Successful Ethereum Shapella Testnet Beckons Long-Awaited Shanghai Mainnet Upgrade

Ethereum recently concluded its final dress rehearsal, dubbed Shapella, on the Goerli testnet en route to its mainnet upgrade.

The Ethereum Shapella upgrade is on course for launch following its successful activation on the Goerli testnet. According to reports, this development is in the final phase before the upgrade goes live on the mainnet. With the Ethereum Shapella upgrade mainnet development, stakers can unstake their Ethereum (ETH) from the protocol.

According to Ethereum developer Tim Beiko, the mainnet upgrade will happen next month following the Goerli forking. Beiko added that the fork is a requisite step towards the Ethereum Shapella upgrade going live, bringing several improvements.

Beiko revealed that deposits are currently going through processing, even though several validators are yet to see an upgrade. The Ethereum developer also pointed out the likely challenge regarding the lack of incentives. This challenge is because the testnet deploys ETH that does not have an actual value. Hence, Beiko admits that this exercise might not attract testnet validators enough.

Regardless, Beiko remains more optimistic about the mainnet due to the plausibility of increased user engagement. According to the Ethereum developer, users are more likely to run such nodes using fewer resources than on the mainnet. Beiko also previously referenced the fact that the change marked the first time people could submit changes.

Ethereum Shapella Anticipated Ahead of April Mainnet Upgrade

Shapella is one of the market’s most anticipated upgrades and combines the Shanghai upgrade and Capella. Although Shanghai is the execution side upgrade where smart contracts exist, Capella focuses on the consensus layer where validator actions are performed.

Ethereum Shanghai has been a major talking point in the last few weeks. The network officially set the ball rolling for the upgrade last October with the Shandong testnet. Then in mid-February, talks centered on how the Shanghai Upgrade could induce more price volatility than September’s Merge.

Comparing Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade to last year’s proof-of-stake-facilitating Merge, Orbit Markets co-founder Yang Zhiming explained at the time:

“This time could be different, though. While the Merge was a pure technological shift with no direct economic impact, the Shanghai upgrade will change the supply and demand of ETH both in the short term and long term, and therefore capable of having a significant impact on the ETH price.”

On potentially higher price volatility from the upcoming Shanghai upgrade, Zhiming noted:

“Some $25 billion worth of ETH will become available for withdrawals and sale. With the staking yields expected to decrease following the upgrade, investors who previously staked may un-stake and move to other assets offering better yields.”

The Orbits Market co-founder concluded that this development would cause “large selling pressures on the ETH price.”

Nonetheless, at the end of February, Ethereum developers successfully conducted a Shanghai hard fork dress rehearsal on Sepolia. According to reports at the time, Sepolia successfully replicated staked ETH withdrawals. The testnet also served as the penultimate dress rehearsal before the mainnet upgrade.