Ethereum has come a long way since its inception in 2015. The blockchain network has fundamentally changed its face. The most significant change so far took place in September 2022, when Ethereum switched from the Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus model.
Further upgrades are pending. First of all, the participants who have deposited money in the PoS system as a deposit should be able to get this money back together with interest. Later, preparations will be made to make Ethereum more powerful and to optimize code execution in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Money back guarantee with delay
When Ethereum began its transition from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, participants were able to transfer an amount of Ether from the then PoW chain to the so-called Beacon chain. The beacon chain is there to ensure consensus among PoS. Both chains (Ethereum PoW and Beacon Chain) worked independently at that time. The transfer of Ether to the Beacon Chain was only possible in one direction. So once you had deposited the pledge (also called stake), you could not get it back.
In September 2022, both chains were merged. The event known as Merge replaced PoW as consensus and the PoS beacon chain did the productive work. Nevertheless, there was no way for those who had deposited a deposit to get it back. Although this was promised prior to the introduction of PoS, it is simply not foreseen in the consensus protocol so far.
In the past few months, demands have become louder that the capital invested, including the block rewards received, should be payable. Due to the pressure, the Ethereum community has postponed other changes to work on the boosts in the next upgrade with priority.
Shapella-Upgrade im April
The upgrade, dubbed Shanghai/Capella (also commonly called Shapella), is scheduled for release in mid-April 2023, four weeks after the Goerli test network upgrade. April 12th is currently circulating as the date. Various test networks such as Sepolia have already been upgraded. However, the point in time only applies if no problems have arisen by then.
The upgrade process should not be underestimated, since previously unforeseen problems can arise again and again. There are often various possible solutions for this, which are only discussed in the developer community.
Also, different development groups need to be involved. There is not a single client, but numerous clients in different programming languages. This increases network robustness, but at the same time slows down development due to the increased tuning effort. In addition, the developers of applications such as wallets must be given sufficient time to consider the changes in their applications.
Since only 16 withdrawals of staking deposits can be processed per block, patience is required when processing. The waiting time is just under 3.5 days for 400,000 pending withdrawals. With 800,000 withdrawals you have to reckon with almost seven days.
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