The deposit contract for the Phase 0 of Ethereum’s 2.0 upgrade, which went live on November 4, has already received over 50,590 ether in deposits from community members looking to start staking once genesis is launched.

Ethereum’s transition to ETH 2.0 is set to occur over a series of phases, the first of which is referred to as “phase 0.” Ethereum’s developers claim the transition will help scale the second-largest cryptocurrency’s blockchain and reduce energy consumption, by introducing shard chains and implementing a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.

To stake on the blockchain, users will have to move at least 32 ETH to run a validator node. The funds will be locked while earning rewards for helping secure the cryptocurrency’s network. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin appears to be the biggest contributor to the phase 0 contract so far, depositing 3,200 ETH worth $1.4 million after the announcement.

The amount of ether deposited into the contract is now worth over $22.6 million, but is still far below the amount of ETH necessary to trigger the launch of Ethereum 2.0, expected on December 1. In an update published by the Ethereum Foundation’s Danny Ryan, over 500,000 ETH is necessary to trigger staking deployment. Ryan wrote:

To trigger genesis at this time. There must be at least 16,384 32 ETH validator deposits 7 days prior to December 1. If not, genesis will be triggered 7 days after this threshold has been met (whenever that may be).

Ryan added that users should make sure they are leveraging the correct deposit contract address, and that if the target of 16,384 ETH validators isn’t reached ahead of December 1, genesis will occur seven days after the threshold is reached.

Ethereum whales and other network participants likely haven’t yet moved more funds to the contract as on the ETH ecosystem there are numerous ways to earn interest on cryptocurrency holdings thanks to decentralized finance. Most users are likely going to keep reaping rewards before moving the funds to the contract.

The network threshold of 32 ETH to run a validator node is, to some, quite high. While the number of addresses holding at least 32 ETH has surged over the last few weeks, so has the number of addresses holding 0.1 or more ETH, potentially showing users are starting to accumulate.

Cryptocurrency exchanges and staking services will, in the future, likely make it easier for users to participate in network validation with less than 32 ETH. For now, however, smaller holders are left accumulating.

Featured image via Pixabay.