On the 31st of January, Ethereum announced that it is set to launch a trial of its much-anticipated Shanghai upgrade with a public testnet. According to the announcement, the testnet of the Shanghai upgrade is set to go live on the 1st of February morning. This launch is a kind of user-facing dress rehearsal for the network’s upgrade. This public testnet is dubbed Zhejiang, which will allow Ethereum users to simulate the method of withdrawing staked ETH.
According to the announcement, the full capability will be rolled out when the Shanghai upgrade goes live in March or April this year. Previously, estimates for the upgrade were firmly dedicated to a release by March. This timeline of the release of the Shanghai upgrade has been scrupulously monitored and haggled over due to the pressure produced by the massive amount of capital.
In December 2020, Ethereum first rolled out ETH staking, a process that allows users to deposit ETH with the network to become validators. In this way, users can do different authenticate on-chain transactions. And in return, the validators earn prizes in the form of newly generated ETH. Since the release of this feature, validators have staked more than $26 billion worth of ETH with the blockchain. And all this amount of funds won’t be made accessible until the Shanghai upgrade implements ETH withdrawals.
The new Zhejiang public testnet will allow validators to check around with withdrawal features on a simulated version of Ethereum indicated to mimic a post-Shanghai chain. This public testnet will also allow core developers of Ethereum to monitor the mass use of such features, which they can use to resolve any potential issues. It’s not the first time that Ethereum is going to launch a testnet as it routinely rolls out public testnets in expectation of software upgrades. But according to Ethereum developers, this new testnet will catch more public attention than usual because of its ETH withdrawal capability.