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Currently, ETH can only be deposited to the staking contract and not withdrawn.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.
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.”