The first Ethereum node was launched into outer space on Thursday, June 3, as part of an initiative to bring enhanced security to blockchain transactions.
Also, the Ethereum 2.0 network received a record-breaking number of new deposits in May, indicating increased interest for and investment in Ethereum’s plans to reduce blockchain energy consumption through a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol.
Pulse check: Deposits on Eth 2.0 hit record high
In May, the number of deposits for spinning up new Eth 2.0 validators increased 246% to a record-breaking total of 26,681. As of Tuesday, June 8, there are over 160,000 active validators operating on Eth 2.0 and 6,700 pending validators queued for entry.
As the number of deposits has grown, so has the total ETH staked on the network. In order to be an Eth 2.0 validator, users must stake a minimum of 32 ETH, worth roughly $81,000 at the time of writing, to the network.
In dollar terms, total ETH staked on Ethereum 2.0 has risen from roughly $12 billion at the beginning of May to over $13 billion as of Tuesday, June 7. These deposits represent 4.6% of the circulating supply of ether, which indicates that the vast majority of ETH is used for other purposes outside of staking, such as market speculation, lending, trading and decentralized application (dapp) execution.
From May to June, total validators rewards have also increased by 10% from around 900 new ether issued per day to close to 1,000 ETH/day. The rewards issued on Ethereum 2.0 only make up a small fraction of the rewards issued on Ethereum’s proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain, which are awarded to miners. In mid-July, Ethereum miners are anticipating a reduction in their total rewards as a result of a code change to the network’s fee market known as Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559.
Since the major incident in February which ousted 75 validators from the Eth 2.0 network, there have been eight new incidents of slashings reported. Slashings occur when a validator is heavily penalized and forcibly removed from the network for malicious behaviour that goes against the rules of the protocol.
The malicious behavior of the past 8 slashing incidents have all been attestation violations, meaning that these validators intentionally, but more likely accidentally, signed off on two attestations for the same block instead of one.
This can happen if a user is trying to maximize rewards by running the same Eth 2.0 validator using two different setups. When one setup goes down, the plan is to automatically boot up the other to minimize operational downtime. However, when both setups are accidentally running at the same time, this can lead to the validator being slashed.
Check out this Mapping Out Eth 2 podcast episode featuring Raul Jordan, the co-lead developer of Prysmatic Labs, to learn more about slashing events on Eth 2.0 and how new validators can avoid them.
New frontiers: Aboard the International Space Station
On Thursday, June 3, an Ethereum node was launched into outer space from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and on Monday, June 7, the node arrived at NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) for installation.
It’s the fourth blockchain node to be put into Earth-centered orbit, also called low earth orbit (LEO), by cryptocurrency startup SpaceChain. In 2018, two others connected to the Qtum blockchain were deployed into the LEO. Then, in 2019, SpaceChain set up the first active bitcoin node on the ISS.
Speaking to the first Ethereum-enabled payload to be installed and activated on the ISS now in 2021, SpaceChain co-founder and CEO Zee Zheng said in a blog post, “Bitcoin and Ethereum represent the two biggest ecosystems in the blockchain industry. With Ethereum’s smart contract platform running in outer space, it enables us to…