Shanghai Upgrade: Ethereum Core Devs Set March 2023 for Release of Staked Ether
Ethereum developers determined on Thursday that the network’s next hard fork, “Shanghai”, will have a target release time frame of March 2023. This upgrade will include code known as EIP 4895 that will allow Beacon Chain staked ether (ETH) withdrawals.
In the months following Ethereum’s historic upgrade in September, the network’s developers looked into the updates that must be included in their next upgrade. In fact, many different ideas were taken into consideration, but one upgrade in particular was at the top of almost every list: staked ETH withdrawals.
When the merge transitioned Ethereum to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, it changed how the network generates ETH, according to Decrypt. Ethereum holders can now deposit their existing ETH with the network, in order to generate new ETH. The more you deposit, the greater the yield. However, there’s only one bummer: you can’t get any of that ETH back yet.
With some $19 billion worth of ETH currently staked with the network, according to data aggregated on Dune Analytics, it was obvious that Ethereum developers would agree to enabling ETH withdrawals. Consequently, this key feature will definitely be included in the Shanghai upgrade.
Developers also agreed to address the implementation of the “EVM Object Format” (EOF) in Shanghai, which is a collection of EIPs that essentially upgrade the Ethereum Virtual Machine, the environment where Ethereum is able to execute smart contracts. Those Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are EIP 3540, EIP 3670, EIP 4200, EIP 4570, EIP 5450.
If EOF seems too complicated to implement by the next All Core Developers call planned for Jan. 5, developers agreed they will push back EOF to the fall, so they don’t delay staked ETH withdrawals.
Another improvement that has been highly anticipated is proto-danksharding. Nevertheless, according to Thursday’s call, that update will certainly have to wait.
For further info, proto-danksharding is a highly anticipated preliminary version of danksharding, a process by which huge amounts of data on Ethereum rollups—a tool used to combine many Ethereum transactions and treat them as one speedy, cheap transaction—will one day be verified by only sampling small pieces of data.
In other words, danksharding will take a process that already makes Ethereum transactions cheaper and faster, and make it far cheaper and faster. The update will greatly increase the speed and ease with which huge amounts of data could be verified on Ethereum layer-2 networks like Optimism and Arbitrum.
What happens next?
Now that the full scope of what will be included in Shanghai is mostly settled, Ethereum developers will go ahead and work on testing the code, according to CoinDesk.
Last month, Ethereum developers launched the Shandong testnet, aimed at resolving any bugs related to some of the EIPs they might have included in Shanghai, but that testnet has now been deprecated. Following Thursday’s call, developers are aiming to launch a new public testnet for Shanghai around Dec.15-16.
Ethereum developers will focus their efforts over the next month on making Shanghai as smooth as possible and will aim to start mainnet shadow forks in mid-to late January.