The Ethereum Foundation has reported a significant development in the progression towards the Shanghai upgrade, with the successful completion of the Shapella fork on the Zhejiang testnet. In a recent blog post on February 10th, the Foundation declared that the fork has entered its final stages prior to the launch.
The Shapella transition is a comprehensive update that comprises several key features, as highlighted in the recent blog post. Of particular importance to both stakers and the consensus layer is the activation of withdrawals, a highly anticipated feature among the crypto community.
“Full withdrawals will be available for exited validators, whereas partial withdrawals will be available for active validator balances in excess of 32 ETH.”
According to the recent announcement, the Ethereum team has stated that only validators possessing a 0x01 execution-layer withdrawal credential will be eligible to participate in the withdrawals process. It has been emphasized that validators who currently hold a 0x00 BLS withdrawal credential must initiate a change operation to upgrade to 0x01, in order to ensure the ability to facilitate withdrawals. This update is aimed at enhancing the security and efficiency of the withdrawal process for all participants.
The Ethereum network has recently undergone two major upgrades, known as “Shanghai” and “Capella,” which have brought forth a host of improvements and enhancements to the platform. One of the key benefits of these upgrades is the facilitation of withdrawals on the execution layer and the reinforcement of the Beacon chain consensus mechanism. This news is particularly noteworthy for ETH (Ethereum) stakers, who are keen to understand the intricacies of the withdrawal process. The interaction between the consensus layer and the execution layer has been optimized, allowing for seamless full withdrawals to be executed with ease.
On February 1st, the Zhejiang test network was launched as the first of three planned testnets that will simulate the upcoming live launch of Shanghai. Although no official date has been announced, Shanghai is expected to go live in March. Following the Zhejiang testnet, the Sepolia testnet is set to undergo an upgrade on February 28th and then the Goerli testnet will follow. The Ethereum team has made a statement regarding these plans:
“If you are an Ethereum staker, node operator, infrastructure provider, or otherwise, now is the time to get up to speed on the coming Shapella upgrade, test your software, and pay attention. From here, each public testnet will be upgraded, and if all goes according to plan, mainnet will soon follow.”
After Shanghai, the Ethereum roadmap has several updates known as “Surge,” “Verge,” “Purge,” and “Splurge.” In September 2022, Ethereum transitioned to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus, which has led to speculation that it might be brought under the regulatory purview of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), following comments from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler.
However, Ethereum co-founder and crypto entrepreneur Joseph Lubin has expressed confidence that Ether will not be classified as a security in the United States. He stated, “I think it’s as likely, and would have the same impact, as if Uber was made illegal.”