Ethereum, the largest blockchain platform, regularly undergoes large-scale network updates, which takes developers quite a long time to build and numerous tests before it can be implemented. These updates bring new and useful features and changes to Ethereum. The last major update to the Ethereum network took place in September 2022. This was The Merge, which marked the complete transition of the Ethereum network to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
Since then the community has been waiting for the Shapella Upgrade. This update will bring the ability to withdraw staked ETH from the network which may have a significant impact on ETH price.
Following Shapella Upgrade’s lengthy tests and modifications this mainnet upgrade is in its final pre-launch sequence - the public testnets. The Zhejiang testnet is already working, and users plus stakers can test Shapella. And by February 28, the next, Sepolia testnet will be launched. Unlike Zhejiang testnet, Sepolia testnet is a testnet for developers.
Of course, it didn’t go ahead without any problems. A bug was found in the Zhejiang testnet that disrupted the synchronization of The Geth (EL) client nodes. Empty blocks that did not contain transactions caused problems. But, this bug has already been fixed.
At the Ethereum All Core Developers Execution Call #155, which took place on February 16, the developers discussed the bug, as well as other relevant topics. Ethereum developers plan to create a mainnet shadow fork to test mev-boost. Also, the developers discussed EIP-4844.
EIP-4844 introduces a new type of transaction into Ethereum that uses small data packets (known as "blobs") stored in the beacon node temporarily. In essence, this is a rollup-solution designed to decrease gas fees.
Also, the developers discussed several more EIPs and other minor improvements of the Ethereum network. There is very little time left before the upgrade launch of Shapella. The update should take place in March. We wish success to the team and continue to observe their work.