Ethereum Developers Launch "Zhejiang" - The New Testnet for ETH Withdrawals
Ethereum developers are getting ready to launch a new test environment that allows testing of highly anticipated withdrawals of staked ETH tokens.
The new testnet, which has been dubbed “Zhejiang,” is a necessary step in order for developers and regular users to test how the network handles withdrawals of staked ETH. The new feature is known in technical circles as Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-4895.
Allowing withdrawals of staked ETH is a highly anticipated feature given that users who have staked their ETH on Ethereum’s new proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain so far have been unable to withdraw – or ‘unstake’ – their tokens.
Zhejiang will go live at 15:00 UTC on Wednesday, February 1st.
But although the testnet launches on Wednesday, Ethereum Foundation engineer Barnabas Busa said on Twitter this week that regular users will still have to wait for 6 more days to try out the simulated withdrawals. For now, these users can deposit ETH to the testnet’s validators, and then withdraw them starting on February 7.
“Rocky start” for private testnet
The launch of the public testnet comes after a private testnet for Ethereum developers was launched on January 26. The testnet got off to “a very rocky start” according to Busa, who added that the network later stabilized.
Shanghai upgrade on track
Withdrawals of staked ETH is an important part of the next major upgrade of the Ethereum network known as the Shanghai hard fork.
In a developer call last month, Ethereum core developer Marius Van Der Wijden said that progress toward the Shanghai upgrade is good.
"Things are looking great. I'm not aware of any issues that could delay Shanghai at this moment," Van Der Wijden said in the call.
The confirmation that things are on track for the Shanghai hard came after developers agreed to take out several EIPs related to the EVM Object Format (EOF) that were supposed to be part of Shanghai. According to the developers, EOF will now instead be included in a separate Ethereum upgrade sometime in the third quarter this year.