Key points to remember
- Ethereum underwent the Shanghai upgrade late last night.
- The network has now allowed validators to withdraw their staked ETH.
- Around 17.4 million ETH is currently staked.
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The long-awaited Shanghai upgrade is now live on Ethereum, meaning validators can now withdraw their staked ETH from the network at will.
A historic moment for Ethereum
Ethereum hit another milestone last night.
The Ethereum network underwent its long-awaited upgrade in Shanghai on Wednesday the 12th. The hard fork was triggered at 22:27 UTC – when the blockchain reached block height 6209536 – and was finalized around 22:42 UTC.
Ethereum last year transitioned from a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to Proof-of-Stake, an event known in the crypto community as Merge. In Proof-of-Work, miners earn the right to produce blocks by solving very complex equations, which requires a lot of computing power. Proof of Stake, on the other hand, allows validators to simply lock 32 ETH into the network to gain the same privileges.
Although Ethereum passed the merger on September 15, validators were still unable to withdraw their staked ETH, as the team wanted to ensure that the network was stable after the merger before allowing releases from staking. Last night’s upgrade finally allowed validators to stake or withdraw their funds. In other words, Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake is officially complete.
According TokenUnlocks, the Ethereum network currently has 17.4 million ETH (worth around $34.7 billion) staked, or around 15.4% of the total ETH supply. Around 902,860 ETH ($1.8 billion) are currently pending withdrawal. Despite the amount of ETH capable of flooding the market in the near term, ETH itself is up 4.33% on the day and trading at around $2,000, prices not seen since August 2022.
“We are at a stage where the hardest and fastest parts of the Ethereum protocol transition are pretty much over,” Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said during a live stream of the event. “Very important things still need to be done, but these very important things can be done safely at a slower pace.”
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.