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Ethereum Developers Launch “Zhejiang” – The New Testnet for ETH Withdrawals

Ethereum developers are gearing up to roll out a new testnet called “Zhejiang,” paving the way for trials of the much-awaited withdrawals of staked ETH tokens.

The imminent test environment, named Zhejiang, is crucial for both developers and everyday users. It offers a platform to evaluate the system’s response to staked ETH withdrawals. This anticipated function is technically recognized as Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-4895.

The ability to withdraw staked ETH has been eagerly awaited. As of now, individuals who committed their ETH to Ethereum’s recent proof-of-stake (PoS) framework haven’t had the capability to retrieve or ‘unstake’ their holdings.

The Zhejiang testnet is set to become operational at 15:00 UTC on Wednesday, February 1st.

However, there’s a note of patience for regular users. Despite Zhejiang’s launch on Wednesday, according to a tweet by Ethereum Foundation engineer Barnabas Busa, standard users will have to hold on for an additional six days before they can experiment with the mock withdrawals. In the interim, they can allocate ETH to Zhejiang’s validators, with withdrawals commencing on February 7.

“Rocky start” for private testnet

The debut of the public testnet follows the January 26 release of a private testnet exclusive to Ethereum developers. Busa described its initial phase as “a very rocky start”, but noted that the network eventually found its stability.

Shanghai upgrade on track

The ability to withdraw staked ETH is a pivotal feature in Ethereum’s forthcoming major upgrade, termed the Shanghai hard fork.

During a developer meeting last month, Ethereum’s core developer Marius Van Der Wijden expressed optimism about the progression towards the Shanghai upgrade.

“Things are looking great. At present, I don’t see any hurdles that might postpone Shanghai,” Van Der Wijden commented during the call.

The reassurance regarding Shanghai’s timeline came after a collective decision by developers to exclude several EIPs associated with the EVM Object Format (EOF). Originally, these EIPs were intended to be a part of the Shanghai upgrade. However, developers have now decided that EOF will be incorporated in a distinct Ethereum upgrade slated for the third quarter of the year.

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