The pre-Shanghai testnet “Shandong” was launched by the Ethereum Foundation on Friday. Shandong will be used as a testing ground for many Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which Ethereum’s core developers will build, tweak, and eventually narrow down to the select number of updates included in Shanghai when it goes live.
Following the Merge last month, Ethereum’s core developers are starting to focus on the network’s upcoming, much-awaited upgrade. According to core developers, Shanghai was anticipated to launch by September 2023 at the latest, though Ethereum’s core developers have not yet decided on a precise date.
On layer-2 networks like Arbitrum and Optimism, the change would significantly speed up and simplify the processing of vast numbers of Ethereum transactions. The future of Ethereum depends on optimizing the speed and cost of transactions on such layer-2 networks, according to Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum.
Adding danksharding to Shanghai would significantly extend the time needed to test and polish the upgrade, as many Ethereum developers and users widely anticipate it.
Proto-danksharding, an early implementation of a procedure that would enable rollups—the tools that offload much of the Ethereum main net transaction traffic, making transactions more affordable and quick to verify enormous amounts of data by only sampling—is another hotly debated update that some developers hope to include in Shanghai.
The network’s programmers may ultimately decide that a more compact upgrade is required to speed the deployment of the software because billions of dollars of staked ETH are stuck on Ethereum until Shanghai is implemented. The creators of Ethereum will probably use Shangdong as a crucial testing ground to assess which upgrades to Shanghai will be practical and which won’t.