Some 1.2 million eth is currently being staked on a testnet run by Prysmatic Labs called Topaz.
That’s after surpassing 300,000 slots, with a slot being a block although if no block is found the slot can be empty, leading to nearly 10,000 epochs. An epoch being 32 slots, or about 6.4 minutes, so this testnet has been running for 44 days.
On average just 32 eth is staked on here with that extra 0.35 eth presumably being to cover potential penalties and the like due to maybe being offline or for whatever reason.
With the real thing we’d probably put at least 35 eth there if we don’t mind the simple ‘hodling’ of the extra 3 eth so as to cover any potential slashing, but we haven’t played with these testnets so we’re not placed to judge how much extra should be left, but at least some.
There are now 37.3k validators on this testnet according to Terence Tsao, an eth 2.0 dev at Prysmatic.
That’s on this single-client test environment. The new multi-client pre-testnet which launched just this Tuesday has more than 700 validators.
The above is interesting as it might perhaps give some indication of how the amount of staked eth might grow in the live environment with the real testnet of course being a far better indication.
As you’d expect there’s slow growth as funds are deposited into the contract in an eth1 testnet, with it somewhat interestingly there being some occasional sharp drops in staked amount.
These are testing environments with the aim being to break the thing as much as you possibly can, so these drops seen in both test environments might not necessarily reflect in the live environment.
A far better idea will be gotten when the real testnet launches which we probably will test-run if they make it easy to get it going, with all of these pre-test environments being the on-going work to get to the actual testnet.
So progress is being made with things moving towards the launch of phase 0 which is just staking and the sharding skeleton, but without sharding utilization at the point of launch.
Staking has potential investment implications in regards to demand and supply, in as far as new supply will increase by a bit more than currently, by 0.22% a year, but the liquidity of total supply might decrease.
That’s because the Ethereum Foundation (EF) for example which currently appears to be moving, and thus presumably selling, about 5,000 eth every week or so, might instead sell only the new eth derived from staking.
So once phase 1.5 is in, they basically become the new miners insta selling the new ‘income’ to cover their operations of paying all these devs both at a protocol level and at the grant level for related eth projects.
The many projects that raised billions in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) could have waited to do the same as well, but instead generally they just sold off at nearly first opportunity, so no new miners for most of them.
Some however did keep at least some significant amount of it, so during that transition period until phase 1.5 there will basically be new ‘miners’ probably insta selling in addition to the ‘hobby’ stakers.
Hobby stakers so being what you’d call ordinary individuals who don’t plan to live off the income from staking. People that instead of just hodling, they let it stake.
That’s like hobby miners, of which there were plenty initially, individuals with gamer PCs ‘burning’ their GPUs to get some diamond coins in its own game of sorts.
For known addresses eventually we can see just how many are probably insta-selling and thus how many can reasonably be estimated to probably be more holders.
With whether that matters for time to tell as on one hand 0.22% is a small amount, but on the other hand it is constant supply pressure which thus would require a constant increase in demand to the level of at least 0.22%.
That’s eventually once a new price balance is found. Until then we’d first have to find that new price balance with it unclear just how many who wouldn’t have been holders do become stakers.
In some other chains as much as 80% of the total supply is staking, which appears to be in level with generally just 20% of coins circulating for at least the big ones like bitcoin and eth.
So whether the forced holding would make a difference is also for time to say, but what will make a very big difference is the removal of the fairly high 4% new supply that goes to miners.
That’s planned at phase 1.5 but when that phase might go out and how exactly they’ll move to full Proof of Stake (PoS) and whether they ever really will, is also something for time to say.
So plenty that can’t quite be priced-in here, or at least not easily, but at least things are moving and so there are things to look forwards to and thus price-in gradually as they come.