Ethereum to Allow Withdrawals with Shapella Hard Fork Activation
• Ethereum validators will soon be able to withdraw their Ether from the Beacon Chain, with the Shapella hard fork set to be activated on the Ethereum mainnet on April 12.
• The withdrawals will be enabled by Ethereum Improvement Proposal EIP-4895.
• At a current price of $1,776, this means $31.6 billion can be incrementally unlocked over time.
Shapella Hard Fork Set to Activate on Mainnet
Ethereum core developers have confirmed that the Shapella hard fork is set to take effect at epoch 194,048, which is scheduled for 10:27pm UTC on April 12. This will enable validators to withdraw their Ether ETH $1,799 from the Beacon Chain.
EIP-4895 Enables Withdrawals
The withdrawals are made possible by Ethereum Improvement Proposal EIP-4895 by „pushing“ staked Ether from the Beacon Chain to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), otherwise known as the execution layer. Currently there are 17.81 million Ether staked on the Beacon Chain, valued at around $31.6 billion dollars which can be gradually unlocked over time with this new update.
Delays in Activation
During a testnet run on Goerli prior to this mainnet activation there was an unexpected delay due to many validators not updating their client software correctly and in time but Tim Beiko, a core developer in Ethereum is confident that these issues won’t arise again as validators now have economic incentives in place to ensure they make all updates promptly and correctly for future activations of hard forks such as Shapella.
Significance of Hard Forks
This new hard fork is being seen as one of the most significant since Paris — The Merge — changed consensus mechanisms from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake back in September 2021 while London introduced EIP-1559 which implemented a base fee users had pay instead of an old price auction method back in August 2021 prior to that.
All in all it looks like things are going well for Shapella’s activation and it has been made clear that all stakeholders must stay up to date with regular updates and upgrades so that everything goes smoothly when it comes time for its official launch date which is scheduled for Monday April 12th just after 10pm UTC .