Ethereum’s Shanghai Upgrade Set for April 12, 2023: PoS Transition Sparks Regulatory Concerns.

US SEC Chairman Gary Gensler Warns Ethereum's PoS Mechanism Could Attract Regulatory Scrutiny.

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Ethereum’s core developers have taken a decisive step by setting April 12, 2023 as the day on which the long-awaited Ethereum upgrade, codenamed Shanghai, will take place.

The Shanghai upgrade includes five enhancement proposals for Ethereum, including EIP-4985, which will enable ETH withdrawals that have been staked on the Beacon Chain, which will essentially complete Ethereum’s transition from the Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism to the Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism.

The target date of April 12, at 10:27:35 pm UTC, time 620.9536, will now be confirmed by the developers on GitHub. The upgrade was originally planned for March, however the key developers have pushed it back to April.

With the upgrade, validators will automatically receive reward payments at periodic intervals and those who have staked their ETH will be able to fully withdraw it if they wish, even recovering all of their holdings.

According to Etherscan, the Ethereum PoS smart contract has attracted over 17.6 million ETH, worth nearly $29.4 billion at current prices.

More upgrades follow

The transition to PoS officially began on September 15, 2022 with the Ethereum Merger, a major milestone for the network that replaced miners with validators and introduced ETH staking as a key element of the network.

The Ethereum roadmap has several other updates since Shanghai, including “Surge”, “Verge”, “Purge” and “Splurge”.

The… trouble

The transition to the proof of stake (PoS) mechanism may put Ethereum in… trouble with regulators. In September 2022, the chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, expressed the view that Ethereum’s transition to the PoS mechanism could put ETH on the radar of regulators.

Indeed, following the SEC’s recent “attack” on cryptocurrency companies providing staking services in the US, Gensler reiterated on March 15 his view that coins or tokens of proof of participation can be considered as securities:

“Whatever they are promoting and integrating into a protocol and locking their tokens into a protocol, a protocol often developed by a small group of traders and developers, I would simply suggest that each of these token operators […] seek to come into compliance and so do the intermediaries,” Gensler said.

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