Ethereum core developers revealed on a call on December 8 that the network’s next, highly-anticipated hard fork, Shanghai, allowing users to withdraw staked ETH, might go live as early as March next year.
Shanghai Is Scheduled To Launch In March 2023
The next major Ethereum upgrade, which will enable staking withdrawals, has a tentative launch date.
Following Ethereum’s flawlessly-implemented Merge event in September, the network’s developers have been mulling over what updates to include in the upcoming Shanghai hard fork.
Multiple factions of developers pushed to have their proposals included, but according to core developer Tim Beiko, the ultimate consensus was to prioritize the enabling of staking withdrawals via the Shanghai update. This means individuals and entities who staked Ethereum (ETH) as part of the validator process on the Beacon Chain will be able to withdraw their stake and any rewards they have earned over time.
Beiko indicated that devs agreed that if any Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) included in Shanghai slows its ability to be launched, those proposals will be pushed back, so they don’t delay staked ETH withdrawals.
One such improvement that devs believe is easy to remove from Shanghai if they will have not finished working on it when the update will be ready for implementation is the EVM Object Format (EOF). EOF is an array of EIPs that basically upgrades the Ethereum Virtual Machine, the underlying environment where Ethereum deploys smart contracts.
Developers will also target May or June 2023 for the implementation of the EIP 4844 update, which will introduce proto-danksharding to the network. This proposal will allow for more data to be processed on Ethereum, making the network’s transactions far cheaper and faster through sharding.
What Comes Next?
Notably, developers have agreed that other features such as EIP-3651: Warm Coinbase, EIP-3855: PUSH0 instruction, EIP-3860: Limit and meter init code, and EIP-4895: Beacon chain push withdrawals as operations will be rolled out alongside Shanghai.
Now that what’s in and out for the Shanghai fork is mostly decided, developers will start testing the code. Ethereum devs launched the Shandong testnet last month to explore and resolve potential bugs in some of the improvements they incorporated into Shanghai. However, that testnet was deprecated, and core developers are looking to launch a new testnet for Shanghai between December 15 and 16 that will likely prove itself to be an important testing ground.
As we advance, devs will focus on Shanghai to ensure it’s executed as seamlessly as possible. They will likely commence mainnet shadow forks in mid to late January next year.