It now looks even more likely the much-awaited Shanghai upgrade will take place on April 12.
Ethereum core developers agreed to the target date during the All Core Developers Execution Layer #157 call on March 16.
April 12: Save The Date!
Lead Ethereum Developer Tim Beiko shared in a tweet that the Shanghai upgrade, which will allow the withdrawal of staked ETH, will go live on April 12. Shanghai, better called Shapella (Shanghai + Capella), will mark the completion of Ethereum’s shift from proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.
The Shanghai activation is scheduled for epoch 6209536 on the execution layer, which should occur around 10:27:35 pm UTC. The initial target for the upgrade was March, but core developers later postponed it to mid-April.
The Goerli testnet, basically the final dress rehearsal for Shapella, went live on March 14 and was finalized approximately 90 minutes later. Per several developers, a small delay was caused by some testnet validators running older versions of client software. Those validators were quickly brought on board, however, allowing the testnet to launch successfully.
Ethereum’s transition to PoS commenced in late 2020 with the Merge upgrade. Since then, roughly $31 billion worth of ether has been staked with the network. It will only be possible to withdraw these funds and the rewards they have accumulated after Shapella is up and running.
But while staked ETH withdrawals may go live on April 12, that does not indicate users will be able to recover their funds immediately, or even during the same month. Coinbase exchange informed users on Wednesday that withdrawal requests could take months to process, depending on customer demand.
Could ETH’s Price Increase With Upcoming Shanghai?
Ethereum enthusiasts are expecting the Shapella upgrade to have a positive impact on ETH’s price.
With the hard fork set to introduce five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), including the one that will enable ETH staking withdrawals, crypto strategists view it as a bullish development for the value of the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
However, its worth mentioning that Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake has brought the token under the radar of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Following a recent crackdown on blockchain companies offering staking services to American customers, SEC chief Gary Gensler recently reiterated that PoS coins like ether could potentially be securities under the Howey Test.
“Whatever they’re promoting and putting into a protocol, and locking up their tokens in a protocol, a protocol that’s often a small group of entrepreneurs and developers are developing, I would just suggest that each of these token operators … seek to come into compliance, and the same with the intermediaries,” he stated on March 15.
The jury is still out on how ETH will react after developers complete Shapella.