The highly-anticipated Ethereum (ETH) Network Shanghai update marks a key milestone for the world’s largest smart contract platform (in terms of market cap and overall adoption).
At present, Ethereum (ETH) withdrawals are live.
Hi Shapella 👋
Withdrawals have appeared! pic.twitter.com/POqeZwkZJ4
— Etherscan (@etherscan) April 12, 2023
At precisely 6:27 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Ethereum blockchain network’s Shanghai upgrade went live, allowing the long-awaited withdrawal of staked ETH tokens. The update also completed the DLT network’s gradual transition to the proof -of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol.
This past September, Ethereum had carried out its Merge event, which has fundamentally altered how ETH tokens are issued and the manner in which transfers on the ETH chain are validated (by a decentralized group of validators across the globe).
The latest upgrade has seen the Ethereum blockchain network successfully transition to a PoS algorithm in which it is possible to easily stake the ETH digital currency with the DLT network to validate blockchain transfers. Participants receive rewards for their participation/contributions with ETH tokens.
After ETH staking was introduced a few years back, the network’s participants have deposited more than $34 billion in ETH with the distributed network.
Those crypto-assets, and the associated rewards/compensation generated, had not been accessible to participants, following the Merge event.
However, the Shanghai update has allowed these funds to be withdrawn via the network.
According to industry analysts, Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake consensus protocol is now officially finalized (and considered successful).
It’s worth noting that the journey to Shanghai taken a lot longer than initially planned (according to Vitalik Buterin and other Ethereum developers).
Notably. Shanghai was supposed to accompany various other enhancements to the Ethereum blockchain, such as an improved data-handling process that could potentially have made L2 transfers on the blockchain network considerably more economical and quicker.
But several key upgrades have been absent from Shanghai.
This may partially have been due to the importance given to ensuring that ETH withdrawals were enabled in a proper manner.
Minor changes to Ethereum’s code-base have also been delayed from this latest network update, so that the priority upgrades are implemented sucessfully.
As confirmed in the announcement, Ethereum has reached the 194,048th epoch at exactly 6:27 pm EST.
At this critical point, the DLT network’s mainnet started forking in order to integrate the Shanghai update.
During this epoch, 8 slots have been missed, which is considered an expected number and accounts for blockchain nodes that did not upgrade clients for Shanghai.
Despite this, the Ethereum blockchain network successfully processed transfers, which indicates that the update was effective.
After this process, the staked ETH tokens became available for withdrawals.
Previously, all the stakers that deposited 32 ETH or more with the network can now withdraw their tokens. This particular process should take a bit of time, since the overall demand and limited block space can slow things down.