Ethereum 2.0 is approaching what some are calling a major milestone in its short history — 6 million staked Ether (ETH). The Ethereum Launchpad, Ethereum 2.0’s portal for validators to stake their coins, shows some 5.9 million staked Ether and almost 180,000 validators powering the blockchain Wednesday.

That averages out to just slightly more than the minimum 32 staked Ether required to activate the validating software and becoming a validating node on the network. This represents an investment of $66,560 to participate as a validator on the network at the average crypto exchange price at the time of publication.

According to the Ethereum Foundation, validators “are responsible for storing data, processing transactions, and adding new blocks to the blockchain.”

When Ethereum 2.0 first went online in Dec 2020, the foundation required a minimum of 524,288 ETH to be staked before launching. So in six months, Ethereum has swelled with 10x more validators than the minimum network requirements decided by the foundation last year.

ETH rallied this week after reclaiming $2,000, remaining above key support at $2,080 since mid-afternoon Monday (UTC). Traders and investors are bullish for Ether as they anxiously await the London hard fork scheduled for July.

At the current price level, the 5.9 million staked Ether is worth some $12.29 billion in market exchange value. That figure represents the amount of money nearly 180,000 validators have locked away in deposit, for the opportunity to power the blockchain.

This qualifies them as good-faith participants in the network, with a stake in following the rules and keeping malicious behavior and software off the Ethereum network.

Validators that do not adhere to the network protocol, go offline, or fail to validate, risk losing their staked Ether. Those that help the network follow the rules and achieve consensus as it processes requests from users earn rewards credited to them on the blockchain.

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