This week, the focus of crypto watchers is on Ethereum as the currency is undergoing an upgrade. Some experts believe that this upgrade could have a negative effect on the price of the coin in the short term.
The upgrade is called Shanghai and it is set to activate on Wednesday. One of the significant changes it will introduce is allowing those who have staked their ether (ETH) on the network to make withdrawals for the first time. Market commentators believe that this could have negative implications for the future price of ETH.
Apart from enabling withdrawals, the Shanghai upgrade also includes the implementation of five different Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs).
Here are four important things to know about the Shanghai upgrade of Ethereum and its impact on the Ethereum ecosystem.
Firstly, Shanghai represents the final step in Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. PoS is a more energy-efficient way of verifying cryptocurrency transactions, where validators are randomly selected based on the staked ETH, rather than competing to verify blocks first, like in PoW.
Secondly, with the Shanghai upgrade, users who have staked their ETH on the network will be able to make withdrawals for the first time. This change, in the form of EIP-4895, finalizes the transition to PoS. However, the ability to unstake ETH and associated staking rewards has some investors worried, as it could cause a dumping of holdings on the market.
Thirdly, Shanghai’s completion of Ethereum’s transition to PoS brings up the ongoing debate about the potential environmental impact of cryptocurrencies. PoS uses much less energy than PoW, which requires miners to prove their reliability to the network through computer hardware.
Lastly, the Shanghai upgrade includes technical improvements for Ethereum transactions, such as EIP-3651, EIP-3855, and EIP-3860, which aim to improve the efficiency of transactions on the Ethereum network and lower gas fees for various decentralized applications (dapps). Additionally, there are consensus-layer changes included in the upgrade known as Capella, and many Ethereum developers are referring to the combination of these two upgrades as Shapella.
Joy Rice is a computer science graduate and crypto writer with a strong understanding of blockchain technology. She writes about the latest developments in the crypto industry, and is passionate about educating and informing readers about the potential uses of blockchain.