Ethereum Sepolia Testnet Successfully Forks in the Shanghai Hard Fork
- One of the testnets for the Ethereum network has successfully upgraded, replicating the planned hard fork, as the Shanghai upgrade approaches next month.
- Withdrawals of staked ETH were effectively processed on the Sepolia testnet.
Sepolia, a second Ethereum test network (testnet), effectively replicated staked Ether (ETH) withdrawals today, putting the Ethereum blockchain closer to its eagerly awaited Shanghai Upgrade.
On February 28 on the testnet, the “Shapella” upgrade—which merges the titles of the forthcoming Shanghai and Capella hard forks—went into effect.
On the client side of the execution layer, the fork is known as Shanghai, and the update is known as Capella on the client side of the consensus layer. One of the significant changes, among other new functionalities, enables validators to return their staked Ether (stETH) from the Beacon Chain to the execution layer.
To validate the Ethereum blockchain, validators are required to stake 32 ether. Those who want to withdraw rewards above 32 ETH can do so, while those who want to withdraw all rewards up to 32 ETH can take them and cease validating.
With the Shanghai Upgrade, Ethereum will have converted entirely to a proof-of-stake network that enables validators to cash out rewards for adding or approving blocks to the database. The upgrade will be available on the Ethereum Goerli testnet, intended to commence in March, as the last stage before the Shanghai split goes live on the mainnet.
The test on Sepolia was created to give developers a second opportunity to practice withdrawals that will take place on the primary Ethereum blockchain. Testnets enable developers to test any changes to their apps in a low-stakes setting by replicating a main blockchain, in this case, Ethereum.
The second of three testnets to go through this scenario is Sepolia. This testnet upgrade, however, was on a closed testnet, meaning that only the Ethereum core developers operate the validators on this testnet, unlike the previous testnet upgrade that took place earlier this month on Zhejiang. Sepolia is the least significant of the three testnets because it has the fewest validators engaging in it.
In the upcoming weeks, Goerli will receive the ultimate testnet upgrade. That would be the last practice run before staked ETH withdrawals could be processed on the main network. Given that Goerli has the largest testnet of the three and most closely resembles the action on the primary Ethereum blockchain, its testing will be the most eagerly awaited.
The next testnet upgrade on Goerli will probably happen around March 21, which could delay the mainnet Shanghai Upgrade into April if developers keep running test upgrades three weeks apart. If so, there would be a slight delay compared to the original target date of March that Ethereum developers had indicated for the release of staked ETH.