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Ethereum is an open source, distributed blockchain platform secured by the cryptocurrency ETH. People and entities globally use Ethereum for open access to digital money and data-friendly services. On Ethereum, you can write code that controls digital value, runs exactly as programmed, and is accessible anywhere in the world.
Ethereum 2.0 (aka Eth2 or Serenity) refers to the next phase of Ethereum’s development.
Instead of using miners to create new blocks via Proof of Work, Ethereum will have a set of validators that create new blocks via Proof of Stake. That means that ETH holders will be able to stake their ETH to secure the network and earn newly-issued ETH. At first there will be no ETH transfers or smart contracts. Over the next couple years, this set of upgrades will be built by multiple teams from across the Ethereum ecosystem.
Are Ethereum & Eth2 different?
Initially they will be different. Ultimately they will merge to be the same network.
During this upgrade, Ethereum will continue to function as-is, and Eth2 will begin purely as a staking network. That means that there will be no transfers or smart contracts on Eth2 until both networks merge. During this time, people can choose to stake their ETH on Eth2. While the naming may be confusing, ultimately there will be one network: Ethereum.
ETH holders are currently moving their ETH over a one-way bridge to the Eth2 network in preparation for staking on Eth2. While there are number of derivative solutions and lending options being offered to provide liquidity, assets on Eth2 will not be liquid until Ethereum and Eth2 merge. Once merged, Ethereum will be a more scalable, more secure, and more sustainable network.
When will Eth2 launch?
Eth2 launched on Dec 1, 2020.
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Staking rewards were enabled when the network launched on December 1, 2020.
Transfers are not expected to be enabled until Phase 1.5, which could begin anytime between June 2021 and June 2022 (or possibly even later). Read more here.
The Ethereum 2.0 network’s native token, ETH, is used to stake and to pay for fees associated with different kinds of transactions.
ETH from Ethereum can be deposited in a one-way bridge contract to mint and stake ETH on Ethereum 2.0. This process cannot be reversed, and ultimately both networks will be merged.
All ETH on Eth2 is locked until Phase 1.5–it can be staked, but not withdrawn or transferred. During Phase 0 you must initiate staking using the Ethereum deposit contract (a one-way bridge from Eth1 to Eth2)—your staking provider or liquidity provider can do this on your behalf. Figment has partnered with liquidity provider LiquidStake.
You will need to stake in fixed denominations of 32 ETH or join a staking pool like Rocket Pool.
Depending on the number of ETH that are staked, you should expect to earn between 2% and 20% newly-issued ETH tokens. With 1.268M ETH staked, rewards are just under 16%.
Once transfers are enabled, stakers can expect to earn fees associated with network transactions.
Staking rewards will be paid out every epoch, which is approximately every six and a half minutes. Rewards will not be transferable until Phase 1.5.
You can stop staking, but once you have stopped, there’s no way for you to activate your stake again, and you won’t be able to transfer or withdraw your funds until at least Phase 1.5. In this case your funds will remain inaccessible and unstakeable until Phase 1.5.
While you may self-custody the withdrawal key for your staked ETH (ideally using a Ledger X hardware wallet), or you may choose a third-party liquidity provider to control the withdrawal of your staked ETH. If you choose to self-custody the withdrawal key, note that your validator must first sign a transaction to enable you to withdraw. Also note that initially only the Ledger Nano X will support Eth2 (not Nano S).
The Ethereum 2.0 protocol takes control of your ETH tokens while you are staking. You will not be able to withdraw or transfer ETH before Phase 1.5, which could begin anywhere from June 2021 to June 2022 (or even later). Read more here.
Note that you will also not be able to withdraw until your validator has exited. You can have your validator stop staking, but once your validator has exited, there’s no way for you to activate your stake again, and you won’t be able to transfer or withdraw your funds until at least Phase 1.5. In this case your funds will remain inaccessible and unstakeable until Phase 1.5.
After Phase 1.5, the unbonding process could take between 1 day and 3 weeks before the protocol returns your tokens to you.
Your stake will not be able to be unlocked until Phase 1.5, which we estimate to be between 6 and 18 months. Afterwards, the unbonding time could range from 1 day to 3 weeks.
Yes, a portion of your staked ETH can be destroyed, and your validator may be removed from the active set. You can lose ETH for malicious actions, going offline, and for failing to validate.
However, if 1/3 or more of all validators go offline simultaneously along with your validator, you will lose up to 50% of your stake over 21 days before being ejected from the active set of validators.
Yes. If your validator’s stake falls below 16 ETH, it will be removed from the active set
Ethereum 2.0 issues new ETH at a dynamic rate that is determined algorithmically, based upon the number of ETH staked. If only 524,288 ETH minimum are staked, ~113k new ETH will be minted in one year. If 10M ETH are staked, ~490k new ETH will be minted in one year. As of Dec 8, 2020, 1.268M ETH are staked.
EIP-1559 proposes to burn a portion of gas fees, and if implemented, is expected to gradually reduce the supply of ETH.