The deposit contract for staking Ethereum (ETH) on the Beacon Chain reached a balance of 12 million ETH on Friday. The total locked value of Ether in the Eth2 contract is worth about $34.5 billion.

The deposit contract was launched in November 2020 and currently holds around 10% of the total circulating supply of ETH.

Beacon chain staking contract. Source: Etherscan

The Beacon Chain is the first major step in Ethereum’s transition from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model. A trader must invest a minimum of 32 ETH to become a validator in Eth2. Thus, the largest Beacon Chain contract, valued at $34.5 billion, highlights the enormous demand and trust in the future Eth2, despite several delays over the past year.

ETH devs started the community testing of the PoS network in December, however, the tentative merger date of June 2022 was postponed again, without any certain date for the merger being offered.

Related: Ethereum price ‘bear flag’ could sink ETH to $2K after 20% decline in three weeks

Ethereum’s biggest upgrade since its inception has faced numerous challenges and continuous delays along the way. Despite that, the deposit contract has grown significantly with over 2 million ETH deposited over the last two months.

Ethereum’s move to PoS has generated varied sentiments in the crypto market where on one hand, the energy-conscious group has lauded the move, claiming it would bring down the network’s consumption by 90%; on the other hand, Bitcoin (BTC) proponents such as Jack Dorsey believe PoS mining consensus is more centralized and less secure than PoW.

The merger of the Beacon Chain into the Ethereum mainnet would complete the transition to Eth2. The upcoming merger is expected to put the Ethereum network on par with centralized payment processors, increasing its payment processing speed by several magnitudes with the help of sharding (parallel processing).