Ethereum developers release devnet 2 ahead of mainnet shadow fork for Shanghai

Quick Take

  • Ethereum has released a new developer network ahead of the Shanghai upgrade of Ethereum. 
  • Developers are also preparing to conduct a shadow fork of Shanghai on the mainnet in the coming weeks.

Ethereum has released a new developer network, called "devnet 2," to help client teams prepare for the upcoming Shanghai upgrade

The devnet has come a few months after developers spun devnet 1 back in November. Devnet 2 was released on Jan. 11, Ben Edgington, product lead of the Teku client team, noted at the latest Ethereum consensus layer (CL) meeting. 

The devnet has been launched primarily to test and look for bugs in software for the Shanghai upgrade that will allow users to withdraw coins staked with validators. This feature, which is currently unavailable, will be launched on the mainnet in March, enabling users to access their staked coins that were made temporarily inaccessible during the transition known as "The Merge" in September.

Shadow fork coming

Developers are also preparing to conduct a shadow fork of Shanghai on the Ethereum mainnet in the next few weeks as part of the dress rehearsals for the Shanghai upgrade. A shadow fork is a test on a version of the actual mainnet to ascertain whether the code would work on the real blockchain.

The shadow fork will add more complexity to the Shanghai testing, making it more akin to the final rollout in March, said Marius Van Der Wijden, Ethereum developer at the Geth client team. "The shadowfork will just add more load to the test — more transactions and more state and others," Van Der Wijden told The Block.

Developers are also considering a public test network for the Shanghai upgrade before the end of February, which would onboard staking firms to test the Shanghai upgrade.

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