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  • The number of Ethereum nodes briefly exceeded those in the Bitcoin network.
  • With the launch of ETH 2.0 just a few hours away, the smart contracts giant is capturing all the hashing power.

The level of participation in the Ethereum network has risen by about 13% from where it was on November 15. The number of Ethereum nodes briefly out paced those of Bitcoin, in anticipation for the ETH 2.0 upgrade.

Ethereum network at full speed up as ETH 2.0 approaches

A recent spike in the number of Ethereum nodes appears to be correlated with the growing speculation around the launch of ETH 2.0, which is just a couple of hours away. 

Nodes can be regarded as the backbone of the Ethereum protocol as well as any other blockchain system. Transaction data is stored, spread, and preserved within these servers or CPUs allowing to keep the network updated.

As captured in a tweet by a blockchain mining and analytics company, Bitfly, the number of Ether nodes slightly exceeded those of Bitcoin on November 29. Although the milestone was only short-lived, it shows the amount of interest around Ethereum’s shift from the current proof-of-work consensus algorithm to proof-of-stake.

At the time of writing, the number of Bitcoin nodes had already reclaimed its position ahead of Ethereum. The former has 11,376 active nodes while the latter shows around 11,184 active nodes.

Node count history by ethernodes

Node count history by ethernodes

On December 1, at 12:00 UTC, the launch of Phase 0 will kick off. The event is said to be the catalyst for the full roll out of ETH 2.0. Although the upgrade consists of three different phases, everything is set to occur in a sequence and might take at least two years to complete, according to Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin. 

Nothing about the current usage of the Ethereum protocol will change during this phase. Outside of bootstrapping a network of proof-of-stake validators, the Beacon Chain will have little functionality.

“There will be no applications, transactions, or smart contracts executed on [the Beacon Chain]for some time. That will all continue on Ethereum’s existing PoW chain for the time being. Even when sharding is implemented (possibly around this time next year), the entire Ethereum ecosystem will continue to run in parallel on the proof of work chain,” said tea search firm Messari. 

It remains to be seen what impact such an anticipated upgrade will have on Ethereum price as it continues consolidating above $600.