Update: David Rugendyke, from ETH 2 staking DApp Rocket Pool took a look at the code and told Cointelegraph, it's only part way there: "This is a tool for generating keys needed for making deposits on the ETH2 deposit contract. So it looks like they're announcing this tool is ready to go for mainnet, at least that's my take."
Excitement is stirring in the Ethereum community after the deposit contract was apparently posted on Github, however the lead developers are yet to officially confirm the deployment.
Ethereum developers have warned in the past about the danger of fake deposit contracts, so users should not send any Ether to the contract until after an official announcement.
The repository on Github was posted a few hours ago and appears to have been uploaded by Ethereum Foundation researcher Carl Beekhuizen’s account. In Discord, some have queried whether the account may be compromised.
The apparent release of 'v1.0.0 of the eth2.0-deposit-cli' was titled;
“We have a go for Main engine start”
Crypto Twitter has been taken over by the U.S. election but members of the Ethereum community have been eagerly awaiting anything official regarding the first stage of the long-awaited ETH 2.0 launch. Reddit also features numerous threads about the apparent launch.
Bankless founder David Hoffman commented on the release coinciding with election night;
Lead developers and community members are yet to post anything on their own Twitter feeds though ConsenSys developer Ben Edgington said earlier today the deposit contract deployment was a matter of hours away.
Hours not days https://t.co/RpiO4ThW29— Ben Edgington ⟠ benjaminion.eth (@benjaminion_xyz) November 3, 2020
Not everyone is convinced the code released today is actually for the full deposit contract. In response to Ethereum influencer Anthony Sassano posting about the launch, ETH 'freelancer' Osin wrote:
Where is the deposit contract in this commit? This is mostly just wallet generation code and mnemonic import code?— oisin.eth (@OisinKyne) November 4, 2020
The deposit contract allows ETH to be sent between Ethereum and ETH 2.0, and comprises one of the few remaining updates needed to facilitate the roll-out of ETH 2.0 phase 0. ETH 2.0's beacon chain genesis is expected to take place within weeks of the deposit contract's launch, and will lay the groundwork for proof-of-stake consensus and chain sharding. Users require 32 ETH to stake and become validators, and 16,384 validators are needed to complete the launch of the beacon chain
Following Edginton’s premature announcement in late October that the deposit contract was ready to launch imminently, there was a delay because Ethereum 2.0 coordinator Danny Ryan wanted to wait for an audit on a performance and security-focused signature library called blst. As it turns out, even if today's "deposit contract" release isn't legitimate, the official release does not look far off with Ryan tweeting earlier:
blst library looks good— dannyryan (@dannyryan) November 3, 2020
In an update posted last week, Edgington reaffirmed that the audit was going well and they were ready to "pull the trigger on everything."
In his earlier update, the developer stated that the Beacon Chain genesis event would be just 6-8 weeks after the deployment of the deposit contract. He also warned about fake contracts;
“Many fake deposit contracts and Launchpad front-ends will erupt in the coming days. Look out for the official announcements: do not send Eth to random contracts; this is not DeFi.”
Danny Ryan and Ben Edgington were contacted for comment at the time of writing but had not responded by the time the story went to press.