Ethereum Update. Shanghai + Capella = Shapella (Upgrade Countdown)
The upcoming Shanghai upgrade of Ethereum will allow those who stake their ETH to withdraw their funds from the Beacon Chain. This update will affect Ethereum’s execution clients, and will be taking place simultaneously with a consensus client upgrade called Capella. These two updates are commonly known as “Shapella”. The official release date for the Shanghai upgrade on the mainnet has been set for April 12th, 2023. The upgrades have already been completed on the Sepolia and Georli testnets.
Where the upgrade comes from
The Shanghai update was proposed as an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) in early 2021, and it was designed to reduce the cost of certain operations on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to address gas costs and network congestion.
The proposal aimed to reduce the gas cost of specific opcodes, such as the EXTCODEHASH opcode, which is used to calculate the hash of a contract’s bytecode. The reduction in gas costs was expected to make smart contract interactions on the Ethereum network more efficient and cost-effective.
The Shanghai EIP was merged into Ethereum’s codebase on August 3, 2021, as part of the London hard fork upgrade. This upgrade introduced several new EIPs, including EIP-1559, which aimed to make transaction fees on the Ethereum network more predictable and reduce network congestion. The Shanghai EIP was not as significant as EIP-1559, but it was still an important technical improvement for the Ethereum network.
Overall, the Shanghai update was a relatively minor improvement for the Ethereum network, but it was still an important step towards making the network more efficient and affordable for users. The implementation of the Shanghai EIP as part of the London hard fork upgrade is expected to contribute to the ongoing development and growth of the Ethereum ecosystem.
So, it’s important to note that the Shanghai upgrade is primarily a technical update to the Ethereum network that aims to reduce gas costs for certain operations. As such, its impact is expected to be relatively limited in scope. However, here are three potential impacts:
- Improved efficiency: By reducing gas costs for certain operations, the Shanghai upgrade is expected to make smart contract interactions on the Ethereum network more efficient and cost-effective. This could make the network more appealing to developers and users, and could help drive further adoption of Ethereum-based applications.
- Increased decentralization: The ability to withdraw staked ETH from the Beacon Chain could help increase the decentralization of the network by encouraging more people to participate in staking. This could help improve the security of the network and make it more resilient against attacks.
- Enhanced user experience: The Shanghai upgrade could improve the overall user experience of the Ethereum network by reducing transaction fees and making transactions faster and more reliable. This could help attract more users to the network and increase its utility as a platform for decentralized applications.
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