As the launch of Ethereum 2.0 is underway, one would think miners are slowly transitioning to staking. Interestingly enough, that is far from the case. Ethereum has hit a new hashrate all-time high this week, indicating the network remains of great interest to miners.
Ethereum Hashrate Keeps Growing
It has been an exciting year for all cryptocurrencies. Looking beyond the price changes, the overall hashrate of individual networks is always intriguing. For Ethereum, there is a genuine interest in mining ever since early 2020. Its hashrate continues to climb week after week, culminating in a new all-time high.
According to Etherscan, the Ethereum hashrate now sits at over 349 petahash per second. A substantial amount, given how the network had seemingly peaked at just under 300 petahash per second in late 2018. Ever since, the chart has been on a steep decline, although a small resurgence is visible in late 2019.
Following this new all-time high, one has to wonder why this is happening. Miners don’t focus on Ethereum solely for the block rewards. They benefit from the network’s high transaction fees as those are included in every block. Currently, it costs 0.01344 ETH to complete a “fast” transaction, equal to $17.87. Miners enjoy these high fees, as they create extra revenue.
The high fees are also problematic for all Ethereum users. Paying such a cost to move funds across the network is not acceptable. Even so, there is likely to be another hashrate all-time high if people keep paying these exuberant fees. With the current price volatility of ETH and all ERC-20 assets, there is an increasing demand to move value to and from exchanges.
What About Ethereum 2.0?
Many people may be wondering what this hashrate all-time high means for the Ethereum 2.0 staking process. Surprisingly, both of these options co-exist peacefully. There is substantial growth for both mining and staking, confirming the healthy status of the network.
Today, the Ethereum 2.0 staking contract holds 2,840,169 Ether or over $3.8 billion in value. There’s also over $631,000 in ERC-20 tokens, albeit it remains unclear why that is the case exactly. This balance increased by roughly 135,000 ETH in the past week.
Keeping in mind how one has to stake [multitudes of] 32 ETH to participate in staking, there is a growing interest in exploring this option. Even with the prices fluctuating wildly lately, the possibility remains appealing. Users can still earn over 10% APY per year, which is – at current prices – equal to over $4,000 per year.