Ethereum Foundation Launches Pre-Shanghai Testnet Dubbed Shandong: Here's What You Need to Know

The Shanghai upgrade will be the first major update since Ethereum’s switch to proof-of-stake.

Ethereum Foundation Launches Pre-Shanghai Testnet Dubbed Shandong: Here's What You Need to Know

Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Kanchanara

The Shandong testnet plays a key role in activating numerous selected Shanghai-considered EIPs

  • Ethereum devs are looking at several improvement proposals for Shanghai
  • The Shanghai upgrade will let validators withdraw their staked Ether
  • The full Shanghai upgrade launch has been scheduled for late 2023

The Ethereum Foundation has announced the launch of a new testnet, which it is calling "Shandong." The testnet will allow developers to test their protocols before "Shanghai" goes live, which happens to be the first upgrade for Ethereum post-merge that's estimated to take place in 2023. Shandong will serve as a testing ground for numerous Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which Ethereum's core developers will build, tweak, and ultimately, cut down to the select number of updates that will be included in Shanghai when it eventually goes live. Among these EIPs are considerations regarding network efficiency, scalability and gas prices.

Some Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are currently being considered for inclusion in Shanghai while the testnet is live. These could potentially address some efficiency and scalability issues plaguing the network.

Arguably the most anticipated proposal among the lot is EIP 4895. This will enable the withdrawal of ETH staked on the Beacon Chain by users, alongside any rewards accrued over time. As it stands, those who staked ETH as part of the valid stir process on the Beacon Chain have not been able to withdraw their stake or their rewards directly. Instead, anyone who intends to access those funds has had to resort to liquidity tokens representing their assets.

Another EIP under consideration is 4844, which sees the introduction of proto-danksharding. The proposal seeks to facilitate more data processing on the Ethereum network, thereby decreasing gas fees. Proto-danksharding will also allow Layer-2 networks like Optimism and Arbitrum to process a large number of ETH transactions.

Although many Ethereum developers seem excited about proto-danksharding, including it in Shanghai would stretch the time required to test and fix the upgrade.

The third proposal worth mentioning under consideration is the EIP 3540. Related to one of the EIPs included in Ethereum's London Upgrade (EIP 3541), this proposal pertains to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). EIP 3540 could potentially facilitate the separation of code and data, making it easier to add future changes to EVM.

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