Ethereum launches first ‘shadow fork’ for the Shanghai upgrade

  • Developers will follow up with more shadow forks ahead of the Shanghai upgrade.
  • The Shanghai upgrade will allow for withdrawal of staked ETH
  • Over 16 million ETH have been locked since Ethereum began the transition from proof of work to proof of stake chain.

Ethereum developers have managed to deploy the first “shadow fork” of the upcoming network upgrade Shanghai.

According to an update from one of the developers, the shadow fork for the highly anticipated upgrade executed at around 5:40 am ET on Monday 23 January 2023. As a copy of Ethereum’s mainnet, the fork is a feature that offers an environment in which developers can test code before it deploys on the public blockchain.


While commenting on the fork this morning, Ethereum Foundation developer Marius Van Der Wijden noted there had been some minor technical glitches with nodes using Geth clients. 

However, the software developer highlighted that developers managed to fix the hitches, with all nodes being in agreement at the time of his update.

According to him, the next step now involves testing with “evil nodes” on both the execution and consensus layers. Evil nodes are those designed to spam invalid blocks as they attempt to trick other nodes into joining the bad chain, Van Der Wijden explained.

Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade to unlock staked ETH

As highly anticipated, the Shanghai upgrade will enable withdrawals of staked Ether (ETH) tokens, which remain locked following Ethereum’s “Merge” in September last year. Ethereum’s Beacon Chain went live in December 2020 and investors have deposited millions of ETH since.

According to on-chain data from Glassnode, more than 16.16 million ETH is currently staked, accounting for just over 13% of the total supply of Ether. 

The data also shows that more than 11.4 million of the staked ETH was deposited via staking services, including Lido, Coinbase, and Kraken.


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