- Staked ETH withdrawals set to be implemented on February 1.
- Dubbed Zheijiang, this is part of the upcoming Shanghai upgrade.
- Developers have planned March 2023 release for the Shanghai upgrade.
On February 1, developers of the Ethereum protocol will launch a new test network named “Zhejiang.” With this, users can start testing Ethereum Improvement Proposal-4895, which is part of the system’s next major update, dubbed Shanghai. Testnets are a copy of the primary blockchain that operates on top of it. They provide a safe space for developers and end users to try out new features and applications before releasing them to the general public.
At present, Ethereum supports most staking-related functions. To run a validator node, users have to option to stake 32 ETH. This functionality was introduced in December 2020 alongside the beacon chain. Users can also earn staking rewards thanks to the Merge upgrade in September 2022. However, despite these features, validators on Ethereum have been unable to withdraw staked ETH. This limitation was put in place to keep the staking network secure.
Now, starting at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, a testnet will be available for users to try out the staked ETH withdrawals, also referred to as EIP-4895. To participate in the simulated withdrawals, users will need to wait until the testnet is upgraded on February 7. For the time being, testnet users can send ETH to validators and retrieve it a week later.
Ethereum Foundation developer Parithosh Jayanthi noted that six days after Zheijiang, the Shanghai and Capella testnets would be activated at epoch 1350 on the blockchain. He continued:
This is also a great opportunity for all tools to test out how they want to collect, display and use the withdrawal information. You can attempt to convert 0x00 credentials to 0x01 and set a withdrawal address. You can test partial withdrawals and full withdrawals by exiting your validator.
Barnabas Busa, another Ethereum developer, claims that the Zhejiang testnet would be the first to go live following the Merge upgrade. Although still in beta, Ethereum’s homepage now provides the full withdrawal source code.
Furthermore, the upcoming Zhejiang testnet will feature all EIPs in the Shanghai upgrade, such as timestamp-based forking. As of now, Ethereum developers have planned a March 2023 release for the highly anticipated Shanghai hardfork.