Ethereum has launched a “dress rehearsal” of its highly anticipated Shanghai upgrade via a public testnet of the software that goes live this morning. The Zhejiang public testnet launches today at 10 a.m. EST, and will enable staking firms and crypto exchanges to test users’ ability to withdraw staked ETH.
The full capability mode won’t be available until the Shanghai upgrade goes live, which will be sometime in March or April. Because such a huge amount of capital is locked into Ethereum staking until the upgrade is implemented, the exact timeline for the Shanghai release (which has fluctuated) has been an issue of contention.
Ethereum staking was first rolled out in December 2022. Since then, nearly $26 billion worth of ETH has been staked by ETH holders. Staking lets users deposit ETH to become validators and help authenticate on-chain transactions. In return, stakers earn rewards of newly generated ETH. However, user funds won’t become accessible until the Shanghai upgrade allows for ETH withdrawals.
The Zhejiang test is expected to help Ethereum’s core developers monitor the mass use of certain features and try to resolve any issues before the Shanghai upgrade this spring. Because ETH withdrawal capability is of particular interest to exchanges like Kraken, Coinbase, and Binance, the test is expected to receive a lot of public attention.
Ethereum’s Latest Moves in Web3
With all the new Layer 1 and Layer 2 blockchains in the world, sometimes OG blockchains like Ethereum get left out of the news. But that certainly doesn’t mean the blockchain isn’t busy building. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve written several articles about Ethereum in recent months. Here are some of the top stories.
First, Seba Bank, a Swiss financial institution, recently announced the launch of a new custodial service that allows retail and institutional clients to store tokens from Ethereum-based NFT collections. With the move, Seba Bank became the first regulated bank to offer an Ethereum-based custodial service.
Next, shortly after, the Solana-friendly crypto wallet Phantom added Polygon and Ethereum for users. Now users can buy, sell, and hold crypto and NFTs built on Ethereum. Phantom is available through a browser extension or on iOS and Android apps.
Finally, about a month ago, the global payments processor Visa announced it was exploring leveraging Ethereum to permit automatic crypto payments. According to a representative for Visa, cryptocurrency needs to be as good, if not better, than current payment processing methods.
Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade is a big deal for many in the crypto space, and the Zhejiang test certainly shows the blockchain is taking the upgrade seriously. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for any new developments in the story.