By Christine Kim
The first Ethereum node was launched into outer space on Thursday as part of an initiative to bring enhanced security to blockchain transactions.
Also, the Ethereum 2.0 network received a record-breaking number of new deposits in May, indicating increased interest for and investment in Ethereum’s plans to reduce blockchain energy consumption through a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol.
In May, the number of deposits for spinning up new Eth 2.0 validators increased 246% to a record-breaking total of 26,681. As of Tuesday, there are more than 160,000 active validators operating on Eth 2.0 and 6,700 pending validators queued for entry.
As the number of deposits has grown, so has the total ETH (+2.49%) staked on the network. In order to be an Eth 2.0 validator, users must stake a minimum of 32 ETH, worth roughly $81,000 at the time of writing, to the network.
In dollar terms, total ETH staked on Ethereum 2.0 has risen from about $12 billion at the beginning of May to over $13 billion as of Tuesday. The deposits represent 4.6% of the circulating supply of ether, which indicates that the vast majority of ETH is used for other purposes outside of staking, such as market speculation, lending, trading and decentralized application (dapp) execution.
From May to June, total validators rewards have also increased by 10% from around 900 new ether issued per day to close to 1,000 ETH/day. The rewards issued on Ethereum 2.0 make up only a small fraction of the rewards issued on Ethereum’s proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain, which are awarded to miners. Ethereum miners are anticipating a reduction in their total rewards in mid-July as a result of a code change to the network’s fee market known as Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559.