The Ethereum blockchain is inching closer to its highly anticipated Shanghai upgrade, thanks to the successful replication of withdrawals of staked ether (ETH) on the Sepolia test network.
The upgrade will mark Ethereum’s complete transition to a fully functional proof-of-stake network, which will enable validators to withdraw rewards earned from adding or approving blocks to the blockchain.
The test on Sepolia was designed to provide developers with another dress rehearsal of the withdrawals that will happen on the main Ethereum blockchain.
Testnets copy a main blockchain and allow developers to test any changes to their applications in a low-stakes environment.
Sepolia is the second of three testnets to run through such a simulation, but unlike the previous testnet upgrade that happened earlier this month on Zhejiang, this was on a closed testnet, meaning that only the Ethereum core developers run the validators on this testnet.
The final testnet upgrade will occur to Goerli sometime in the coming weeks, which would be the final dress rehearsal before the main blockchain is able to process staked ETH withdrawals.
Goerli’s testing will also be the most anticipated given that it is the biggest testnet of the three and it mimics the main Ethereum blockchain’s activity most closely.
If the developers continue to run test upgrades three weeks apart, the next testnet upgrade on Goerli would likely occur around March 21, which could push the mainnet Shanghai into April.
Ethereum developers had initially signaled a target of March for the release of staked ETH, so there may be a slight delay.