Ethereum Network Upgrade “Shanghai” Set to Enable ETH Staking Withdrawals in April 2023
The highly anticipated upgrade of the Ethereum network, known as the Shanghai upgrade, has finally been given a scheduled launch date of April 2023 for the ETH staking withdrawal feature. The Ethereum development team has selected March 14th as the expected date to launch the Shanghai hard fork on the Goerli testnet, the last “dress rehearsal” for this much-awaited ETH staking unlock upgrade. If everything goes smoothly, Shanghai will be deployed to Ethereum’s mainnet in mid-April.
The Ethereum team previously decided to launch the Shanghai hard fork in March 2023, but the network needed to go through all the Sepolia, Zhejiang, and Goerli testnets, each separated by three weeks. Therefore, the Shanghai upgrade was delayed until April, as predicted by AZCoin News. The Shanghai hard fork is the most significant milestone that will bring many changes to the Ethereum network. Shanghai, or “Shapella” as the ETH development team calls it, is the next upgrade in the predetermined roadmap following The Merge.
If the launch of Shanghai on Goerli goes over smoothly, Ethereum stakeholders can expect a mainnet launch of the upgrade during the 2nd week of April.
— Christine Kim (@christine_dkim) March 2, 2023
One of the crucial proposals in the Shanghai hard fork is EIP-4895, which unlocks a massive amount of ETH that has been staked to serve Ethereum 2.0 under The Merge. Since the blockchain switched from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), transactions have been validated by users who have staked ETH to accumulate rewards. Since the launch of ETH 2.0 staking contracts in December 2020, a massive amount of ETH, worth $28.7 billion (steadily increasing), has been locked up, accounting for approximately 14.5% of the total circulating ETH.
Many investors have chosen to stake their ETH on intermediary staking platforms such as Lido and trading platforms Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance, up to now. All four companies provide staking services and passively reward their customers. According to Dune Analytics data, the number of ETH staked on the four platforms accounts for 56% of the total ETH staked on the network.
However, Ethereum’s core developers are still focusing all their efforts on the Shanghai upgrade. The team has even removed other improvements on the network and avoided minor technical changes to accelerate the upgrade as planned.
Earlier this week, the Sepolia testnet successfully deployed the Shanghai upgrade, also known as Shapella. However, there were still some issues with older client versions. The Ethereum development team must continue testing and fixing any potential problems to ensure a successful launch on the mainnet in April. This upgrade will significantly impact the Ethereum network and its users, and the world is eagerly awaiting its release.
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