At approximately 6:27pm EST, Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade was successfully implemented. Members of the Ethereum community have hailed the highly-anticipated hard fork, which involves creating a new blockchain by splitting off from the existing one, as a significant milestone. This marks the completion of Ethereum’s transition to a full proof-of-stake network, where users stake cryptocurrency to secure and verify new data blocks.
While the blockchain moved away from its original proof-of-work consensus mechanism last year, users were previously unable to withdraw their staked ether or claim rewards, a crucial feature of the new system. The price of ETH remained stable during the Shanghai hard fork, and around 4,000 people watched the live streamed event. During the stream, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, stated that while there are still significant tasks to be completed, the most challenging aspects of the transition have been accomplished, and the remaining work can be done at a more measured pace.
Vitalik said that the next steps for ETH after Shanghai will be to make transactions faster and more affordable. “If we don’t fix scaling before the next bull run, we know people are going to be stuck paying $500 transactions.”
For several months, experts in the digital-asset market have been discussing whether the Shanghai hard fork will trigger a surge in prices or a sudden drop. The question is whether the success of the hard fork will generate positive market sentiment or if stakers will quickly withdraw their ETH and sell their assets in large quantities. Time will tell how this update will affect ETH prices in the long-term.