On March 28th, the Ethereum protocol support team posted an update on the mainnet Shapella launch date. They confirmed that the hard fork will occur on April 12, two weeks from today.
Shapella is the new name for the Shanghai upgrade as it combines changes to the execution layer (Shanghai), the consensus layer (Capella), and the Engine API.
The date announcement comes after a smooth Goerli testnet transition. Furthermore, bug bounty rewards have been doubled until April 5 for those seeking Shapella vulnerabilities.
It’s happening 🎊
Shapella is scheduled on mainnet for epoch 194048, scheduled for 22:27:35 UTC on Apr. 12, 2023 📆
Client releases compatible with the upgrade are listed in the announcement below 👇
— timbeiko.eth ☀️ (@TimBeiko) March 28, 2023
Ethereum Clients Are Ready
The blog post clarified that the upgrade enables validators to withdraw their stake from the Beacon Chain back to the execution layer.
“It also introduces new functionality to both the execution and consensus layer,” it added.
All of the main Ethereum clients, including Lighthouse, Lodestar, Nimbus, Prysm, and Teku, now support the Shapella upgrade.
EthStaker and Ethereum Cat Herders will be hosting a Shapella viewing party starting shortly before the upgrade goes live so people can follow it in real time.
There have been concerns that a large amount of Ethereum will be unstaked and sold to markets following the hard fork. However, this is unlikely to occur due to the phased release, which has been implemented for network security purposes.
The ETH withdrawal period is dynamic and dependent on how many validators are exiting at the time. Additionally, validators must go through a two-stage process to withdraw, this includes an exit queue and a withdrawal period.
A network security mechanism called the “churn limit” defines the exit queue and maintains stability. The withdrawal period is again dependent on how much ETH is being flagged for removal from the ecosystem.
There is currently around 17.9 million ETH staked on the Beacon Chain. At current prices, this is valued at around $32 billion and represents roughly 15% of the total circulating supply.
ETH Price Outlook
Ethereum prices have gained around 3.8% over the past 24 hours. As a result, ETH was trading at $1,780 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko.
The asset has recovered all losses from the CFTC Binance lawsuit news-induced plunge yesterday and is on its way to breaking $1,800 again.
Ethereum is currently down 63.5% from its November 2021 all-time high of $4,878.