Ethereum Developers Schedule Final Shapella Rehearsal For March 14
The launch of staked Ether withdrawals is fast approaching, with Ethereum developers scheduling the final dress rehearsal for the Shanghai and Capella upgrades for March 14.
On Wednesday, the Ethereum Foundation published a blog post confirming that the upgrades, informally referred to as “Shapella”, will execute on the Goerli testnet at epoch 162,304, expected to arrive at around 10:25 PM UTC on March 14.
The Goerli deployment is Shapella’s final test before it launches on the Ethereum mainnet.
Tim Beiko of the Ethereum Foundation said developers wanting to test their code prior to the upgrade should do so on the Zhejiang testnet.
Shapella will activate staked Ether withdrawals for the first time. Critics have long-decried the inability to withdraw despite ETH holders being able to stake their coins since the Beacon Chain was deployed in December 2020.
Ethereum completed its transition to Proof of Stake last September when its Proof of Work execution layer merged with the Beacon Chain consensus layer. The upgrade booted miners from the network, reducing Ethereum’s environmental footprint by more than 99.9% and diminishing new Ether emissions by more than 90%.
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Shanghai and Capella will upgrade Ethereum’s execution and consensus layers, respectively.
Shapella was successfully executed on the Sepolia testnet on Feb. 28 and the Zhejiang testnet on Feb. 8.
ETH Validators On The Rise
The number of new Ethereum validators coming online accelerated after the Ethereum Foundation said in December that it would prioritize enabling withdrawals over all other upgrades for the Shapella fork.
New validators increased by 6.4% over the past month, compared to 12.2% in the past 90 days, according to Staking Rewards. More than 544,000 Ethereum validators that have staked 15% of ETH’s supply, worth $28.5B, are currently online.
Traders are betting that liquid staking derivatives (LSDs) will enjoy a significant uptick in adoption once Shapella is live.
The governance token of the leading LSD protocol, Lido, is up 148% since the year began. Rocket Pool (RPL), an LSD protocol favored by many decentralization devotees, is also up 87%.
LDO Price, Source: The Defiant Terminal
Lido has remained the DeFi protocol by total value locked after overtaking MakerDAO in early January. More than $8.9B is now locked in Lido, according to The Defiant Terminal.