Ethereum's Shanghai upgrade

Ethereum Team Postpones Shanghai Upgrade Date Again

The last test on the Goerli testnet is scheduled for 14 March and the mainnet launch, if everything goes smoothly, has been scheduled for early April.

Ethereum developers have postponed the Shanghai hard fork by two weeks, with expectations that it will now take place in the first few weeks of April. During a developers meeting, it was agreed that the hard fork would take place approximately 14 days after the launch of the Goerli testnet. Goerli will be the final test before the launch on the mainnet. The Shanghai upgrade on Goerli will be the last chance for Ethereum clients and staking providers to ensure that the hard fork runs smoothly on the mainnet.

The mainnet upgrade to Shanghai will allow for the gradual unstaking of $ETH staked on the Beacon chain. Unstaking $ETH will be dynamic, and dependent on the number of active validators at any given time. Approximately 16 million staked $ETH will be available for withdrawal, but access will require waiting in a single queue for full or partial withdrawals (up to 16 withdrawals can be made in a single block, which takes around 12 seconds to process).

There will be two options for users unstaking $ETH:

  • Creating a "withdrawal credential" to unlock staking rewards accumulated over the past years
  • Unstaking all their $ETH and leaving the Beacon chain

The Shanghai upgrade will bring several upgrades, including:

  • EIP-3651: Warm COINBASE
  • EIP-3855: PUSH0 instruction
  • EIP-3860: Limit and meter initcode
  • EIP-4895: Beacon chain push withdrawals as operations
  • EIP-6049: Deprecate SELFDESTRUCT


The biggest improvement is that users will be able to withdraw their $ETH. The update also includes changes in the software component called EVM Object Format and prepares the Ethereum blockchain for future sharding, which will improve transaction speed and scalability. Sharding will divide the entire blockchain into smaller parts, improving the speed and scalability of the entire network. This will be crucial for the further development and adoption of the Ethereum blockchain, as an increasing number of users could potentially hit limitations in its current design.

Finally, the community involved with the Ethereum blockchain will get their long-promised update, allowing for $ETH withdrawals. I wonder if this date is final or if we will be hit by another delay. It has already been three years since the launch of the Beacon chain and the ability to stake $ETH there without access to your coins. Nonetheless, while this upgrade is only a small step for the entire protocol, it does prepare the ground for more important upgrades related to sharding.

Ondřej Tittl


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