As the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade approaches, developers have created a shadow fork, or testnet, to see if the upgrade can prevent malicious attacks.
This testnet, called “Withdrawal-Mainnet-Shadow-Fork-1,” is intended to test the conditions needed for Ether withdrawals, which are currently disabled but are intended to become enabled in the update.
The creation of this testnet comes after devs have expressed an increasing urgency to make Ether staking withdrawals a reality and after they decided to exclude the proposed EVM Object Format (EOF) from the Shanghai upgrade due to its complexity.
Over 14.5 million ETH (over $23 billion worth at the time this is being written) is currently locked in the staking contract and cannot be withdrawn, so it is essential that the shadow fork is successful in testing the withdrawal conditions.
If it is, then the Ethereum devs will be one step closer to enabling withdrawals and offering users access to their much-needed funds.