Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade: What is it, and when is the update?

Ethereum logo on Shanghai skyline.
Credit: Unsplash

Ethereum logo on Shanghai skyline.
Credit: Unsplash

With raining forks and upgrades, the Ethereum community is relishing the next Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade due to launch sometime soon after the deployment of the Ethereum merge.

The Ethereum Shanghai upgrade is another critical update set to introduce elemental changes in the blockchain's EVM functionalities as it nears the full Ethereum 2.0 release.

But that's not all. While the upcoming Ethereum merge does not significantly impact the Ethereum gas prices that the users initially wanted to, the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade is the one that addresses the gas issues by introducing changes in the network's L2 protocols.

What is the Shanghai Upgrade?

Once the Ethereum Merge has been deployed, the network will yet again undergo another update - the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade.

As laid out by developer Tim Beiko, the Shanghai version addresses three critical issues surrounding Ethereum. It introduces changes in the EVM object format, Beacon Chain withdrawals, and L2 fee reduction.

The Shanghai update introduces EIP-3540, also known as the EVM object format. The core element of this update is that it will separate the code from the data. This could be extremely beneficial for the on-chain validators. Alongside the separation, EIP-3540 introduces a new contract code section that helps in tackling and resolving complex features such as Account Abstraction, control flow in EVM, and EIP-3074.

The Shanghai update also addresses the Beacon chain withdrawal delay. Current Ethereum stakers cannot withdraw their deposited ETH, but this should be resolved through the Shanghai upgrade.

Finally, the Ethereum Shanghai update addresses the most wanted concern of the ETH community. It introduces changes that will effectively lower the notorious gas prices of Ethereum. The changes will be made by equalizing the block sizes and increasing the CALLDATA functionality of the block.

Ethereum Shanghai Release Date Prediction

The Ethereum Shanghai upgrade is expected to take place in early 2023, a few months after The Merge.

The Ethereum site states:

After the Shanghai update (planned to follow the Merge by a few months), stakers will then be able to withdraw rewards and funds from their validator balance.

As soon as the merge is successfully deployed on the blockchain, preparations to launch the Ethereum Shanghai update will commence.

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