In an announcement, the U.S. cloud platform stated that it was embracing Web3 and proof-of-stake consensus with Ethereum. Cloudflare will launch and fully stake Ethereum validator nodes on its global network over the next few months, it added.
There was no specification of how many nodes it would run or how much ETH it had purchased for staking. Each validator node on the Beacon Chain requires a stake of 32 ETH worth approximately $66,500 at current prices.
In addition to staking ETH, the company is also delving deeper into researching the next-generation consensus model.
“Cloudflare is going to participate in the research and development of the core infrastructure that helps keep Ethereum secure, fast, as well as energy efficient for everyone.”
Cloudflare securing the Ethereum economy
Cloudflare essentially provides protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and other web-based threats for high-traffic websites and internet portals. The platform was founded in 2009 and currently has more than four million customers while serving more than nine million websites according to Builtwith.
The firm’s first experiments in Web3 began almost four years ago with a gateway to the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). In 2019 it developed an Ethereum Gateway which allowed users to interact with the Ethereum network without installing any additional software on their computers.
Due to the increasing concern over the energy usage and environmental impacts of proof-of-work crypto mining, Cloudflare is going all-in on PoS. It touted Ethereum’s 99+% energy usage reduction when it switches to PoS after the Merge later this year as one of the primary reasons for the move.
“Part of this experimentation though is a commitment. As part of our experiments Cloudflare has not and will not run our own Proof of Work infrastructure on our network.”
Additionally, running validator nodes on the Cloudflare network allows the firm to offer even more geographic decentralization in places like EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), LATAM (Latin America), and APJC (Asia Pacific, Japan, and China) while also adding infrastructure decentralization to the network, it added.
ETH Staking Update
There is currently 12,755,383 ETH staked on the Beacon Chain according to the Launchpad dashboard. At current prices of just below $2,100, this is worth an estimated $26.5 billion and represents 10.5% of the total circulating supply of ETH.
Additionally, Ethereum Consensus Layer (formerly known as ETH 2.0) has 380,373 validators and the staking yield is 4.3% per annum.