Work has begun on the next major Ethereum upgrade

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Following the successful implementation of the Merge, Ethereum developers are moving on to the next major upgrade called Shanghai.

The Ethereum Foundation announced the launch of a testnet called “Shandong”, which will serve as a testing ground for various Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that Ethereum developers will create, modify and ultimately choose which ones to include in the Shanghai upgrade.

Key developers speaking to Decrypt informed that the Shanghai update is expected to be released by September 2023 at the latest, although no firm timeline has yet been agreed.

Perhaps the biggest proposal

Which proposals will be included in the Shanghai still remains a question. Perhaps the biggest is EIP-4895, which would allow individuals and entities holding staked ETH in Ethereum to withdraw it.

Recall that last month the “Merge” moved the network to a proof of stake mechanism, through which users can now deposit ETH in order to create new ETH.

However, the ETH that has been deposited currently remains property. EIP-4895 will allow users to withdraw their staked ETH and thus their earnings.

The proto-danksharding

Another much-discussed update that some developers hope to include in Shanghai is proto-danksharding, a process that will make transactions cheaper and faster.

This update will dramatically increase the speed and ease with which massive amounts of Ethereum transactions can be processed on Level-2 networks like Arbitrum and Optimism.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin emphasized that refining the speed and cost of transactions on such Level-2 networks is essential to Ethereum’s future.

Maybe they’ll go to a more limited upgrade

While many Ethereum developers and users are eagerly awaiting the dank Harding feature, adding it to Shanghai will dramatically increase the time required to test and refine the upgrade.

With billions of dollars of staked ETH remaining deposited in Ethereum until Shanghai is implemented, it is possible that network developers may eventually decide that a more limited upgrade is necessary to speed up the software release.

However, Shangdong is expected to be an important testing ground, helping Ethereum developers determine which additions will be feasible to include in the Shanghai upgrade and which ones will not.

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