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There is now over 1 million ETH ($600mil+) in the eth2 deposit contract and ~750,000 ETH worth of that is currently staking on the Beacon Chain. It’s also showing no signs of slowing down with new staking services popping up every day (especially from exchanges) that will make it very easy for people to get started with eth2 staking.
I find it rather amusing that there is now 1 million+ ETH in the deposit contract because just a few weeks ago, many people were seriously debating whether we’d even meet the minimum ETH required to start the Beacon Chain (524,288 ETH). Now, people are basically feeling fomo about not being involved and are pouring their ETH in which has resulted in a validator acceptance delay of over 8 days. What this means is that if you deposit your 32 ETH today, you will have to wait over 8 days to be accepted as a validator on eth2 and to start earning rewards - this is because only 900 validators (28,800 ETH worth) are accepted every 24 hours.
Some people are surprised by this interest because they figured no one in their right mind would deposit their ETH into the deposit contract as DeFi yields were more lucrative. Well, I argued in this piece from July that staking appeals to a fundamentally different kind of person that just isn’t interested in yield farming in DeFi. I personally know many of these people and they are absolutely obsessed with staking and feel really great about the fact that they are finally earning a yield on their ETH while also securing the eth2 network with their validators.
I think this just shows the strength and resiliency of the Ethereum community as well as the fact that there is a large and diverse set of ETH holders. I don’t believe any other network (other than Bitcoin) has this diverse of a holder base. It’s not something that can be bought, created or planned for - it is a natural property that emerges over time under the right circumstances (with a bit of luck). Those circumstances include timing, distribution mechanism, market cycles and a diverse community. ETH has all of those properties in that it was released at the right time (no one was interested in crypto back in 2015), its distribution mechanism was as fair as it could’ve been (crowdsale and then a long mining period) and it has experienced numerous market cycles that have distributed ETH widely.
All of this has resulted in an extremely diverse ETH holder base and community that can pick and choose how they want to use their ETH - whether that be in DeFi, staking in eth2, holding it as a store of value, using it as money or whatever else.
ETH is a versatile asset for a versatile community.
Have a great weekend everyone,
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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.