Tim Beiko, a core developer of Ethereum, revealed that the Shapella upgrade is planned to launch on February 28th. Once epoch 56832 is reached, the Shapella network upgrade will be enabled on the Sepolia network.
Shanghai and Capella (Shapella) have been named as the forthcoming Ethereum hard forks. While Shanghai will be known as the fork on the execution layer client side, Capella will be recognized as the upgrade on the consensus layer client side.
The Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are bringing some significant changes to the network’s execution layer. One such change is the introduction of warm coinbase, a development that aims to reduce network fees for builders. It is important to note that warm coinbase is not to be confused with the cryptocurrency exchange.
The coinbase software is utilized by developers to receive new tokens on the Ethereum network. Since every new transaction on the platform must interact with the coinbase software multiple times, the first interaction incurs a higher fee as the software needs to “warm up.” However, with the implementation of EIP-3651, the coinbase software will already be warm, leading to a lower gas fee for accessing it.
Additionally, the EIP changes on the execution layer include Beacon Chain push withdrawals. This new feature will enable validator withdrawals from the Beacon Chain to the Ethereum Virtual Machine through a newly introduced “system-level” operation type. This development is expected to bring about notable improvements to the Ethereum network.
The consensus layer in Ethereum is expected to undergo major changes as part of the upcoming upgrade. This includes the replacement of the original singular historical roots with independent state and block historical accumulators, as well as full and partial withdrawals for validators. With the partial withdrawal feature, validators can withdraw their rewards exceeding 32 Ether and continue validating. Meanwhile, full withdrawal enables validators to take all 32 Ether and their rewards, as well as exit from their work.
In addition, the upgrade will allow validators to withdraw their staked Ether (stETH) from the Beacon Chain to the execution layer. These changes to both the execution and consensus layers are expected to introduce new features, making the Sepolia upgrade a key development after the Merge.
It is important to note that both stakers and non-stakers who operate nodes must update their Ethereum client versions to the latest ones to benefit from the Sepolia upgrade. Once the Sepolia upgrade is implemented, the next step will be the launch of the Shanghai upgrade on the Ethereum Goerli test network, which is expected to begin in March.