The staking contract for the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain is now the single-largest holder of Ether.
According to blockchain analytics provider Nansen, the Eth2 staking contract has surpassed Wrapped Ethereum (wETH) to become the single largest holder of ETH. Unlike Ether, Wrapped Ether adheres to the ERC-20 standard, making it the favored representation of ETH among DeFi protocols that use ERC-20 tokens.
The findings were posted to Twitter by Alex Svanevik, CEO of blockchain analytics firm, Nansen, on Aug. 17. The data shows that the Beacon Chain’s deposit contract holds 6.73 million ETH — worth roughly $21.5 billion at current prices.
By contrast, Nansen’s data suggests the Wrapped Ethereum contract holds 6.7 million ETH ($21.4 billion), followed by Binance with 2.29 million ETH ($7.3 billion).
The quantity of Ether locked staked on Eth2 currently represents 5.7% of Ethereum’s circulating supply, according to CoinMarketCap. There are now 210,000 validators for the Eth2 network according to Beaconcha.in.
Currently, Ether staked on Eth2 is locked up and cannot be withdrawn from the contract until Ethereum’s forthcoming chain-merge that will meld the Ethereum and Eth2 networks. The chain merge is currently expected to take place during the first half of 2022.
According to Staking Rewards, Eth2 is currently the third-largest Proof-of-Stake network by staked capitalization, ranking behind Cardano’s $49 billion and Solana’s $27.5 billion.
The news comes shortly after a major milestone for Ethereum’s Eth2 roadmap, with the network successfully deploying its London upgrades on August 5.
The hard fork contained the highly anticipated Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559, which introduced a base transaction fee that is burned from supply into Ethereum’s fee market.
According to Ultrasound.Money, 54,916 ETH worth $175 million have been destroyed through transaction fees in the dozen days since London went live. At a current burn rate of 3.28 ETH, more than 140,000 ETH could be burned each month should network activity remain consistent.
At the time of writing, ETH prices had retreated 3.3% over the past 24 hours to trade at $3,180.