Ethereum Developers Begin Testing Staking Withdrawals On Devnet

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Ethereum developers have finally begun testing the withdrawal of staked ETH with the launch of a new developer network. 

The development is significant, marking the first steps towards enabling Beacon Chain withdrawals for ETH stakers. The devnet will prepare client teams to enable validator staking withdrawals as early as next year. 

Testing Of Staked ETH Withdrawals To Begin 

Developers on Ethereum announced the release of a new developer testnet to test validator staking withdrawals. Staked ETH withdrawals are a feature that still needs to be implemented on the network. According to Ethereum developer Marius Van Der Wijden, the new devnet will help set the stage for validator staking withdrawals, which could be implemented as early as next year with the launch of a planned upgrade Shanghai.

Van Der Wijden stated, 

“It’s the first devnet that enabled withdrawals on all of these implementations and is a big step forward. It also helps other clients to test their implementations by joining the network.”

According to Wijden, several Ethereum clients that build validator software are already testing staking withdrawals in preparation for the Shanghai upgrade, looking for any potential bugs. He also clarified that the devnet will only be focusing on staked ETH withdrawals, with Shanghai features yet to be tested. 

Timeline On Shanghai Not Clear 

Ethereum began its transition to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism in December 2020 when it launched the Beacon Chain. The launch allowed ETH holders to stake their ETH. However, the catch was that they could not withdraw their ETH from the Beacon Chain until its next major upgrade, the Shanghai upgrade, which is scheduled for next year. However, the Ethereum website has removed an estimated timeframe. 

Originally, the timeline for the Shanghai upgrade to enable withdrawals was set between six-twelve months after the Merge. However, Tim Beiko stated that this initial estimate was based on the average time between past Ethereum upgrades. He stated at the time that he saw no reason why this upgrade would take longer than previous upgrades. 

A Community On Edge 

The potential change in timeline has not gone down well with the larger Ethereum community, and in particular, ETH stakers. ETH stakers have repeatedly stated when they would be able to withdraw their funds, and the lack of a clear timeline has made some of them nervous. The organizer of the Tampa Bay Bitcoin conference, Gabe Higgens, stated that Ethereum could not be trustless since participants were relying on others to enable withdrawals. 

“The biggest concern I see is the fact that *someone* has the control to enable this. Without a date or trustless mechanism to turn on baked into the SC means, there is a trusted party involved. This is a huge blunder & security risk.”

Others criticized the timelines, calling them meaningless, such as the founder of DeFi Dojo, who stated,

“Most people complaining have already staked due to soft-promised timelines that appear to be meaningless. “I agree that ETH will eventually be unshakeable, but I also agree it’s absurd to hold staked ETH hostage indefinitely.”

Beiko Assures Community 

Tim Beiko quickly assured fans that there was no change in the withdrawal status, and all timelines remained valid. 

“I don’t track daily changes to Ethereum.org, but there hasn’t been any change to Withdrawals’ status: They are included in the next network upgrade, as can be seen in the specs for both the execution and consensus layer.”

Ethereum developers have also stated that they are committed to making withdrawals a priority for the Shanghai update. A DevOps engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, Parithosh Jayanthi, stated, 

“There’s always discussions about timelines and moving things around, but I don’t think there’s ever been more consensus among core devs to move withdrawals back. It has and will always be included in the next fork. I don’t see a scenario in which withdrawals don’t get shipped in the next fork.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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