghai upgrade. This means that clients should only stake ETH that they plan to hold long-term. This limitation is not specific to Kraken – it is a limitation on the Ethereum network itself.”
As Kraken’s support also explained:
“Once withdrawals are enabled after the Shanghai upgrade, you will need to manually unstake your ETH to trade it or withdraw it from the exchange.”
Why is unstaking still unavailable?
Notably, the Shanghai upgrade is set to be delivered after the Merge because this major update did not include all of the planned features, including the ability to withdraw staked ETH. As the Ethereum Foundation explained in its section about the Merge:
“In order to simplify and maximize focus on a successful transition to proof-of-stake, The Merge upgrade did not include certain anticipated features such as the ability to withdraw staked ETH.”
Furthermore, the website states that “the following Shanghai upgrade will enable staking withdrawals. Staked ETH and staking rewards continue to be locked without the ability to withdraw,” reiterating that “withdrawals are planned for the upcoming Shanghai upgrade.”
As Finbold reported, GlobalBlock analyst Marcus Sotiriou expects that the Merge upgrade ultimately outweighs risks and short-term concerns as, in his view, it will open the door for institutional capital inflow in the second-largest decentralized finance (DeFi) token.