The Ethereum network has achieved a new milestone in the New Year 2023, with more than 500,000 validators. The validators guarantee the integrity and security of the Ethereum network and operate by consensus to process transactions on the blockchain.
To run a dedicated staking node on the proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, a validator must deposit 32 ETH, which is about $45,000 in fiat currency. The staked funds are then locked in the network. Validators, while they accrue staking rewards from Ethereum’s inflation, are unable to access the funds until after the Shanghai upgrade. It will allow validators to withdraw the staked Ether for the first time.
John Jefferies, chief marketing officer at Blocknative, said the increase in the number of active validators is a positive sign for the Ethereum ecosystem. He highlighted that the network is on the verge of reaching 500,000 active validators. This shows an increase in confidence, positive market sentiment, and conviction in the Ethereum ecosystem as a whole. Jefferies believes that once the Shanghai upgrade is completed and staked ETH becomes accessible, there will be a more liquid and free-flowing ecosystem. He added that it wouldn’t be a surprise if more people spin up validators after Shanghai as they gain the peace of mind of knowing they can unstake their Ether more fluidly.
Ben Edgington, a lead product owner at ConsenSys, shared that Ethereum witnessed its total value stake reach over $22 billion. This implies that it would be really difficult and costly to attack the network’s consensus. Edgington said they can consider the security of the Ethereum network through the total value staked and degree of centralization. He believes there is a considerable degree of decentralization. It is much more distributed than it was under the proof-of-work (PoW), prior to the Merge. The expert said many of the nodes are run by home stakers.