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Ethereum team launches test network for Shanghai update

by Chief editor

The withdrawal of the Ether StubFund (sETH) and a reduction in gas fees are some of the developments expected in the next Ethereum network upgrade, the Shanghai upgrade. A test version of the network, dubbed Shandong, has already been launched. Developers are ready to start working on the implementation. The process is expected to last until September 2023.

This is the first major update since the Ethereum network switched to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm in September.

The upcoming update will make fundamental changes to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the technology that powers the network’s smart contracts. EIP-3540, or EVM object format, is one of the community’s most eagerly awaited updates as it will separate code from data, which could be useful for validators. Galen Moore, head of content at Axelar, told Cointelegraph about the proposal:

“From my perspective, EIP-3540 is the most significant update within Shanghai. It is another step towards interoperability in the Ethereum ecosystem. Currently, layer 2 networks on Ethereum use a cumbersome code validation process. EIP-3540 will separate code and data so that the process is more efficient. This is especially good news for the growing ecosystem of Polygon Supernets, decentralised application networks built on Polygon Edge.”

Another offering, EIP-4895, will allow sETH and earned rewards to be withdrawn via the Beacon Chain. For network stability, validators with sETH cannot currently withdraw directly.

The Shanghai update will also make changes to layer 2 protocols, reduce gas prices by aligning block sizes and improve the efficiency of calldata usage in the network.

Surge, Verge, Purge and Splurge updates will follow. These will be implemented by the development team over the next few years.

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