The deposit contract for the Beacon Chain, which is the bridge between the existing Ethereum blockchain and the forthcoming Ethereum 2.0, now holds over 3,000,000 ETH, worth over $5.5 billion at current prices.
The contract has been very successful since its launch in November, and had already secured the necessary amount of ETH to ensure the contract within three weeks of its launch.
When the time comes to launch Ethereum 2.0, the Beacon Chain will help “dock” the current mainnet onto 2.0 to ensure the network’s complete migration. Significantly, Ethereum 2.0 uses proof-of-stake where “validators” replace miners to process transactions.
This is very different to Proof-of-Work, which the Bitcoin blockchain uses, as does the existing Ethereum one. But, to earn the title of validator, an Ethereum user must stake 32 ETH into the deposit contract through a validator node. So, you do need quite a large amount of ETH to be involved. Of course, those who have staked in this new version of the Ethereum blockchain will reap their rewards in the future, in the same way that share holders make money when a share price goes up.
Kraken and Coinbase exchanges, as well as wallets, such as MyEtherWallet, are offering custodial staking for their clients by running a validator node on their behalf. Furthermore, Coinbase and Kraken are allowing their clients to stake above the basic 32 ETH amount required to be part of the Beacon Chain and Ethereum 2.0.