This year the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0 upgrade is expected to happen. The project developers are surely working hard to meet the deadline, but there is no telling if thethe move to ETH 2.0 will really happen this year. Regardless, there have been a number of milestones hit ahead of the great “Merge” and the network just hit another one.
The amount of Ethereum staked ahead of 2.0 has been on a steady rise since the upgrade was first announced. It takes 32 ETH to become a node validator, but those who do not have 32 ETH have been able to stake by using staking pools usually provided by cryptocurrency exchanges. Given this, the number of validator nodes operated on the Ethereum network has surged exponentially.
Last year July, the Ethereum community celebrated the milestone of 6.6 million ETH staked on the network, accounting for about 5% of total ETH supply staked. Now, less than six months later, this number has grown about 50% as there are now 9 million ETH currently staked ahead of Ethereum 2.0. There are now a total of 9,015,586 ETH staked in the ETH 2.0 contract address, and the number is growing by the day.
The value of the ETH locked on the network has now surpassed $30 billion for the first time, a significant milestone the digital asset. The number of validator nodes on the network has since surpassed 222k and continues to grow as more nodes are added.
Moving Towards ETH 2.0
The move to Ethereum 2.0 would see the network go from the energy-intensive and computationally expensive proof of work mechanism to the proof of stake mechanism. This would significantly reduce the energy consumption of the network, as well as reduce the computational power required to confirm transactions, making it a more eco-friendly and efficient network.
The network is definitely nearing the end of the finish. However, there are still some hoops left to jump. Ethereum 2.0 had suffered major setbacks and delays, which is to be expected of any technological advancement, and there could be even more delays in the future.
Ethereum developers recently launched the Kintsugi testnet, a public testnet that would allow users to test out what it would be like to operate in the new Ethereum network. They also released EIP-4345, nicknamed Arrow Glacier, that would delay the Difficulty Bomb to June 2022. Both of these pushes, as well as others expected in the coming months, will help prepare the network for the move to proof of stake and ensure a smooth transition for all.
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