Ethereum developers have revealed the highly anticipated Shapella upgrade, scheduled for April 12th, 2023, at epoch 194,048. The announcement brings relief to validators on the platform, who will finally be able to withdraw their ETH.
Members of the Ethereum Foundation confirmed the epoch, slot, and time after a week-long deliberation led by Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko. The Shapella hard fork will allow partial and full ETH withdrawals to prevent market disruption.
Tim Beiko also shared the news on Twitter, revealing the exact time and slot for the upgrade after extensive discussions within the Ethereum Foundation.
It's happening 🎊
Shapella is scheduled on mainnet for epoch 194048, scheduled for 22:27:35 UTC on Apr. 12, 2023 📆
Client releases compatible with the upgrade are listed in the announcement below 👇https://t.co/I0hSv9lnjz
— timbeiko.eth ☀️ (@TimBeiko) March 28, 2023
Furthermore, the Shapella hard fork, slated for April 23rd, will enable ETH withdrawals for Proof-of-Stake validators by implementing Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4895.
Once activated, staked Ether will move from the Beacon Chain to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) or the execution layer. People staked 17.81 million ETH on the Beacon Chain, and at a price of $1,776, it’s worth $31.6 billion.
The Shapella fork was successfully deployed on the Goerli and Sepolia testnets before this announcement. However, the final Goerli test runs experienced delays due to some validators not updating their client software.
These EIPs introduce new features and processes for Ethereum. Before the Shapella upgrade, validators were required to lock 32 ETH in a smart contract on the Beacon Chain to earn rewards.
The Shapella upgrade comprises changes to the Shanghai ETH Virtual Machine (Shanghai). It also includes modifications to the consensus layer, Capella, and the engine API linking the two layers.
Ethereum Evolution With Shapella Upgrade
Shapella is the most important hard fork since the Paris Merge. Ethereum switched its network consensus mechanism from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake on September 15th with the Paris Merge.
Before that, the London hard fork introduced EIP-1559 in August 2021, establishing a base fee system and making Ether deflationary over time.
Earlier developments in the platform include the Berlin hard fork in April 2021, which optimized gas costs for EVM actions. The Beacon Chain Genesis in December 2020 marked the first block produced on the PoS chain.
Additionally, the Istanbul hard fork in December 2019 improved denial-of-service attack resilience and enhanced layer-2 scaling solutions based on SNARKs and STARKs.
With the Shapella hard fork fast approaching, Ethereum validators and investors eagerly await the new opportunities it will bring to the ever-evolving Ether ecosystem.
Despite the Shapella hard fork’s significance, Ethereum still grapples with low transaction throughput. Data from the Blockchain indicates a current speed of only 10 transactions per second.