Ethereum Officially Launches Shandong Testnet to Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Shanghai Upgrade

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Ethereum Officially Launches Shandong Testnet to Lay Groundwork for Upcoming Shanghai Upgrade
Photo: Depositphotos

The Ethereum network has launched a testnet as it prepares for the Shanghai major upgrade expected sometime next year.

Ethereum developers have launched a new test network (testnet), to usher in the forthcoming Shanghai network upgrade. The popular protocol’s Shanghai upgrade will go live sometime next year and will be its first upgrade since September’s Merge. In the meantime, the Shandong testnet will allow developers to experiment with the next phases of Ethereum’s development. This includes the proper implementation of staked Ether (ETH) withdrawals.

Parithosh Jayanthi, a DevOps engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, commented on the Shandong testnet. According to him, “the Shandong testnet is meant to give developers a chance to try out the potential EIPs to find issues.”

EIPs Considered for Shanghai Upgrade as Testnet Launches

Some Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are currently being considered for inclusion in Shanghai while the testnet is live. These could potentially address some efficiency and scalability issues plaguing the network. Arguably the most anticipated proposal among the lot is EIP 4895. This will enable the withdrawal of ETH staked on the Beacon Chain by users, alongside any rewards accrued over time. As it stands, those who staked ETH as part of the valid stir process on the Beacon Chain have not been able to withdraw their stake or their rewards directly. Instead, anyone who intends to access those funds has had to resort to liquidity tokens representing their assets.

Another EIP under consideration is 4844, which sees the introduction of proto-danksharding. The proposal seeks to facilitate more data processing on the Ethereum network, thereby decreasing gas fees. Proto-danksharding will also allow Layer-2 networks like Optimism and Arbitrum to process a large number of ETH transactions. Although many Ethereum developers seem excited about proto-danksharding, including it to Shanghai would stretch the time required to test and fix the upgrade.

The third proposal worth mentioning under consideration is the EIP 3540. Related to one of the EIPs included in Ethereum’s London Upgrade (EIP 3541), this proposal pertains to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). EIP 3540 could potentially facilitate the separation of code and data, making it easier to add future changes to EVM.

Jayanthi explains that the final list of EIPs considered for inclusion on the Shanghai upgrade will not conclude for a while. Instead, it will be “one of the major talking points once All Core Developers calls start again.”

The Ethereum Merge

Last month, the Ethereum Network successfully completed the Merge, which transitioned the blockchain from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). One of the advantages of the new mechanism is energy usage, as the network becomes 99% more energy efficient. Ethereum will also become more scalable, allowing the network to handle many more transactions than it normally would. In addition, the market expects more institutional funds to flow into the network, especially as its efficiency increases.

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