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Ethereum Steps Towards Staking Withdrawals With Successful Testnet Upgrade

Ethereum developers successfully launched the Shanghai Capella upgrade on the Sepolia testnet shortly after midnight ET, Tuesday, at epoch 56832

The deployment is a step in Ethereum’s roadmap which, if all goes according to plan, will allow validators to withdraw ether when the update is complete on mainnet.

Ethereum core developers decided in a meeting earlier this month to begin moving to public testnets for the improvement proposal, known as EIP 4895 and agreed to start with Sepolia. As one of two Ethereum test networks with public validators, it’s attractive for developers to run application tests. 

“We quickly agreed that Sepolia should be first, as the validator set is smaller than Goerli,” Tim Beiko, who runs protocol meetings for Ethereum, wrote in a tweeted on Feb. 2.

The Sepolia testnet was launched in October 2021 to address concerns around the Merge, Beiko said. The network was used to successfully test the Merge upgrade alongside Ropsten and Goerli. Ropsten was later phased out in late 2022.

Sepolia is anticipated to become the primary Ethereum test network following plans to sunset Goerli, launched in 2019, which has suffered from issues with the supply of its test-version of ether, GoETH.

“When Sepolia launched, it addressed the supply issue by using an mintable ERC20 token for its beacon chain, rather than SepETH, which allows validators to effectively mint SepETH, post-Shapella. So, that should solve the supply issue,” Beiko added in a tweet. “Unfortunately, Sepolia isn’t open to permissionless validators, like Goerli is.”

The latest plan, according to project coordinators, is to launch a new testnet — Holli — targeted to serve application developers.

The Sepolia deployment comes after developers successfully ran the application on the Zhejiang testnet earlier this month. 

“This will leave more time for tooling [and] docs to be ready for the Goerli upgrade, which will be the last ‘dress rehearsal’ prior to mainnet!” Beiko tweeted.

The Shanghai upgrade plans have been in the works since 2020 when Ethereum launched its Beacon Chain and started the transition to Proof-of-Stake. The Beacon Chain, the original PoS network that ran alongside Ethereum, merged with the network in 2022. Since then, more than 17 million ether have been staked, but users cannot un-stake or transfer the assets until the Shanghai upgrade is complete.

As of now, that remains on track for late March.

Macauley Peterson contributed reporting.

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