Ethereum Foundation Announces Shapella Network Upgrade on March 14

The Ethereum Foundation has announced the activation of the Shapella network upgrade on the Goerli network at epoch 162304, scheduled for 10:25:36 PM UTC on March 14, 2023. This announcement was made via the Ethereum Foundation’s official blog on March 8, 2023. The Shapella upgrade will be the last testnet upgrade before the Ethereum mainnet.

This upgrade follows The Merge and enables validators to withdraw their stake from the Beacon Chain back to the execution layer. It also introduces new functionality to both the execution and consensus layer. The Shapella upgrade combines changes to the execution layer (Shanghai) and consensus layer (Capella). The Engine API, which is used by the execution and consensus layers to communicate, is also modified in Shapella.

Changes to the consensus layer for the Capella upgrade are specified in the Capella directory of the v1.3.0-rc.3 specifications. The upgrade introduces full and partial withdrawals for validators, BLSToExecutionChange messages, which allow validators using a BLS_WITHDRAWAL_PREFIX to update it to an ETH1_ADDRESS_WITHDRAWAL_PREFIX, and independent state and block historical accumulators, replacing the original singular historical roots. Stakers are encouraged to read the Withdrawal FAQ for more information on how they should prepare for Capella.

Changes to the Engine API can be found in the shanghai.md file of the execution-apis repository. In short, a WithdrawalV1 structure is introduced and added to various relevant structures and methods.

Client releases that support Shanghai and Capella on the Goerli testnet have also been released. When choosing which client to run, validators should be especially mindful of the risks of running a majority client on both the EL and CL.

The Ethereum Foundation encourages stakers and node operators to read their latest post and the Withdrawals FAQ. The Zhejiang testnet can be used to test Shapella functionality prior to the Goerli upgrade, and a Shapella Community Call is scheduled for 15:00 UTC on March 13, 2023.

As an Ethereum user or Ether holder, there is nothing you need to do. If you use an exchange, digital wallet, or hardware wallet, you do not need to do anything unless you are informed to take additional steps by your exchange or wallet provider. However, if you run your own Ethereum node or validator, you need to update your node to the version of your Ethereum client listed in the table above.

The Ethereum Cepolia testnet has successfully simulated the Shanghai upgrade in a recent report on the 2nd. As per the report, the mainnet upgrade is expected to take place within 3-4 weeks after the Goearly testnet upgrade.

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