Ethereum developers set up a new devnet to test how validators unlock ether that has been staked.
The devnet helps Ethereum client teams get ready to let validators withdraw their stakes next year.
Ethereum Developer Marius Van Der Wijden
Ethereum developers have made a developer network available so that validator staking withdrawals can be tested. This is a feature that is currently missing from the network.
Marius Van Der Wijden, an Ethereum developer, said that the devnet will help get Ethereum ready for a planned upgrade called Shanghai that will let validators withdraw their staked funds next year. After Ethereum switched to proof-of-stake consensus, the lack of this feature has made some people worry about the risk of centralization.
“It’s the first devnet that allowed withdrawals on all of these implementations, which is a big step forward, “Van Der Wijden told The Block. “By joining the network, it also helps other clients test their implementations.
Van Der Wijden said that Ethereum clients, which are teams that build validator software, are testing stake withdrawals to get ready for Shanghai and find any bugs. He made it clear that the current devnet is only testing withdrawals, and that other features of Shanghai have not yet been tested.
Why are staking withdrawals important
Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake consensus, also known as “The Merge,” required users to stake or pool assets on the network. They could stake themselves, or they could give their ether to companies that offer staking services, which would be easier.
Once users had staked enough ether, though, a problem arose: users couldn’t withdraw from staking providers because the system for doing so hadn’t been built yet.
After The Merge, staking entities like Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, Staked.us, Bitcoin Suisse, stakefish, and Figment now control a big chunk of the ether deposited in validator nodes and make decisions on behalf of stakers. Since a large number of network stakes and validators are currently controlled by a small number of entities, experts in the Ethereum community have warned that the network is now at risk of becoming too centralized.
When ether withdrawals are reopened, users will be able to take their stake away from validators they don’t agree with. This will ease some of these worries. Van Der Wijden said that six client teams are part of the devnet. These teams are Lodestar, Teku, Lighthouse, Nethermind, and Geth.