The second-largest blockchain has achieved another significant milestone, nearly four months after Ethereum made the successful transition to a proof-of-stake network. Data from Etherscan reveals that more than 16 million ether (ETH) have been placed into the Beacon Chain staking contract on Ethereum.

The 16 million ETH amount is almost $22.38 billion at the current pricing and more than 13.28% of the whole ether supply. It happens almost two years to the day after the Beacon Chain proof-of-stake network was created and Ethereum's staking contract became live in 2020.

The Ethereum network's "validators" "stake" ETH in exchange for the opportunity to add authenticated transactions to the blockchain's ledger. The staked ETH are locked up in the network and earn interest, but until the network's Shanghai upgrade, which is not anticipated until March, they cannot be withdrawn.

Although the rising amount of staked ETH can be seen as a positive development for Ethereum adoption and security, it may put more pressure on the network's core developers to complete the withdrawal functionality as soon as possible.

According to Nansen data, there are currently about 92,500 distinct depositors for staking. BeaconScan data reveals that there are around 498,000 active validators.

Theoretically, it should be more difficult for a single player to sabotage the Ethereum chain with a bigger number of staked ETH. However, a small number of significant actors presently own the majority of Ethereum's stake, raising worries that the chain's management is becoming overly centralized.

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