The Ethereum roadmap, which outlines the network's development strategy, consists of a number of significant steps intended to maximally scale the network and improve its resiliency.
While the Merge, Ethereum's most recent significant network update, saw the network move to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and permanently end ether mining, the Shapella upgrade—the network's next major development step—is just around the corner. One of the key components of the new upgrade is the ability for users to withdraw staked ETH.
During the Ethereum All Core Developers Execution Call #157 on March 16, the much-anticipated date of the Shapella upgrade's implementation was revealed. According to the developers' announcement, the upgrade is scheduled to go live on the Ethereum mainnet on April 12.
The upgrade's successful launch on the Goerli testnet was also highlighted by the developers during the call. Goerli was used as one of the final testnets during the Merge's implementation as well.
While the Shapella upgrade's test results on the Goerli testnet were satisfactory, developers revealed that the run didn't go entirely smoothly, with many validators failing to upgrade their software on time.
“The main issue during the activation of the upgrade on Goerli was the lack of readiness by Goerli validator node operators. Because a significant number of validators had not upgraded their software, the network was unable to finalize for roughly an hour and half. While withdrawals and blocks were still being processed by a minority of validators through this time, the network could not come to consensus about the finality and irreversibility of these transactions until later.”
Despite this hiccup, the test was deemed successful, indicating that the Shapella upgrade is almost complete and little stands in the way of its implementation on April 12 as scheduled.
The network's development is also being pursued by others besides Ethereum's core developers. On March 24, after four years of development, the zkSync Era mainnet, which scales the Ethereum network, was made available to the public. Today, anyone can utilize its main feature, zkEVM, a powerful zero-knowledge proof tool.
With Ethereum being the world's second-largest cryptocurrency and leading decentralized blockchain, we are looking forward to testing these new features with our technical observers. As always, we'll keep you informed about the progress of these upgrades!