The first December is the planned start date.
Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 has now been formalised and is expected to start around 1 December. The deposit contract is now online and you can now collect the necessary funds to trigger the staking.
A recent report from the Ethereum Foundation on Wednesday explains how the Genesis process is expected to proceed.
People interested in staking can now deposit their 32 Ether (ETH) into the contract via the special launchpad and prepare for the launch.
The contract must collect 16384 deposits of 32 ETH each, i.e. a total of 524,288 ETH or about 200 million US dollars, in order to launch this feature.
The required sum must be raised at least seven days before the expected launch date on 1 December. If this is not the case, the launch will be postponed to seven days after this threshold is reached.
After many years of anticipation and delays, the announcement is the first clearly defined date for the launch of Ethereum 2.0.
The community has signalled its willingness, but there could still be potential problems with the clients. The reliability of the Medalla test network has been faltering in recent days and often failed due to participation problems. Many people believe that this is due to the lack of staking incentives. But some problems with the software have also been reported. Nevertheless, the team believes that most software clients are ready for the Mainnet launch.
The end of this journey is also the beginning of a new one. The start of Phase 0 will not directly affect the existing Ethereum block chain, which will continue to operate with the proof-of-work protocol as before.
The transitions from Phase 1 and Phase 2, which are to follow in the coming years, will eventually convert the existing Ethereum infrastructure to the new, staking consensus.