The rewards for the first week of May were 36% bigger than in the previous week.
Ethereum validators pocketed a staggering $46 million in the first week of May, thanks to a surge in the staking rewards rate, reflecting validators' annualized yield.
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The surge in rewards can be attributed to the recent trading frenzy surrounding a new memecoin, Pepe (PEPE). In the most recent PEPE-related news, after the token's price dropped, three whales purchased billions of Pepe tokens.
Due to the hype around PEPE, over the past week, average fees on the Ethereum network exceeded 100 gwei, reaching the highest level since May 2022.
With rising gas fees, end users face transaction costs of over $30 per swap, which boosts validators' income from transaction processing and regular validator rewards.
Beaconcha.in explains that the current staking rate represents the expected annualized return for validators. Ethereum validators had to stake a minimum of 32 ETH (approximately $58,000) to participate in the network's consensus process.
ETH Store, a company that tracks reward rates, distinguishes between two types of rewards: transaction fees for processing transactions on the Ethereum network and consensus rewards for proposing and attesting blocks.
The move to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism in 2022 with the Merge, along with the recent Shanghai upgrade enabling validator withdrawals for the first time, had piqued institutional interest in Ethereum staking.
Ethereum validators are reaping substantial rewards due to the recent staking rewards rate surge, highlighting the growing interest in the network.