According to Ethereum core developers, they are making steady progress toward their March deadline for the launch of Shanghai and the introduction of staked ETH withdrawals on the network.
“devnet 2,” a developer network created especially to let client teams fine-tune the ETH withdrawal procedure and make sure they do it correctly. A developer teleconference on Thursday revealed that the network launch generally went well, with a few small but expected problems.
As the centerpiece of Ethereum’s eagerly awaited Shanghai upgrade, ETH withdrawal capability will become live.
Ethereum officially switched to a proof-of-stake system with a prior update known as the “merge,” in which network users known as validators pledge ETH to the network in order to validate transactions and maintain network security. In addition, these validators receive freshly created ETH in exchange for staking.
Network users had the chance to start staking on Ethereum in advance of the upgrade, even before the merge. As a result, the amount of ETH in the staking contract is $22.7 billion. However, these customers still need help to recover the ETH they promised because they cannot unstake those funds.
If everything goes as planned, Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade will roll out that feature. Then, the Ethereum community and the network’s engineers would prioritize adding the option to withdraw the more than 16 million ETH that is now staked with the network.
The Shanghai upgrade was initially planned to feature several other much-expected upgrades. One is proto-danksharding, an efficient data-sampling method that would make layer-2 transactions on Ethereum significantly less expensive and faster. However, proto-danksharding was ultimately dropped from Shanghai to hasten the rollout of ETH withdrawal functionality. So, later this year, the feature is anticipated to debut.
The difficult choice to postpone EOF—updates to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the system that powers Ethereum and installs smart contracts—was also made by engineers last week. Since such upkeep was postponed around the time of the merge to avoid adding to an already complex process, there haven’t been any updates to the EVM in over two years. As a result, the issue of giving priority to ETH withdrawals is now being put off again.
In preparation for the upcoming update, Ethereum engineers successfully launched the network’s first ETH withdrawal shadow fork on Thursday. Although a manner shadow fork (a complete dress rehearsal of the update) is anticipated to run in the coming weeks, that shadow fork only tested a small number of clients.