The Ethereum core developers have confirmed the scheduled Shanghai Upgrade of the Ethereum network to take place on April 12, 2023. Also known as "Shapella," the upgrade aims to improve the network's performance, security, and efficiency. Most notably, it will allow for ETH that are currently staked to be unstaked.
The Shanghai upgrade can be more accurately described as a combination of two upgrades scheduled to happen simultaneously, named “Shanghai” and “Capella”. This is why among the Ethereum development community, this upgrade is more commonly referred to as “Shapella” which is a combination of the names of the two aforementioned upgrades.
The Shapella upgrade has been in development for several years, and the confirmation of the April 12 rollout follows a successful testnet trial earlier this year. The upgrade is seen as a significant milestone for the Ethereum community and the network as a whole, as part of Ethereum’s development roadmap to a more scalable future.
The upgrade is expected to pave the way for the implementation of other significant upgrades in the future, such as the introduction of sharding, the next big step forwards in the ongoing development of Ethereum.
The Shapella Upgrade will implement EIP-4895. The term “EIP” stands for “Ethereum Improvement Proposal”, and as the name suggests, they are proposals to change anything about Ethereum, whether it’d be bug fixes, improvements to the way the blockchain works, or as part of a larger upgrade of Ethereum’s roadmap.
EIP-4895 marks the end of an undefined lock-up period for ETH staking. Afterwards, users will be free to:
Note, if you are part of a staking pool or hold liquid staking derivatives, you should check with your provider for more details about how staking withdrawals will affect your arrangement, as each service operates differently.
If you’re new to staking, be sure to check out a blog we wrote explaining the basics of staking here.
In September 2022, Ethereum successfully completed The Merge which transitioned Ethereum from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. We wrote a blog about it which you can check out here.
The Shapella Upgrade moves Ethereum one more step forward on its long roadmap to a scalable future.