To meet the planned launch date of December 1, at least 16,384 validators at least 32 ETH each 7 days in advance, or 524,288 ETH in total. These validators will then verify transactions on the network instead of the miners who do that in the current system.
Recently it could already be read on Crypto Insiders however, this is slow. At the time of writing, only 20% of the required amount has been locked in and there are only 4 days left to reach the launch date:
107,392 ETH has been staked in the Eth2 deposit contract.
416,896 more ETH is needed to launch Eth2.
— Eth 2.0 Deposit Contract – Progress Meter Bot (@DepositEth) November 20, 2020
Why aren’t people on strike yet?
The Ethereum 2.0 developers recently held a ask me anything (AMA) session Reddit. They asked the community what is preventing them from striking. The following reasons are listed; (1) 32 ETH is now $ 16,000, which is a lot and makes people insecure, (2) it is currently not possible to take the ETH out again, (3) there is uncertainty about the launch date, (4) there there is a potential for loss of capital due to technical issues, (5) there are other tempting platforms to deposit ETH in, and (6) it is currently not very user-friendly.
The discussion shows that the developers are considering a “plan b” regarding the launch. Some suggestions made by the community are to set perhaps December 15th or January 15th as a maximum. So that’s the new blockchainnetwork on one of these days even though not enough has been secured yet.
Lowering the threshold of 524K ETH is also being considered. When these plans were set up, the price of ether was a lot lower than now. Developer Danny Ryan reports that 100K may be enough, but it is too early to change this yet. Developer Carl Beekhuizen says there is a 95% chance that the launch will take place at least before the end of January 2021.
Co-founder Vitalik Buterin also reports that we may see some improvement on the network faster than expected, including 100K transactions per second (TPS). Currently, Ethereum can only handle 15 TPS, which is a major hurdle for the network.
Despite the uncertainty about the launch date, the price of ether is on the rise. At the time of writing, it has broken by $ 500 for the first time since June 2018.