Staked ETH Passes 16M

The $22.38 billion worth of staked ETH will be impossible to withdraw until Ethereum’s next big upgrade.

AccessTimeIconJan 12, 2023 at 7:13 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 12, 2023 at 3:51 p.m. UTC

Almost four months after Ethereum’s successful shift to a proof-of-stake network, the second-biggest blockchain has passed another major milestone. More than 16 million ether (ETH) have been deposited into Ethereum’s Beacon Chain staking contract, data from Etherscan shows.

The 16 million ETH figure constitutes more than 13.28% of the total ether supply and represents nearly $22.38 billion at current prices. It comes nearly two years after Ethereum’s staking contract went live in 2020, when the network’s proof-of-stake Beacon Chain was introduced.

Validators – people who help run the Ethereum network – “stake” ETH for a chance to write and authenticate transactions to the blockchain’s ledger. The staked funds get locked up with the network and accrue interest, but they will be impossible to withdraw until the network’s Shanghai upgrade, which is not expected until March.

While the growing number of staked ETH can be interpreted as a promising sign for Ethereum security and adoption, it may ramp up pressure on the network’s core developers to expedite work to enable withdrawals.

CoinDesk - Unknown
Ether balance in Ethereum's Beacon Chain staking contact (Etherscan)

Data from Nansen indicates the number of unique staking depositors stands at roughly 92,500. Data sourced from BeaconScan shows that the number of active validators is about 498,000.

A larger amount of staked ETH should theoretically make it more difficult for an individual actor to sabotage the Ethereum chain. However, the bulk of Ethereum’s stake currently belongs to a handful of large actors – fueling concern that control over the chain is becoming too centralized.

CoinDesk - Unknown
Top depositors in Ethereum’s Beacon Chain staking contract (Nansen)

Out of the 16 million ETH staked, roughly 4.65 million have been staked through Lido – a kind of community-driven validator collective. Lido, Coinbase, Kraken and Binance, the four largest Ethereum validators, command a 55.88% share of all staked ETH, according to Nansen.

The amount of staked ETH has climbed about 16.68% since the Merge in September, when Ethereum abandoned its old proof-of-work consensus mechanism. The Merge fully transitioned the Ethereum blockchain to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which abandoned proof-of-work’s energy-intensive crypto mining process in favor of today’s staking system.

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Sage D. Young is a tech protocol reporter at CoinDesk. He owns a few NFTs, gold and silver, as well as BTC, ETH, LINK, AAVE, ARB, PEOPLE, DOGE, OS, and HTR.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.