Ethereum is one of the main players in the modern crypto industry and its network is constantly evolving. The latest, big step in the network's continuing development is the Shapella upgrade, which has finally gone live.
In short, the upgrade constitutes a package of Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) implementing various functions into the Ethereum network. The arguably most anticipated one was “EIP-4895: Beacon chain push withdrawals as operations”, which allows validators to withdraw staked ETH. You can read more about the Shapella upgrade in our previous articles on the topic.
As predicted, at around 22:27 UTC, the upgrade was implemented across the main network. The developers happily welcomed the update on a YouTube live stream.
Despite the fact that some validators had not updated their software (signified by the red squares in the screenshot), the update was successful and withdrawals gradually began.
Viewers seemed to be very much anticipating the appearance of Vitalik Buterin, who eventually did join the live stream.
"Now, you can take your money out... Shapella-a-a!" sang Jonathan Mann, who livened up the proceedings by performing a congratulatory song consisting of chat messages from viewers.
In tandem with the celebration, Ethstaker's Shapella Upgrade Party pixel art board powered by poap.art was also launched. Partaking in the drawing required users to connect their wallets.
Some members of the crypto community publicly predicted a fall in the price of Ethereum, resulting from the anticipated withdrawals of staked ETH. However, this did not happen. The price of ETH climbed to $1,900 last evening and largely remained at this level. After the successful implementation of Shapella, the price hasn't significantly fluctuated.
It is worth remembering that validators will not be able to withdraw staked ETH all at once, as the network's bandwidth would not allow this. In practice, only 16 withdrawals can be carried out per block. This means that validators can perform a maximum of 115,200 withdrawals per day. More detail on this can be found in Ethereum's official documentation about staking withdrawals.
In the days preceding the mainnet update, the developers launched on April 6 the third shadow fork - Mainnet Shadow Fork 3 (MSF3) in order to test the final versions of the client software. A shadow fork is a type of test network that is created by branching the main block chain. The launch was discussed by Christine Kim in the Ethereum All Core Developers Consensus Call #106 Writeup. These tests were ultimately successful, although several problematic “MEV-Boost block signatures” were uncovered, the cause of which was not identified.
“Mainnet Shadow Fork 3 (MSF3) for Shanghai and Capella, or Shapella, went smoothly according to Paritosh Jayanthi, a DevOps Engineer for the Ethereum Foundation. On MSF3, developers tested two MEV block builders and the standard procedure for staked ETH deposits, as well as withdrawals, and withdrawal credential changes. Jayanthi noted there were a few problematic MEV-Boost block signatures discovered on the testnet, though the root cause of this has not yet been identified.”
On April 10, Tim Beiko reminded all Ethereum users that with two days left before the update, node owners should update their software.
On April 11, a guide for validators was published, detailing how to withdraw staked ETH.
Over the past year, Ethereum has evolved, and looks to continue on this path. The Merge, an update that took place last fall, transferred the entire Ethereum network to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and represented a big step in the network's development. The network's progress is boosted by the development suggestions of one of its founders, Vitalik Butern, which have included smart accounts and stealth addresses.
With the Shapella upgrade now live, the question remains: What's next for Ethereum? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest news, while we continue to Observe.