Early this morning, the Ethereum Sepolia testnet successfully completed the Shanghai and Capella updates, grouped under the contraction Shapella. Now it’s Goerli’s turn, before the full-scale hard fork on the mainnet.
Ethereum: on the way to the Shapella upgrade
The next big step in the improvement of the Ethereum blockchain is symbolized by the Shanghai and Capella upgrades, grouped under the contraction Shapella. Early this morning, the Sepolia testnet successfully passed this upgrade:
Sepolia testnet has successfully upgraded to Shapella!
Some of the Prsym validators are offline due to the old geth version. They will come online in the next 10 mins!
Next stop: Goerli pic.twitter.com/pb43Gq7w9C
– terence.eth (@terencechain) February 28, 2023
When this long-awaited update is rolled out to Ethereum, it will allow investors to withdraw their ETH stored in the Beacon Chain smart contract if they wish. To date, this smart contract totals 17.37 million ETH, or about 14.42% of the total capitalisation.
This hard fork of the blockchain comes in two parts: first, Shanghai, named after the city that hosted Ethereum’s Devcon 2 in September 2016, is making the changes on the runtime layer software. For its part, Capella, a reference to the most visible star system in the constellation of the Checker, focuses on the consensus layer.
Next step: Goerli’s testnet, then the mainnet
Now that Shapella is functional on Sepolia, the next step is to repeat this update, this time on another Ethereum testnet: Goerli. This hard fork is scheduled for early March.
If all the signs are green, it will then be Ethereum’s turn to take the plunge in mid-March, which is the next big step since the Merge, which saw the blockchain move to proof of stake last September.
Although not its primary function, one of the effects of the Merge was to accentuate the deflationary phases of ETH’s capitalisation. As a result, the capitalisation has been reduced by more than ETH 39,000 at the time of writing, since the Paris update, whereas it would have increased by more than ETH 1.9 million if the consensus had remained at the working proof.
After this update, all eyes will be on the future implementation of sharding, symbolised by “The Surge”, which is just one of the other major steps to improve Ethereum’s performance, a project that is expected to take many years to complete.