Ethereum 2.0 took a major step forward this week as its deposit contract went live in preparation for the first iterations of the blockchain’s second coming. The deposit contract acts as a bridge between the forthcoming proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain and the current proof-of-work (PoW) mainchain, valued at some $40 billion by market capitalization.
To push things along, co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, has now sent his first ether for staking. Buterin sent 100 transactions of 32 ether each, totalling 3,200 coins. The amount is worth around $1.4 million at current prices.
Public Ethereum participants have been able to deposit the minimum 32 ether required to stake on Eth 2.0 which has led to the deposit contract now holding 38,693 ether, worth some $17 million.
A long time coming
The progression from Ethereum to its second iteration has been long in the works with the ramping up only really coming in the past 18 months or so. There is now a much clearer picture of how 2.0 will operate in its advance to be a workable and usable world computer.
“We’re all excited,” Ethereum 2.0 researcher Danny Ryan told CoinDesk. “This has been a long time coming, and countless researchers, engineers, and community members have put blood, sweat, and tears into this project. Feels good to finally bootstrap Ethereum’s long-awaited proof-of-stake consensus.”
On a larger level, the deposit contract and soon-to-launch Beacon chain represent a critical step toward a future that Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin foresaw some seven years ago: the creation of and need for a generalized, Turing-complete blockchain.
Buterin said he expects that the deposit contract will continue to attract people “as stakers get their coins out of cold storage, get comfortable with the tools and confident that the tools work and they’re not accidentally throwing their coins away, etc.”
December 1 date
The real roll out of phase 0 for Ethereum 2.0 is pinned on December 1, but the deposit contract address will need to hit the requisite 524,288 ETH — constituting 16,384 validators for this to go ahead. Buterin is uncertain if this will be met, but still set an upbeat tone when questioned.
“If you look at the ether sale in 2015 for example, there was a significant (but disappointing) level of participation on day 1, then very little on days 2-12, and then on day 13 and especially 14 (the last day with a full discount) there was a huge spike that ended up being something like half of all ether that ended up going into the sale. So it’s very possible that here too we’ll see a quiet period and then lots of participation in the last week of November. But this is me just speculating, we’ll see!” he told The Block