At the All Core Developers Execution Layer #157 meeting on Thursday, Ethereum developers established a target date of April 12 for the currency's much anticipated Shanghai hard fork.

The "Shapella" update, which is more appropriately known as Shanghai, completes Ethereum's entire shift to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network and will ultimately permit staked ETH withdrawals.

The Shanghai update will take place on April 12 after a developer vote and GitHub confirmation. As a result, Shanghai will arrive a little later than the creators had anticipated—March 2023.

The network started employing validators rather than miners after Ethereum switched to a PoS consensus algorithm in September during a process known as the Merge. To validate or add blocks to the blockchain, validators needed to stake 32 ETH.

Validators were informed that their staked ETH and any prizes would be locked up until Shanghai before they entered Ethereum's PoS network. After the launch of Ethereum's PoS Beacon Chain in December 2020, validators had their assets frozen.

Finally, those validators will have the option to determine what they want to do with their share after April 12.

Ethereum developers have conducted multiple tests since the Merge to be sure that staked ETH withdrawals would work as intended. Despite poor participation rates in the most recent Goerli testnet hard fork due to validator nodes not upgrading in time, all three tests on Ethereum's testnets went off without a hitch.

Withdrawals of staked ETH could be made, however blocks weren't finishing until roughly 90 minutes after the fork was live.

Ben Edgington, the product lead of Teku, an Ethereum client, told CoinDesk:

“despite the reduced participation, we could see that all client types were producing valid blocks, and that participation increased over time. This reassured us that nothing was fundamentally wrong, just late upgraders.”

He adds:

“losing finality for 90 minutes is inconvenient, but not critical for most applications or users of Ethereum.”

The fact that this will also occur on the mainnet is not a concern for Ethereum developers too, Edgington continued:

“It's quite typical for testnet upgrades to be a little bumpy, but people are very diligent about maintaining their mainnet staking infrastructure.”
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