Ethereum is another step closer to its next major upgrade dubbed Shanghai.

The Shanghai-Capella, simply called Shapella, upgrade was activated at epoch 56832 at 4:04 AM UTC as scheduled and finalized at 4:17 AM UTC on February 28. This specific test run tested one of the key Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), that of withdrawing staked Ethereum from the network.

Since Ethereum launched its Beacon Chain in 2020 and began its journey to becoming a proof-of-stake (PoS) network, more than 17 million ETH has been staked on the network. Users haven't been able to withdraw these assets, however. The Shanghai upgrade, which is slated for March, will finally unlock this feature.

The next simulation will be on the Goerli testnet, after which the Shanghai upgrade will be deployed on Ethereum’s mainnet, marking the next major milestone after the network’s transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a PoS consensus algorithm in September 2022.


Testnets like Goerli and Sepolia let Ethereum developers launch apps and upgrades to the network and fix any potential issues before the upgrade goes live on mainnet.

As is the case with the Zhejiang testnet, which saw the Shanghai upgrade activated earlier this month, the simulation gives validators the opportunity to play around with withdrawal features.

Long live the Ethereum testnet

The activation of the Shanghai upgrade on the Sepolia testnet comes hot on the heels of news that Ethereum developers plan to gradually phase out Goerli—Ethereum’s largest testnet—and move users to the Sepolia testnet.


The move partly comes as a response to soaring prices of GETH, Goerli’s native asset, with Ethereum developer ​​Marius van der Wijden telling Decrypt at the time that the easiest solution to the problem is to let the testnet "slowly die."

According to van der Wijden, "that's the intention with all testnets, they should live for a few years."

The price of Ethereum has meanwhile largely ignored the latest development, with the asset currently trading at $1,619, down 1.04% over the day, according to CoinGecko.

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