Ethereum Shanghai Mainnet Shadow Fork Goes Live

Ethereum users are one step closer to accessing the $26 billion worth (and counting) of ETH staked with the world’s largest smart contract network. On Monday, Ethereum’s core developers announced the successful deployment of the first mainnet shadow fork designed to test the readiness of ETH staking withdrawal capability, a feature expected to launch by March. Mainnet shadow forks are full dress rehearsals of system upgrades, which allow developers to test for design flaws and tweak any outstanding issues. Monday’s test previewed Ethereum’s upcoming and much-anticipated Shanghai upgrade, which will introduce staked ETH withdrawals to the Ethereum ecosystem. Shanghai will be the first major update since Ethereum’s historic merge in September, which transitioned the network to a proof-of-stake system. The merge also introduced the ability for users to deposit ETH with the network to become validators and help authenticate on-chain transactions. In return, such users haven able to accumulate rewards in the form of newly generated ETH. Users have staked almost $26.5 billion worth of ETH since December 2020 to earn such rewards. But those users will only be able to withdraw both their newly-minted ETH and original ETH deposits once Shanghai is implemented.

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