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Ethereum’s much anticipated Shanghai hard fork is set to go live on 12 April, bringing several upgrades that complete the network’s transition to a proof-of-stake consensus.
The mainnet upgrade includes five Ethereum Improvement Proposals, most notable of which is EIP-4985, enabling staked Ether to be withdrawn on the Beacon Chain.
This will finalise Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
Ethereum core developers announced the target deadline during the All Core Developers Execution Layer #157 call. The specific date – 10:27:35pm UTC on 12 April, or epoch 620,9536 – will now be confirmed by developers on GitHub.
The Shanghai fork was initially planned for March, but it was pushed back two weeks by developers earlier this month.
After the upgrade, network validators will benefit from automatic rewards payments at periodic intervals in withdrawal addresses. Stakers will also be able to exit positions in their entirety and reclaim the full staked balance.
Data from Etherscan shows that the Ethereum PoS contract has taken on more than 17.7 million Ether, worth nearly $31.5 billion (£25.9bn) at the time of publication.
Ethereum’s PoS transition began last September when the Merge replaced miners with validators and added ETH staking.
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