16 Million ETH Staking: Another Milestone by Ethereum Blockchain
It’s been four months after the successful transition of Ethereum from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Now, Ethereum — the second largest blockchain, passed another major milestone. Over 16 million of its native token, Ether (ETH) have been deposited into its Beacon Chain staking contract, data from Etherescam indicates.
Here, the 16 Million ETH has more than 13.28% of the total Ether supply which also indicates around $22.98 billion at the current trading price. This comes almost after two years when Ethereum’s staking contract went live in 2020 and its proof-of-stake Beacon Chain firstly got introduced.
The validators — who help run the Ethereum network, stake ETH just for a chance to write and authenticate the transactions to Ethereum’s ledger. After this the staked funds get locked up with the network and accrue interest. However, it will be yet not possible to withdraw until the Ethereum network’s Shanghai update, which is slotted in for March 2023.
Ethereum network’s Shanghai upgrade will implement EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposal) 4895. It will enable consensus layer withdrawals for the first time since December 2020.
Meanwhile the increasing number of staked ETH can be a positive signal for Ethereum security and adoption. And additionally it may push some pressure on Ethereum’s core developers to expedite their work to enable withdrawals.
Staked Ether, or stETH, is a cryptocurrency token. It represents an equivalent amount of Ether (ETH) that has been staked. Staked tokens are locked up for an extended period to provide liquidity for staked ether.
According to the data sourced from Nansen, indicates the number of unique staking depositors stands at roughly 92.6k. The number of unique validators is about 500k.
It must be noted that a larger amount of staked ETH should theoretically harden the staking for an individual actor to sabotage the Ethereum chain. Currently, the majority of Ethereum’s stake belongs to a handful of large actors – raising concern that control over the chain may become too centralized.
The above chart, sourced from Nansen, showed that out of the 16 million ETH staked, roughly 4.65 million have been staked through Lido Finance – a kind of community-driven validator collective.
Moreover, the amount of staked ETH has gone up around 16.68% since the so-called Ethereum Merge took place in September 2022. The Merge fully transitioned the Ethereum blockchain to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.