The Ethereum network is preparing for the Shapella hard fork, which will allow validators to withdraw their Ether from the Beacon Chain. Scheduled for April 12 at 10:27 pm UTC, Shapella will take effect at epoch 194,048, and will be enabled by Ethereum Improvement Proposal EIP-4895, which allows staked Ether to be moved from the Beacon Chain to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Although the hard fork will permit partial and full withdrawals, mechanisms have been put in place to prevent a sudden influx of Ether from disrupting the market. There are currently 17.81 million Ether staked on the Beacon Chain, worth $31.6 billion at a current price of $1,776.
After a week-long deliberation led by Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko, the Ethereum Foundation has confirmed the epoch, slot, and time for the upcoming Shapella hard fork. Although the last testnet run on Goerli was smooth, there was a delay in the activation time because of many validators who failed to update their client software.
Dubbed as the most significant hard fork on Ethereum since Paris, the Merge, which changed the network consensus mechanism from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake on September 15, Shapella will allow validators to withdraw their Ether from the Beacon Chain using Ethereum Improvement Proposal EIP-4895. Shapella hard fork enables Ether withdrawals from Beacon Chain to EVM while ensuring market stability.
The rewards for finding bugs in the Shapella code were doubled by the Ethereum Foundation. Successful bounties may receive a reward ranging from $2,000 to $250,000, depending on how “critical” the bug is.