This is the first Ethereum public test since the Merge upgrade in September 2022. Developers said further testnets would be triggered in the coming week.
According to a Jan. 31 post by Ethereum Foundation developer Parithosh Jayanthi, the “Zhejiang” public withdrawal testnet will launch on Feb. 1 at 3:00 pm UTC. Six days after Zhejiang, the Shanghai and Capella testnets will also be triggered at epoch 1350. Jayanthi noted:
“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.”
The Shanghai upgrade, when fully implemented, will allow the withdrawal of users’ staked Ether (ETH) assets and rewards. Since the success of the Ethereum Merge upgrade in September 202, users have been able to stake their ETH on the proof-of-stake network. However, funds remain locked, pending a new patch.
The Zhejiang public testnet is going live tomorrow (1st of Feb 15:00 UTC, 2023). Shanghai+Capella will be triggered 6 days later (at epoch 1350). You will be able to deposit validators, practice BLS change and exit without risk. All links are here: https://t.co/XNlsDIG0cm pic.twitter.com/sKKDJmolt2
— Barnabas Busa (@BarnabasBusa) January 31, 2023
As told by fellow Ethereum developer Barnabas Busa, Zhejiang will be the first public testnet to launch after the Merge upgrade. Although still in beta, the full withdrawal source code has been published on the Ethereum website.
Developers at the Ethereum Foundation have been targeting a tentative date of March 2023 for the much anticipated Shanghai hard fork. In addition, the upcoming Zhejiang testnet will also feature all Ethereum Improvement Protocols (EIPs) included in the Shanghai upgrade, such as timestamp-based forking.
After Shanghai, the next upgrade on the developers’ roadmap is EIP-4844, to be released in May or June of this year. Experts say that EIP-4844 can potentially increase the scalability of layer-2 rollups on Ethereum by factors of 100x and lower transaction fees.