The number of Ethereum validators has sharply increased to over 435,000 less than two weeks after the smart contracting platform Merged, successfully transiting to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
Ethereum Proof of Stake Adoption Progress
The number of node validators on the Ethereum blockchain increased significantly, posting new records following Ethereum’s merge. Ethereum staking is also becoming popular in cryptocurrency as Ethereum 2.0 gains more popularity and earns the trust of cryptocurrency fans.
According to trackers, the number of current active validators on the network currently sits at 435,716 members. On the other hand, the amount of Ethereum staked on the network is close to 14 million ETH.
Post Merge Improvements on Ethereum Blockchain
The merge represented a significant technology update of the Ethereum network, shifting from PoW to PoS with staking as the new method to authenticate and approve transactions in the blockchain network.
Ethereum switched to the Proof of Stake consensus due to the technology’s ability to make Ethereum scalable. In addition, the staking mechanism consumes less power compared to the alternate Proof of Work mechanism. The upgrade came in with several benefits to Ethereum’s ecosystem, including low entry barriers, reduced centralized governance, low energy requirements, and fewer chances for 51% attacks.
How Validation is Taking Place on the Ecosystem
Users are expected to meet specific requirements to become Ethereum validators. First, users must stake a minimum of 32 ETH into Ethereum’s deposit contract. Afterward, the validators are expected to run three separate software pieces: execution client, consensus client, and a validator.
Once the ETH has been successfully deposited, the user joins a queue that derails the rate of new validators joining the network. As more validators join the network, it becomes more difficult for new validators to join.
Giant Ethereum Validators
Institutional-sized entities run the largest Ethereum staking pools. The institutions account for about 59.6% of the total staked ETH. These entities include; Binance, Lido Finance, Coinbase, and Kraken.
Lido finance currently holds the most extensive liquidity pool in the entire ecosystem. The organization currently stakes over 4 million ETH in the network. It is, by far, the largest ETH staking pool. Lido launched its staking pool in the twilight weeks of 2020 before the Beacon Chain, Ethereum’s Proof of Stake layer where consensus is reached, was created since the staking pool has grown exponentially.
Coinbase began offering staking pools for Ethereum in April 2021. Coinbase has just over 2 million staked ETH, making it the second largest staking pool in the world.
Kraken currently accounts for just over 1 million staked ETH. Just after the launch of the Beacon Chain, Kraken announced that its stakeholders had already staked 100,000 ETH before the merge. However, like Binance, Lido and Coinbase, Kraken does not offer liquid staking options to its investors.
Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, currently stands as the fourth largest Ethereum staking pool, accounting for just under 1 million staked ETH. Binance launched its Beacon bETH in late 2021 and has been issuing staking pools to Ethereum fans.
As Ethereum staking gets more popular, staking pools are expected to get bigger and the number of validators is expected to continue increasing.