In a major step towards its transition to a fully-featured proof-of-stake network, the Ethereum test network (testnet) Zhejiang successfully conducted withdrawals of staked ether (ETH) for the first time. On Tuesday, at 15:00 UTC, the upgrade was triggered and finalized 13 minutes later at 15:13 UTC, according to the February 7 report.
The Dress Rehearsal for Ethereum’s Future
According to Barnabas Busa, a DevOps engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, the Zhejiang testnet was designed to give developers a practice run of the withdrawals that will happen on the main Ethereum blockchain post its highly-anticipated Shanghai upgrade, expected next month.
On the Zhejiang testnet, partial and full withdrawals, as well as BLS changes, are included in the execution payload. We have a successful fork.
With the BLS modifications, individuals now have the ability to modify their withdrawal credentials to efficiently handle staked Ether withdrawals. The testnet in Zhejiang is the first of three to run a simulation of the upgrade in Shanghai.
Testnets duplicate the main blockchain and provide developers and users with a low-stakes environment to test any code changes to their applications. The next testnet upgrade will take place in the coming weeks, moving to Sepolia and then Goerli.
Ethereum’s Path to a More Efficient Network
As per the report, Shanghai will be Ethereum’s first hard fork since the Merge in September, marking its transition to a proof-of-stake network. The move to proof-of-stake increased the energy efficiency of Ethereum compared to when it utilized the POW system used by the Bitcoin blockchain.
With proof-of-stake, cryptocurrency is “staked” on the blockchain by depositing it, providing a more efficient method of transaction validation and security.
However, until the Shanghai upgrade is completed, the staking mechanism is one-way, allowing users to deposit ether but not withdraw it. The upgrade has become a highly-anticipated event in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, with traders paying close attention to how it might impact the market.
Some believe it will encourage more staking, while others believe ETH may experience a price drop due to selling pressures when stakers rush to withdraw their funds.
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