The Defiant

Ethereum Devs Opt to Delay Surge and Prioritize Staked ETH Withdrawals

Ethereum to Set Window for Withdrawals as Shanghai Upgrade Takes Shape

By: Samuel Haig

Ethereum Devs Opt to Delay Surge and Prioritize Staked ETH Withdrawals

The Surge will have to wait.

Ethereum’s developers are prioritizing Beacon Chain withdrawals for the network’s next major upgrade, Shanghai, delaying the implementation of The Surge, the network’s sequel to The Merge, according to the latest Ethereum Consensus Layer call. This marks the first time devs have provided a set window for withdrawals.

The move is important because The Surge, which was to be part of Shanghai, is expected to help Ethereum process financial transactions faster by changing the way the blockchain manages its workload.

Shanghai Upgrade

Yet during the Dec. 1 call, Ethereum’s devs agreed to prioritize enabling Ethereum stakers to withdraw their ETH with the Shanghai upgrade. As a result, EIP-4844 is now expected to activate proto-danksharding in a separate update expected to go live after Shanghai.

Shanghai is expected to go live during the second half of 2023.

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The meeting followed Ethereum’s All Core Developers call last month, during which prioritizing staked ETH withdrawals over the proto-danksharding was first discussed. The Ethereum Foundation JavaScript Team said it would soon relaunch the Shandong Testnet with enabled withdrawals.

Ethereum’s highly anticipated chain-merge went live in November, unifying Ethereum’s Proof of Stake consensus layer with the network’s mainnet execution layer. The upgrade transitioned Ethereum to PoS and booted Proof of Work miners from the network.


Despite the successful upgrade, Ethereum’s devs have been criticized for not yet abling Ethereum stakers to withdraw their staked ETH.

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“Consensus Layer teams… believe that EIP-4844 is not nearly in the same readiness as [staked ETH] withdrawals, and coupling them would significantly delay withdrawals,” said Danny Ryan of the Ethereum Foundation, who chaired the Dec. 1 call. “We will not couple them. We will work full steam ahead on Capella in its current form.”

Capella is the name of the closed testnet on which Ethereum’s core devs are testing withdrawal functionality for staked Ether.

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Proto-danksharding, also called The Surge, is expected to significantly improve the network’s performance and cut transaction fees by paving the way for a 100x improvement in the scalability of Layer 2 rollups.

Once implemented, EIP-4844 will allow Layer 2 validators to download only a small portion of each block produced by the network. Validators can also delete historical data that is more than 30 days old, reducing the computational barriers to becoming a validator. The upgrades are expected to drive a roughly 100x increase in L2 block size and transaction throughput.

Proto-danksharding is also the first of Ethereum’s two-part process to implement full sharding, which will divide Ethereum’s workload across small chains working in tandem.