Ethereum engineers roll out staking withdrawal devnet

Summary:

  • The devnet was built to trial withdrawal mechanisms for staked Ether post-merge.
  • Multiple Ethereum clients like Lodestar and Teku will interact with the devnet, said ETH developer Marius Van Der Wijden.
  • Devs plan to ship support for staked ETH withdrawals with an update dubbed “Shanghai”.

An Ethereum devnet built to trial validator withdrawals for staked Ether (ETH) was announced today by Marius Van Der Wijden, a core ETH developer. Developers released the staging area to work out the bugs and finalize the mechanism validators will use to withdraw their staked ETH from Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (PoS) network.

Part of the requirements for migrating to PoS included pooling ETH and locking these Ether tokens. Ethereum World News reported that around 10% of ETH’s circulating supply was staked as of May 30.

However, the PoS upgrade better known as The Merge did not feature support for validator staked ETH withdrawal. Shortly after the successful PoS transition in September, developers announced the “Shanghai” update and said the post-merge upgrade will include a withdrawal function for staked ETH.

Per Wijden’s tweet, multiple clients will tap the devnet including Prsym, Lighthouse, and Geth. These clients develop validator software for Ethereum’s network. 

Ethereum’s Shanghai update

Developers previously said that the Shanghai update should go live sometime in the second half of 2023. In addition to staked ETH withdrawals, devs also hope to ship features like “solo staking”, allowing entities to operate standalone validator nodes. 

The current model leverages a handful of entities like Binance and Coinbase for staking deposits on ETH PoS. However, this dynamic suffered critique due to centralization risks and concerns. Features like solo staking and withdrawals could address these concerns and bolster decentralization within ETH’s PoS validator ecosystem.

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