Today, the Sepolia testnet has successfully replicated withdrawals of staked ether (ETH), marking a significant step towards Ethereum’s much-awaited Shanghai Upgrade. The upgrade, which was triggered at epoch 56832 at 4:04 UTC and finalized at 4:17 UTC (11:17 p.m. ET), will facilitate Ethereum’s complete transition to a fully operational proof-of-stake network, allowing validators to withdraw rewards obtained from adding or verifying blocks on the blockchain.
Before the Shanghai Upgrade goes live, there is one more test scheduled on Ethereum’s Goerli testnet. The recent test on the Sepolia testnet was aimed at providing developers with another opportunity to rehearse the withdrawals that are expected to take place on the main Ethereum blockchain. Testnets are replicas of the primary blockchain that allow developers to test any modifications to their applications in a low-risk setting.
The Sepolia testnet is the second of three testnets to undergo this simulation. However, unlike the previous upgrade on the Zhejiang testnet earlier this month, the Sepolia testnet is a closed testnet, with only Ethereum core developers running the validators. Additionally, Sepolia has the smallest number of validators compared to the other two testnets, making it the least significant of the three.
In the upcoming weeks, the final testnet upgrade is expected to take place on the Goerli testnet. This will serve as the last rehearsal before the primary blockchain can process staked ETH withdrawals. The Goerli test is the most anticipated since it is the most substantial of the three testnets and replicates the main Ethereum blockchain’s operations most closely.
Assuming the developers continue to conduct test upgrades every three weeks, the next testnet upgrade on Goerli is expected to take place around March 21. This may push the mainnet Shanghai Upgrade to April, causing a minor delay from Ethereum developers’ initial target of releasing staked ETH in March.
The successful simulation of the Shanghai Upgrade on the Sepolia testnet is a significant milestone for the Ethereum blockchain’s transition to a fully operational proof-of-stake network. This achievement brings the network one step closer to allowing validators to withdraw rewards earned from adding or verifying blocks on the blockchain. The final testnet upgrade on the Goerli testnet is expected to take place in the coming weeks, providing developers with the last rehearsal before the mainnet Shanghai Upgrade. However, if the upgrade occurs in April, it would represent a slight delay from the initial target release in March. Nonetheless, the progress made in the testing phase of the Shanghai Upgrade is a positive indication of Ethereum’s continued growth and evolution.