When can I withdraw my stake? How do I do it?

Learn more about staking withdrawals with the Shanghai upgrade, and how to use MetaMask Staking to get your ETH back in an account you control.

by Oliver JL RenwickApril 12, 2023

Learn more about staking withdrawals with the Shanghai upgrade, and how to use MetaMask Staking to get your ETH back in an account you control.

This article is a follow–up to a previous explainer, What is staking? How do I do it? If you’re unfamiliar with the topic of staking, start there.

What are staking withdrawals? Well, to summarize: there are lots of things that people call “staking”; and in those situations where you’ve locked up tokens, or staked them, generally there’s a mechanism through which you can withdraw those deposited tokens, and get them back into an account you control. Usually there’s a button in the interface of the staking app UI that says “Unstake”, or “Withdraw”, or something to that effect; you sign a transaction, pay the gas, and you get your coins back.

That hasn’t been the case with true, Ethereum network-level staking, however. Take a look at our previous explanation:

Wait… What about when someone wants to pull out their ETH?

Liquid staking providers don’t currently offer this functionality, because they can’t. When the Ethereum network made the switch from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, they focused on getting Proof of Stake running properly first, before moving on to the process by which users could withdraw already-staked ETH. For now, all staked ETH remains staked.

Withdrawal functionality is scheduled to be released in the Shanghai upgrade, which could happen during 2023. In the meantime, users wishing to get rid of their liquid staking tokens and “change them back” to ETH would have to do so through a swap, which they can do right from their MetaMask wallet by clicking or tapping the “Swap” button.

That Shanghai upgrade we mentioned? Well, it’s right around the corner: at time of writing, scheduled for April 12th.

What happens when I withdraw my stake?

The concept is simple, and it’s like we stated previously: you get your ETH back in an account you control. How that happens, and what’s involved, will vary widely depending on the way you staked your ETH. Let’s take a look at some nuances:

MetaMask Staking in the Portfolio Dapp:

If you are a holder of Rocket Pool or Lido liquid staking tokens (rETH and stETH, respectively), you will be able to process your withdrawals through the MetaMask Staking feature of the Portfolio Dapp. Rocket Pool withdrawals are expected to be available as soon as the Shanghai upgrades have completed; Lido is currently implementing withdrawals, and we plan to support them in MetaMask Staking as soon as we can. In the meantime, you can swap your stETH for ETH, such as with MetaMask Swaps, if you wish.

Once the Shanghai upgrade goes live, you’ll still be able to swap your rETH or stETH for ETH, or other tokens, the way you can now. In addition, though, you’ll be able to use the protocol’s staking withdrawal mechanism right from Portfolio Dapp: you don’t even need to go to their website to process a withdrawal. Our full walkthrough on how the process works will be available here, in case you get stuck.

You also have the ability to stake more ETH in those protocols right from Portfolio Dapp, as well as swap them for other tokens, including ETH, even before the Shanghai upgrade occurs. For more information on this, we’ve got a whole section of articles explaining it all.

If you’re unclear on what “liquid staking” is, check out our section on the topic in our previous article.

One advantage of liquid staking is that you can decide how much to withdraw without worrying about keeping a validator node running; Rocket Pool and Lido take care of that. On the other hand–the more ETH we all collectively stake, the more secure the network is as a whole.

Custodial staking

If you’ve staked ETH with a custodial provider, such as a centralized exchange (CEX), you’ll want to be looking for communications from them about what the process will be like. Remember–if you’ve staked with a custodial provider, you’re relying on them to keep your stake safe, as opposed to self-custodial options, where you always hold the keys to your accounts.

Also keep in mind that, if you staked with a custodial provider, it’s possible that you’ve been given a liquid staking-style token in return, which that exchange has indicated is equivalent to the value of the ETH you staked. For example, Coinbase offers a token called cbETH.

If you, in fact, hold some liquid ETH staking tokens, such as Lido or Rocket Pool, you can stay up to date on your balances and your corresponding portion of the rewards earned by the protocol in the MetaMask Staking feature of the Portfolio Dapp (portfolio.metamask.io/stake).


There are some providers whose setups allow you to stake full nodes, and still maintain custody of your keys. Again, how these individual providers will enable withdrawals will likely vary from one to another.

At our own ConsenSys Staking, for example, we will be offering users the ability to withdraw their stake both through a UI flow, as well as through API functionality. Users of MetaMask Institutional will also have the ability to process withdrawals from ConsenSys Staking as well as Allnodes, Blockdaemon, and Kiln, through their powerful Staking Marketplace.

Again–consult with your provider, and keep in mind the particularities listed below under “Self-run nodes”; depending on how your staking setup works, you may have some additional steps to enable withdrawals.

Self-run nodes

If you personally are running your own node and staking through it, either on your own computer or through a cloud service provider, then there are some things you should be aware of:

First, the caveat surrounding your node’s address credential type. This is technical, and has to do with changes that have been made to Ethereum address structures in the past few years, but it boils down to the fact that more than half of current stakers will need to take action to change to a different address format in order to withdraw their stake. For more detailed information on this, check out ConsenSys’ Ultimate Guide to ETH Staking Withdrawals.

You should also be aware of the two different types of withdrawals that will become available: full and partial.

  • Full: Just like it sounds, a full withdrawal is, essentially, ceasing to be a validator. You’ll be pulling the full ETH balance out of your node or nodes, and shutting down your node. In other words, 32 ETH x number of nodes + accumulated staking rewards.
  • Partial: With partial withdrawals, you will be able to withdraw ETH that your node has accumulated in terms of rewards–but leaving intact the requisite 32 staked ETH so that your node continues running.

If you’re running a node, or want to know more about how this will work, check out the Ethereum Foundation’s FAQs on withdrawals.

Keeping your stake, and your accounts, safe

There is a lot of conversation going on–in the news, on social media, and company blogs like this one–about the Shanghai upgrade. Big changes in Ethereum protocol like this always bring with them the opportunity for scammers that will try to trick you out of your ETH, and anything else you have in your wallet.

So remember: MetaMask will NEVER email you or DM you. Double-check the URLs you’re typing in, don’t click on sponsored links in search results, and use your common sense.

If you want to know how to protect yourself and your assets, and recognize common scam tactics, check out our Staying safe in web3 series: we update it more than we’d like to. Stay safe out there, and if you need anything, we’re here to help.

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