Ethereum’s core developers revealed on Monday that the first mainnet shadow fork had been successfully deployed in order to test the readiness of ETH staking withdrawal capabilities, a feature planned to arrive in March.
By simulating the effects of a fork on the mainnet, developers can check for bugs in the system’s design and make adjustments before the real thing is implemented. The Shanghai upgrade, which will bring staked ETH withdrawals to the Ethereum ecosystem, was tested on Monday, providing a sneak peek at what’s to come.
After Ethereum’s landmark merging in September, which switched the network to a proof-of-stake method, Shanghai will be the first big update since then. As a result of the integration, users can now stake ETH with the network in order to validate on-chain transactions. This has allowed them to earn incentives from newly created ETH.
Since December 2020, users have risked about $26.5 billion USD in ETH in hopes of receiving these payouts. However, users won’t be able to withdraw their newly-minted ETH or their initial ETH deposits until Shanghai is live.
On Monday, Ethereum core engineer Marius Van Der Wijden revealed on Twitter that, despite a few initial hiccups that have since been fixed, the first ETH withdrawal mainnet shadow split had begun successfully.
This suggests that Ethereum is on track to release ETH withdrawal functionality within the next five to eight weeks.
The network’s core developers have been working hard to meet that deadline, even if it means delaying development on other enhancements.
Proto-danksharding, a streamlined data sampling technique that would make layer-2 transactions on Ethereum substantially cheaper and faster, and EOF, a long-overdue update to the Ethereum Virtual Machine, was also rumored to be included in Shanghai (EVM).