The smart contract that will trigger the first phase of Ethereum’s most ambitious upgrade yet has nearly accrued enough funds to activate.
The Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract currently holds 385,440 ($231 million) of the requisite 524,288 ETH required to activate Ethereum 2.0’s beacon chain, the central nervous system of the completely rebooted network. This represents roughly 75% of the threshold needed to activate the upgrade.
The Ethereum Foundation set a soft launch date for the new Ethereum network of Dec. 1, so if the deposit contract reaches 100% of the necessary deposits by, for instance, Nov. 24, then the Beacon chain will go live Dec. 1.
The activation event can be triggered after this timeframe as well, so if the deposit contract hits its minimum on Nov. 25, for example, then the Beacon chain will activate on Dec. 2 (or if the threshold is reached by Nov. 26, it will activate on Dec. 3, and so on).
After something of a sluggish start, interest in the deposit contract has grown over recent weeks. Viktor Bunin, a protocol specialist at blockchain infrastructure service provider Bison Trails, said the tepid start was the result of a “convergence of factors,” including issues with the Medalla testnet and developers pushing later-than-expected updates for Prysm and Lighthouse, Ethereum 2.0’s primary software implementations.
Addressing one of the main criticisms against the deposit contract, Bunin said that while some users may be put off by the one-way nature of staking ETH in the contract (once ETH goes into Ethereum 2.0, it can’t come out), he said that “by and large the community is extremely excited to launch Eth 2.0.”
“There’s not a chance that Eth 2.0 doesn’t launch,” Bunin told CoinDesk. “Eth 2.0 is a vision. It is a drive to improve Ethereum to scale support for the entire planet. Even if this launch is not successful for some reason, you can be sure that the community will learn from it and try, and try, again.”