Ethereum at the time of writing is $210.65 a token, just over a fifth of its ATH of $1034.15 (according to coinmarketcap) during the tail end of the infamous 2017-2018 bull run, that saw many of the crypto community introduced for the first time. Ethereum is the mainstay token representing the platform which specializes in smart contracts and allows developers to use its open source code for decentralized applications or (dapps) as they are affectionately named amongst the Silicon Valley and crypto sphere.
Ethereum is poised to enter a phase of significant volume and potentially a price increase, as the protocol is currently under varying testnets, establishing the health and functionality of a long time proposed network upgrade, Ethereum 2.0, From an investor and typical consumer perspective, the central attraction to Ethereum lies within the shift of the protocol to a Proof-of-Stake underlying principle, which will allow users to stake or “bake” their ETH on the network. Vitalik Buterin and other longtime Ethereum developers have purportedly been hypothesizing the switch since 2015. The central feature of this Proof-of-Stake protocol, is that stakers will be able to make their crypto work for them, earning passive income in the form of interest paid via partial ethereum tokens to the staker’s wallet.
So what is staking then? Why reward these stakers for their crypto holdings? Staking is inherently a process by which staked tokens are used and locked on the blockchain network, and the intrinsic power and code found within the digital tokens themselves is used to enhance or support the functionality of any given Proof-of-Stake network, to validate transactions and so forth. Therefore, when Ethereum 2.0 is launched, hodlers will have the opportunity to stake their tokens on the network and receive rewards. This will be available to those running a validator, which has a minimum token requirement of 32 ETH according to the developers, and for those not meeting the minimum token requirement, they may use a third party validator for a fee. If a user happens to have more than 32 ETH tokens, they may run multiple validators and receive the appropriate staking rewards, which are synonymous to a block subsidy on a Proof-of-Work blockchain.
Vitalik and others have said the network could be live as soon as July of 2020, just two months after the BTC halving, leading to an unprecedented environment for current and new capital to gain interest and enter into ETH and the crypto market as a whole.