Celsius moves $781 million into stETH just as Lido withdrawals open

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It looks like embattled crypto lender Celsius is wasting no time in moving its Ethereum staking tokens from liquid staking platform Lido, which has just enabled withdrawals.

On May 15, a transaction was identified on the Celsius wallets for 428,015 stETH (Lido staked Ether) to the Lido staked Ethereum wallet. The huge stash was worth $781 million at the time of the transfer, which some believe is being prepared for withdrawal.

String data indicates that Celsius is performing a test withdrawal of 0.1 stETH a few hours later.

Transfer Celsius stETH. Source: Etherscan

According to Bitcoin pioneer and Celsius creditor Simon Dixon, Celsius could “queue to stake straight without Lido in the middle.” It could also be a loan guarantee for Celsius’ restructuring plans, he added.

Blockchain intelligence firm Arkham Intelligence pointed out that Celsius transferred 40,928 ETH last week to a smart contract called “Figment ETH2 Beacon Depositor 1”. This was later transferred to the Ethereum Beacon Chain deposit contract on May 12 according to Ethercan.

Related: Celsius creditors demand transparency over ‘suspicious’ FTX transactions

Lido, which takes a commission of 10%, withdrawals enabled May 15 with a protocol update to V2.

“Lido V2 introduces two major components, with the more user-oriented aspect being Ethereum withdrawals. This allows Ethereum stakers with Lido to directly withdraw ETH through the protocol.

Lido currently accounts for 29% of all Ether staked (ETH) — 6.27 million ETH worth around $11.3 billion.

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Meanwhile, there are 54,046 ETH currently in the withdrawal queue, and that does not yet include the Celsius reserve, according to the on-chain analytics firm Nansen.

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