The Shanghai upgrade, which will allow stake withdrawals, has a tentative date of March 2023. A list of EIPs has also been included, but EIP-4844 still needs to cut.
Before implementing The Surge-related Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-4884, Ethereum’s core developers have decided first to make it possible to withdraw staked coins through the Shanghai upgrade.
The next big step on Ethereum’s roadmap is the Shanghai upgrade, which will allow ETH stakers and validators to withdraw their funds from the Beacon Chain, among other things.
EIP-4884 is also essential, and it was initially thought it would be included with Shanghai. It would have added “proto-danksharding” to improve the scalability of Layer 2 roll-up (The Surge) before the significant Sharding upgrade is fully implemented late next year.
But Tim Beiko, an Ethereum core developer, said at the latest Ethereum Core Developers Meeting on Dec. 8 that the final decision was to focus on Shanghai first in case EIP-4844 was still being prepared.
In a recap thread on Twitter, Beiko said that everyone agreed that “(1) Shanghai should happen quickly, ideally by March, and (2) after that, there should be a split based on EIP-4844.”
Even though EIP-4844 won’t be included, the developers have agreed to form a set of EIPs that update the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) by adding a new contract format, separating code from data, and adding new operation codes.
Beiko said that since these upgrades, called EVM Object Format (EOF), are easy to remove from Shanghai if developers are still working on them by the time Shanghai is ready to be used, EOF will just be taken out and shipped later.
Along with Shanghai, several EIPs that have already been agreed upon will be released. These include EIP-3651: Warm Coinbase, EIP-3855: PUSH0 instruction, EIP-3860: Limit and meter init code, and EIP-4895: Beacon chain push withdrawals as operations.
Both @vdWijden and @yperbasis made the point that even if an EIP is relatively small/well tested/etc., there are only a limited number of them client teams can work with within a single update, and every incremental one does have overhead with reviews, testing, etc.
— timbeiko.eth (@TimBeiko) December 8, 2022
EIP-3651: Warm Coinbase, in particular, could help the network save money by cutting costs. Coinbase is the name of the software that builders use to get new tokens on the web. It is not to be confused with the name of a cryptocurrency exchange.
Every new transaction on the platform needs to interact with the Coinbase software more than once. However, the first transactions are more expensive because Coinbase needs time to “warm up.”
With the new EIP, this won’t be the case anymore, so builders will pay less for gas when interacting with it.
According to the Ethereum Foundation, Sharding is a multi-phase upgrade that will increase Ethereum’s “scalability and capacity” by putting in place shard chains, which will give the network a lot more space to store and access data.
With the improved ability to store data, Layer 2 solutions can offer much lower transaction fees.
After all of this is done, the Sharding upgrade will be the next big thing on the network and the last step on the roadmap. It is expected to happen between 2023 and 2024.