Ethereum has successfully completed the first preparatory phase for the full activation of the Shanghai Hard Fork. Its goal is to take the first step towards enabling asset withdrawals.
Marius van der Wijden, developer of the Go-ethereum (GETH) node, was responsible for the testing. He commented on the successful implementation of the Shadow fork, which tested the changes the update would bring.
According to Van Der Wijden, the test started with “some problems because the configuration was not applied correctly in GET [nós]. This requires developers to intervene to fix the bug.” On the morning of Tuesday, January 23, he confirmed that the nodes were indeed adding blocks, so the test was successful.
Shadow forks are small temporary testnets that run on top of the main network, in this case Ethereum. Once they are done with their execution, they are eliminated.
These are network copies and transactions that run at a predetermined time, and to which the necessary modifications are copied. In this case, enabling users to withdraw staking funds.
In the Shanghai update, 4 major changes were originally planned for Ethereum, which included withdrawals. However, due to some delays that occurred with some of these developments, the developers decided to split the update, prioritizing enabling the withdrawal of assets without the complication, which is a relatively simpler solution.
Shadow forks are precursors for larger tests, such as enabling withdrawals on Ethereum testnets. Once activation is confirmed on the test networks, the access time on the main network will only be a matter of time.
At the moment, the developers have not provided anything else about a possible activation date on the mainnet, but it is expected to be in the first quarter of the year.