Ethereum developer confirms Shanghai upgrade will not unlock staked tokens

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By mes­sen­ger exchange with Cryp­toSlate, Ethereum devel­op­er Mic­ah Zoltu has con­firmed the upcom­ing Shang­hai upgrade will not enable the with­draw­al of staked ETH tokens.

Cur­rent­ly, ETH can only be deposit­ed to the stak­ing con­tract and not with­drawn. Per Ethereum, the with­draw func­tion­al­i­ty would be enabled fol­low­ing the Shang­hai upgrade. How­ev­er, it has since come to light that pre­vi­ous lit­er­a­ture on the mat­ter was incorrect.

Since the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Bea­con Chain went live on Decem­ber 2020, a total of 13.4 mil­lion ETH has been locked on the chain. At today’s price, this is val­ued at $20.9 billion.

How­ev­er, with con­fir­ma­tion Shang­hai will like­ly not enable with­drawals, depos­i­tors are now in the dark regard­ing the return of their tokens.

Confusion surrounding the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade

With the Merge com­plet­ed, thoughts turn to the next sig­nif­i­cant Ethereum upgrade.

Accord­ing to the Ethereum web­site, Shang­hai was ini­tial­ly slat­ed for release in six to twelve months. But as not­ed by Blockchain Edu­ca­tor@Dimi_h, this esti­mate was qui­et­ly scrubbed to leave no deadline.

Nonethe­less, the Shang­hai upgrade will focus on reduc­ing gas fees. Based on ongo­ing devel­op­er dis­cus­sions, there is no defin­i­tive plan on how to achieve this goal yet.

But some of the ideas being float­ed include mak­ing the block-net­work inter­ac­tion more effi­cient and the imple­men­ta­tion of pro­to-dank­shard­ing, which relates to roll-up tech­nol­o­gy batch­ing mul­ti­ple trans­ac­tions and speed­ing up con­fir­ma­tion times while slash­ing fees.

Despite the uncer­tain­ty of how best to approach reduc­ing gas fees, among the objec­tives for Shang­hai was the inclu­sion of stak­ing with­drawals. But it has since tran­spired this is no longer the case, lead­ing to con­fu­sion among the community.

Ethereum website screen grab on Shanghai enbaling withdrawals

No agreed date for withdrawals yet

Zoltu told Cryp­toSlate that there is no agreed-upon time­line for with­drawals to be acti­vat­ed at present.

“Many peo­ple are shoot­ing for Shang­hai, but the core devs haven’t yet dis­cussed what will actu­al­ly be included…”

With that, the dev con­firmed that the Ethereum web­site is incor­rect, explain­ing the hick-up as a con­se­quence of “every­thing being decentralized.”

Pro­to­col Spe­cial­ist at Coin­base, Vik­tor Bunin, wad­ed into the dis­cus­sion by say­ing ETH hold­ers accept­ed “a ton of risk” by stak­ing their tokens with no defin­i­tive date for their return.

He urged devs to enable with­drawals in the Shang­hai upgrade or face the loss of com­mu­ni­ty goodwill.

“Not doing so would be cru­el and irrepara­ble harm good­will in the community.”

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