The newly launched deposit contract address for Eth2 — the next-generation version of the Ethereum blockchain network — continues to grow, standing at 31,557 ETH as of press time.
3,200 ETH of that — worth roughly $1.3 million at current prices — was contributed by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, according to EtherScan, which tracks the network's blockchain data.
When reached for comment, Buterin said he expects that the deposit contract will continue to attract people "as stakers get their coins out of cold storage, get comfortable with the tools and confident that the tools work and they're not accidentally throwing their coins away, etc."
As for whether the deposit contract address will hit the requisite 524,288 ETH — constituting 16,384 validators — by December 1, the earliest date upon which the genesis of Eth2's Phase 0 can commence, Buterin struck a positive note but added: "There are not a lot of precedents."
He went on to say:
"If you look at the ether sale in 2015 for example, there was a significant (but disappointing) level of participation on day 1, then very little on days 2-12, and then on day 13 and especially 14 (the last day with a full discount) there was a huge spike that ended up being something like half of all ether that ended up going into the sale. So it's very possible that here too we'll see a quiet period and then lots of participation in the last week of November. But this is me just speculating, we'll see!"
As reported earlier this week, the deposit address launch represents the final leg of what has been a years-long process to shift Ethereum from a proof-of-work network to one based on proof-of-stake. Phase 0 will see the launch of Eth2's beacon chain, which will serve as a kind of backbone for the nascent network.
In August, developers launched Medalla, a testnet that served as a multi-client dress rehearsal for the operation of Eth2's Phase 0 launch.