Celsius, the troubled cryptocurrency lender, has been found to be transferring a considerable amount of staked Ethereum away from Lido, a liquid stacking platform, as withdrawals become possible. A transaction for 428,015 stETH to the Lido wallet was discovered on Celsius wallets on May 15. Some believe that the massive cache was moved in anticipation of withdrawals, as it was worth $781 million at the time. On-chain evidence also suggests that Celsius made a 0.1 stETH test withdrawal a few hours later.
According to Simon Dixon, a Bitcoin pioneer and a Celsius creditor, the move could indicate that Celsius is “lining up for staking directly without Lido in the middle”. Others speculate that it could serve as loan collateral for Celsius’ reorganization efforts.
On May 12, Celsius made a 40,928 ETH payment to a smart contract called “Figment ETH2 Beacon Depositor 1”, which was later transferred to the Ethereum Beacon Chain deposit contract.
Lido recently authorized withdrawals on May 15th, with the upgrade to V2 allowing Ethereum withdrawals to take place. Lido currently holds 6.27 million ETH worth around $11.3 billion. According to on-chain analytics company Nansen, there are currently 54,046 ETH in the withdrawal queue, not including the amount held by Celsius.
It remains to be seen why Celsius has moved such a significant amount of staked Ethereum away from Lido, but with the current turmoil in the crypto world, moves such as this are not entirely surprising.