The successful launch of testnet means Ethereum is still on schedule to deliver the withdrawal features five to eight weeks from now.
There’s been a lot of talk going around the upcoming Ethereum hardfork aka the Shanghai hardfork scheduled probably by February end. This is the most-discussed event currently in the crypto community since it will unlock $26 billion worth of staked ETH in the market.
On Monday, January 23, the Ethereum core developers announced the successful deployment of the first mainnet shadow fork designed to test the readiness of the withdrawal capability for ETH staking. The mainnet shadow forks basically represent a full dress rehearsal of system upgrades. They allow developers to test any design flaws or tweak any outstanding issues. Thus, Monday’s test successfully previewed the upcoming Ethereum shanghai upgrade.
Since Ethereum’s historic Merge event in September 2022, Shanghai will be the first major upgrade in the Ethereum ecosystem. The Merge event transitioned the Ethereum blockchain into a complete proof-of-stake system. It allowed users to deposit ETH with the network and thereby become validators to help authenticate on-chain transactions.
Since the launch of the Beacon Chain in December 2020, Ethereum (ETH) users have deposited $26.5 billion worth of ETH to earn staking rewards. However, with the implementation of the Shanghai upgrade, users will be able to withdraw both, their original deposits as well as newly minted ETH.
Marius Van Der Wijden, the Ethereum core developer announced on Monday that the shadow fork for the first Ethereum withdrawal mainnet was successfully launched. Although there were a few minor issues, they stand corrected.
Withdrawal-Mainnet-Shadow-Fork-1 is finalizing 🚀🚀🚀
It started out with a few issues because the config wasn't correctly applied on geth (we disallow overriding the mainnet config). The config is applied correctly and all nodes are in agreement. We will start some evil nodes,.
— MariusVanDerWijden (@vdWijden) January 23, 2023
Ethereum Shanghai Hardfork on Schedule
The latest development means that the Ethereum network is still on schedule to deliver the withdrawal features five to eight weeks from now. This timeline remains the top priority for the network’s core developers who were eager to deliver ETH withdrawal capability as soon as possible.
Originally, the Shanghai upgrade was likely to have bigger enhancements such as proto-danksharding and EOF update to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). However, both these upgrades have been postponed in order to ensure that ETH withdrawals could debut by March 2023.
Last week, several Ethereum core developers expressed their frustration to forego the update for the encoding method used to roll out Shanghai. This was another sacrifice made by the developers to hasten the Shanghai release.
Analysts at JP Morgan noted that the ability of ETH stakers to withdraw funds “could usher in a new era of staking” for major crypto exchange Coinbase.