Ethereum to Launch Shanghai Testnet in Early February

    The expected schedule for Ethereum's Shanghai upgrade is set for March 2023, and the developers are aiming to launch public testnets in early February.

    The upgrade seeks to enable the withdrawal of validators’ staked ETH. This feature is currently lacking in the Ethereum network and developers make it a top priority in the first quarter of 2023. After the planned hard fork, users will be able to access the coins that have already been staked on the network. It’s important to note that these assets briefly inaccessible since The Merge launched.

    “Developers aim to launch public testnets for the Shanghai/Capella upgrade next month and tentatively schedule a mainnet launch for the upgrade sometime in March 2023.”

    ETH withdrawals, which are currently being tested on a developer-focused test network, are prioritized for code changes.

    Debate about EOF

    In a recent call, the developers agreed to remove EOF from the Shanghai upgrade and potentially roll it out later. In addition, any additional Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) from Shanghai in place of EOF’s EIP are also rejected to ensure that the withdrawal time of staked ETH is not delayed.

    EOF implementation is a significant code change targeting the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the core component of Ethereum that processes all transactions. This will be the first significant change to the EVM since its inception in 2015 and will help improve its upgradeability and introduce several other benefits. However, the developers in charge of implementing EOF met twice during the holidays to discuss EIP specifications. They agreed to remove EIP 6206 due to its complexity and make the data portion of these EIPs mandatory, rather than optional, in order to slightly enhance the simplicity of data analysis.

    Hot topics over EIP-4844

    EIP-4844 is also a controversial proposal to introduce a new type of transaction to the network. It accepts data “blobs” that are maintained in the beacon node for a short period of time and are not permanently etched in the Ethereum blockchain.

    EIP-4844 is not only expected to facilitate ecosystem-wide implementations but also focus on significantly reducing fees and allowing Ethereum to remain competitive without sacrificing decentralization.

    The debate surrounding Ethereum withdrawals has received considerable attention. For some developers like Péter Szilágyi, EIP-4844 is more important than deadlines as well as withdrawals. Szilágyi said:

    “Withdrawals bring absolutely nothing to make Ethereum better. Whereas with 4844 you actually have the capacity to make it better.”

    Buterin’s proposal

    But for many, including Vitalik Buterin, to miss the target is not an option. Expressing his thoughts on the EOF upgrade, Buterin proposed banning “code introspection,” which essentially refers to the ability to run code to test or test other code that is also running on the EVM. This is expected to develop more complex contracts based on the characteristics of other contracts.

    Therefore, no feature will be introduced other than allowing the withdrawal of ETH staked in Shanghai. EOF can be combined with EIP-4844 and deployed after three or four months, in the summer. 

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