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, which transitions the Ethereum network to Proof of Stake. Currently, ETH holders can move their ETH over a one-way bridge and start earning rewards on Eth2.

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Market Cap
Distributed every epoch, but locked until phase 2
1 ETH up to entire stake, depending on severity of offense
At least 27 hours, but locked until phase 2
No compounding
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Ethereum FAQ

What is Proof-of-Stake Ethereum?

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The Ethereum network is undergoing a series of upgrades to help make it more scalable, secure and sustainable, these upgrades were previously referred to as Ethereum 2. A few of these upgrades, culminating in ‘The Merge’, represent Ethereum’s transition from a proof-of-work (POW) network to a proof-of-stake (POS) network. 

The Beacon Chain, launched in December 2020, represents an upgrade of the consensus layer of Ethereum to POS. The Merge, estimated to take place around the end of June 2022, represents an upgrade to POS on the execution layer. After the Merge Ethereum will be a POS network only.

When are staking rewards enabled? When are transfers enabled?

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Staking rewards were enabled on December 1, 2020.

Transfers are not expected to be enabled until sometime after ‘The Merge’ (likely around the end of June 2022). Read more here.

What is the name of the asset being staked?

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Ether (ETH) can be deposited in a one-way bridge contract to mint and stake ETH on the Beacon Chain (see here). Withdrawals will not be available until sometime after The Merge; in other words, this process is irreversible in the short term.

Which type(s) and what rate of rewards can I expect? Can I stake locked/vesting tokens?

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Staking rewards are paid out every epoch (6 minutes and 24 seconds). Rewards will not be transferable until after ‘The Merge’.

Post merge, priority fees will accrue to validators instead of miners. This will result in an increase to staking yield from about 5% today to around 10%. Eventually as more staking is added to the network the yield will be deflationary as seen in the estimate below.

Do I maintain custody of my ETH tokens? Who or what controls my staked ETH token?

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While you may self-custody your staked ETH (ideally using a Ledger hardware wallet), you may choose a third-party custodian or liquidity provider to control the withdrawal of your staked ETH.

Figment has partnerships with a number of top-in-class custodians, including liquidity provider DARMA Capital who will provide USDC loans backed by staked ETH:

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.

How long does it take to unstake?

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Your stake will not be able to be unlocked until sometime after ‘The Merge’. Once you have voluntarily 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 sometime after ‘The Merge’.

The unbonding period is uncertain and could range from 1 day to 3 weeks.

Are there risks associated with staking ETH?

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Yes, a portion of your staked ETH can be slashed. You can lose ETH for malicious actions, going offline, failing to validate, or from double-spending.

Figment insures our clients from slashing and has never had a slashing event.

Why move to Proof of Stake?

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Decentralization and sustainability are two of the key benefits of POS networks compared to POW networks. Instead of miners using computer hardware, proof-of-stake token owners offer their coins as collateral for the chance to validate blocks to secure the network, in turn they earn a staking reward.

What is Staking?

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On a Proof of Stake blockchain, staking is the act of depositing tokens in order to become a validator; that is, to participate in proposing and attesting to transaction blocks. Anyone with a minimum necessary coin balance can validate transactions and earn staking rewards on these blockchains.

How is Ethereum governed?

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Ethereum is the most prominent example of a network that uses off-chain governance. You can observe and/or participate in Ethereum governance activity here:

Where can I learn more about Eth2?

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Where can I explore the Beacon chain?

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