Read on for eth2 testnet and client updates, a look at who’s making the deposits to push genesis forward, and our current best estimate for eth2 genesis date.
The eth2 deposit smart contract broke 100k ETH deposited out of the required 524K, bringing us to just shy of 20% of the minimum threshold! While this is great progress, it does not bode well for a December 1st launch date as the community only has a week left to hit the 524k ETH goal.
However, one of the interesting stories is seeing who it is depositing the ETH to push us forward.
Digging into some of these deposits is fascinating. A huge whale deposited 17,088 ETH on the 14th, explaining a large amount of the increase in the total deposits. But looking into their transaction history is particularly revealing. They appear to have acquired all of this ETH (and likely more) from many different exchanges during the 2017 bullrun when ETH was trading at $300. They then held it in various addresses without touching it for more than three years, until it was time to stake it on eth2.
Another whale, who deposited 5,504 ETH, first began accumulating ETH more than four years ago. One more deposited 5,024 ETH after holding on to it for three years, and their transaction history shows they have another 15k ETH on standby.
This is forming a theme—Ethereum OG’s were and still are believers in Ethereum’s vision, whether you call it proof of stake, Serenity, or eth2. They are putting a lot of capital on the line after sitting on it for so long because they want to be part of making this vision a reality.
There’s been a lot of speculation that the liquidity rewards ending on Uniswap will free up ETH to be used for the deposit contract. While directionally correct, we think this will not be as large of a catalyst as some folks expect. Participants in liquidity reward programs value freedom, optionality, and returns, above all else. Participating in eth2 is the opposite—long term lock up, lack of liquidity, and more reasonable rewards. (This is one of the reasons why Bison Trails is excited to power LiquidStake, providing liquidity for eth2 stakers.)
At the time of publication, liquidity on Uniswap dropped ~43% (>$1.5 billion decrease) since the rewards program ended on Tuesday morning. Nick from Hex Capital did a cursory look as to where this liquidity is heading, and it still remains to be seen how much—if any of it—ends up in the deposit contract.
After a long and storied life, Medalla is being deprecated in favor of the new Pyrmont testnet, which aligns with the v1.0.0 of the official eth2 specification. Pyrmont’s genesis is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18th at 12pm UTC, and will later be open for public participation. You can follow along with the explorer and eth2stats.
Additionally, all client teams, including the two leads in Prysm and Lighthouse, are still pushing out releases and plan to have a client release between November 24th and December 1st (in time for genesis).
This testnet and client release schedule likely explains some of the decrease in activity we’re seeing with deposits. A lack of finalization, and now a total deprecation, of Medalla slowed down testing in the crucial final weeks before launch. Client teams pushing final versions mere days before genesis is also likely giving people pause before depositing ETH into the eth2 staking contract.
While many in the community are still hopeful that genesis can happen on December 1st, some folks are getting ready for other eventualities. Eric Conner of EthHub opened an issue with the proposal to add a maximum date for genesis of December 15th. As he states, “This would mean that eth2 genesis kicks off even if we don’t hit the required minimum deposit amount (524,288 ETH) in the current spec.” Eric’s proposal resulted in heated debate. The community is squarely divided.
Although it is likely that the minimum threshold will not be met by November 24th, delaying genesis, we do not expect the delay to last long. There’s simply too much pressure and anticipation for launch. Our current forecast is the threshold will be met by December 1st and for genesis to trigger on the 8th. But, regardless of when genesis gets triggered, our advice is for everyone to remain calm. It’s a stressful time for everyone and a bit of kindness, patience, and understanding with each other—and with the launch—goes a long way.
The third edition of the four-part eth2 insights series written by Elias Simos, Protocol Specialist at Bison Trails, was published this week focusing on validator effectiveness along with the parameters governing it and how validators were distributed along those parameters in Medalla.
The series is based on Elias’ research on the Medalla testnet data, conducted jointly with Sid Shekhar, Blockchain Research Lead at Coinbase. Elias and Sid were just recognized by the Ethereum Foundation as some of the winners of the eth2 Medalla Data Challenge!
Those new to the world of eth2 (or just in need of a refresher) can check out our guide to eth2 and accompanying eth2 Terminology Guide, a living and non-exhaustive list of key terms to understand the eth2 protocol.
Don’t miss our live event with Messari on December 2nd: “The Road to ETH 2.0.” Register now.
You can join us now in the lead-up to the eth2 Mainnet Launch by becoming an eth2 Pioneer. Participants in the Bison Trails eth2 Pioneer Program have early access to Bison Trails’ suite of eth2 products including:
Some of the leading enterprises in the space have already joined our eth2 Pioneer Program and are beginning to integrate with our validator management API.
It’s not too late to be an eth2 Pioneer! Contact us to learn more about the eth2 Pioneer Program. We want you to have early access to build on the Beacon Chain!
For custodial staking, use Coinbase's eth2 retail staking solution powered by Bison Trails.
—Viktor Bunin, Protocol Specialist
Bison Trails is a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company based in New York City. We built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in 21 new chains effortlessly.
We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 33 protocols with Query & Transact (QT). Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.
In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails joined Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data.
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