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Ethereum Core Developers Turn to Shanghai for the Next Network Update

Shanghai Govt Partners with Banks

The core developers of Ethereum are looking at Shanghai as the next destination for the network’s upcoming, much-awaited update after last month’s successfully executed Merge operation.

The pre-Shanghai testnet “Shandong” was launched by the Ethereum Foundation on Friday. Shandong will be used as a test bed for many Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which Ethereum’s core developers will develop, tweak, and eventually pin down to the small selection of updates that will be part of Shanghai when it goes live.

The core developers previously confirmed that Shanghai is anticipated to launch as early as September 2023. However, a precise date has not yet been settled upon.

Another unanswered issue is which proposals will be delivered in Shanghai. Several core developer factions have proposed different goals for what they think should be part of the upgrade.

EIP-4895, which would enable individuals and institutions to withdraw Ethereum they have staked, is arguably the most significant change that is expected to be incorporated into Shanghai. 

The Ethereum network switched to a proof-of-stake system last month, allowing users to deposit their existing holdings of ETH in order to create new ETH. However, the staked or deposited ETH is currently frozen. Users can withdraw their staked ETH and profits under EIP-4895.

Another hotly debated update that some developers hope to implement in Shanghai is proto-danksharding. This is a preliminary implementation of a method that would enable the tools that offload a lot of the Ethereum mainnet transaction traffic (making transactions more affordable and swift) or rollups (to verify enormous amounts of data by only sampling smaller chunks).

On layer-2 networks like Arbitrum and Optimism, the change would significantly speed up and simplify the processing of huge numbers of Ethereum transactions. The future of Ethereum depends on optimizing the speed and cost of transactions upon these layer-2 networks, according to Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum.

Even though adding danksharding support to Shanghai will significantly prolong the testing and refinement process for the upgrade, it is eagerly anticipated by several Ethereum developers and users.

The network’s programmers may ultimately decide that a more compact upgrade is required to accelerate the deployment of the software because billions of dollars of staked ETH are stranded on Ethereum until Shanghai is implemented.

But such decisions have yet to be reached. At the network’s premiere conference Devcon, the core developers of the network participated in fruitful discussions but no decisions regarding the EIPs to be included in Shanghai had been made.

In the interim, Shangdong will probably serve as a crucial test site that will allow Ethereum’s developers to assess which improvements to Shanghai will be doable and which will not.

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