Over 708,224 ETH ($425 million) is now locked up in the smart contract that marks Ethereum’s first step towards a proof-of-stake protocol, as per data from on-chain tracker Dune Analytics. The amount is 33% higher than the minimum 524,000 ETH that was required to launch Ethereum 2.0.
Data shows 2,025 unique depositors have now entrusted their funds—worth over $422 million at current prices—to the initial deposit contract. And as a reward for doing so, they shall receive an unspecified annual percentage of Ethereum fees as long as the ETH is locked up and supporting the Ethereum network.
But ETH 2.0 reaching its minimum subscription was not a smooth ride. The first week saw just 50,000 ETH deposited from a few users, with 3,200 ETH of that coming from its creator, Vitalik Buterin, himself. In fact, the deposits started to pump only after November 19, as the below chart shows—two days after liquidity incentives ended on decentralized exchange protocol Uniswap.
Regardless of that, Ethereum fanatics urged the network on at the time, hoping big players would step in to pump the deposit numbers (and perhaps prices) sooner or later.
And pump they did, with even some storied ICOs jumping in on the action. One such player was lending protocol Celsius Network, which raised $50 million in an ICO in 2018. The firm said it contributed 25,000 ETH to the Ethereum 2.0 protocol on the last day of deposits, joining other large token holders, crypto funds, and perhaps even other ICOs to help push it across the finish line.
“We are proud to inaugurate the ETH 2.0 Genesis with 25,000 ETH,” Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius, said in a statement.
He added, “Celsius was launched on Ethereum and scaled on Ethereum, so we thought it would be appropriate to contribute to the launch of ETH 2.0 and place some of the last ETH needed into the pool to make sure it launches on time and on schedule just like we did.”
Even crypto news outlet Coindesk has jumped in on the action, with Bison Trails running a validator on its behalf.
With the threshold now met, the Ethereum network can now jumpstart the first phase of Ethereum 2.0, a new consensus design that promises high scalability, better data throughput, and lower transaction fees—away from the current proof-of-work mechanism that proved too slow and unwieldy for the network’s aspirations.