Ethereum core developer, Tim Beiko, has announced that the upcoming Shapella upgrade is set to take place on February 28 on the Sepolia network at epoch 56832. The Shapella upgrade includes two Ethereum hard fork names, Shanghai and Capella. Shanghai is the name for the fork on the execution layer client side, while Capella is the upgrade name on the consensus layer client side.

The Shapella upgrade incorporates key Ethereum improvement proposal (EIP) changes to the execution layer, including warm coinbase and Beacon Chain push withdrawals. With push withdrawals, validator withdrawals from the Beacon Chain to the Ethereum Virtual Machine can take place through a new “system-level” operation type. Warm coinbase, on the other hand, could potentially reduce network fees for builders.

EIP-3651 would enable the coinbase software to remain “warm” to begin with, thereby requiring a lower gas fee to access it. Major changes to the consensus layer include full and partial withdrawals for validators and independent state and block historical accumulators, replacing the original singular historical roots.

Partial withdrawal enables validators to withdraw Ether rewards above 32 Ether and continue validating, while full withdrawal allows validators to exit completely, receive all 32 Ether and rewards, and stop working. The upcoming upgrade also allows validators to withdraw their staked Ether (stETH) from the Beacon Chain to the execution layer. The Shapella upgrade brings new features to the execution and consensus layers, making it a significant upgrade following the Merge.

To take advantage of the Sepolia upgrade, stakers and non-stakers who operate nodes must upgrade their nodes to the most recent Ethereum client versions. After the deployment of the Sepolia upgrade, the Shanghai upgrade on the Ethereum Goerli test network is expected to begin in March.