Ethereum 2.0 has reached more than 200,000 validators for the first time since it launched seven months ago on December the 1st 2020.
The Proof of Stake (PoS) network has operated without any problems since then, with it gradually courting confidence to the point it now holds 6,405,339 eth.
That’s worth $13.5 billion, which is currently earning 6.1% a year in eth as the network seemingly heads for that big 10 million eth validators number potentially by the end of the year.
That means currently about 6% of the total supply is practically out of circulation, and will remain so for probably at least another year.
These 200,000 validators are best seen as the equivalent of asics because just like one person can have many asics, so too one person can have many validators with a validator being 32eth slots.
To get any idea of how many individuals/entities there are staking, we’d need access to node data which curiously are currently not readily available for ethereum 2.0.
That would have its own difficulties however because one person can run many nodes with ◊32 slots, just as one entity can run one node with many validators.
Numerous exchanges run staking services for end users, including Kraken and Bitcoin Suisse, thus making guesstimates an especially difficult task unless one goes big data to get a fuller picture of addresses relationships to nodes and validators.
In due course such information will probably become accessible to all, but for now basic details are lacking in a comprehensive form, like how many nodes are running what client.
The reaching of this milestone in addition raises questions in regards to how many validators the network can handle with Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s co-founder, previously mentioning there might need to be a cap of one million validators.
We’re still far away from reaching that number, but at some point being a validator will become a lot more difficult than currently with it unclear what happens after that number is reached in regards to whether a prospective validator has to wait for others to exit or whether it is by rotation.
Years on however, staking eth is becoming a real thing with that ◊6.4 million number only increasing for now as you can not withdraw until the unlock.