ETH Stakers May Be Able to Initiate Withdrawals in March
Stakers may soon be able to withdraw Ether from the Beacon chain, with Ethereum’s devs aiming to deliver the long-awaited upgrade this quarter.
On Jan. 5, Ethereum developers convened for the first All Core Devs (ACD) call of 2023. During the discussion, devs agreed to deploy public testnets for Ethereum’s next upgrades, Shanghai and Capella, next month. They also set March as a tentative target for the highly awaited upgrades to go live on mainnet.
Ethereum’s devs reaffirmed their commitment to prioritizing withdrawals for the next upgrades. They agreed to remove all unrelated changes or Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) from the Shanghai codebase to minimize the risk of delays to rolling out staked ETH withdrawals.
The Shanghai fork and Capella upgrades will take place on Ethereum’s execution and consensus layers respectively.
Staked ETH withdrawals are being tested on the private dev-only testnet, Shandong.
Barnabus Busa, a devops engineer with the Ethereum Foundation, said that while all execution and consensus layer clients are currently running on Shandong, a handful of client combinations are experiencing issues.
Busa added that Ethereum’s devs are currently working to launch a new private devnet as soon as possible.
Ethereum’s devs will also replace their bi-weekly with monthly ACD Execution and ACD Consensus calls to focus on each layer’s future upgrades separately moving forward.
The Shanghai fork is the network’s next major upgrade after The Merge unified Ethereum’s Proof of Stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain, with its existing mainnet execution layer. The Merge booted Proof of Work miners from the network, reducing Ethereum’s energy consumption by more than 99.9% and new Ether issuance by nearly 90%.
The Merge went live 22 months after the Beacon Chain went live on Dec. 1, 2022. Ethereum detractors recently criticized that Ether stakers are still unable to withdraw staked ETH from the beacon chain more than two years after its launch.
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“The first Shanghai public testnet will go live by the end of February with a mainnet release scheduled for sometime in March, tweeted Anthony Sassano, the host of The Daily Gwei podcast. “But I was told staking withdrawals were never coming to Ethereum and that Vitalik was holding my ETH hostage forever?”
Stakers have deposited 15.9M Ether (worth $20.8B) or around 13% of ETH’s supply on the Beacon Chain to date.
Ethereum’s next major upgrade after Shanghai will be the Cancun fork, which may go live later this year. Cancun will include EIP-4844, also known as Proto-Danksharding or The Surge, which is tipped to increase the scalability of Layer 2 rollups by 100 times and prime Ethereum for sharding.
Cancun may also introduce a new contract format to the Ethereum Virtual Machine, Ethereum’s core smart contract engine, called the EVM Object Format (EOF). Developers including Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder and chief scientist, and Marius Van der Wijden of Geth expressed concerns about rushing the implementation of EOF.
The next ACD Execution call will discuss whether EOF should be included in Cancun.