On Wednesday, Ethereum developers will open a new test network called “Zhejiang,” where users can begin testing Ethereum Improvement Proposal 4895, also known as staked ether withdrawals, which is a part of the next big upgrade to Ethereum, the Shanghai hard fork.
Testnets run on top of the main blockchain and replicate it. They enable developers and users to test upgrades and applications before going live in a low-risk environment.
This new testnet, which goes live at 10 a.m., will allow users to test staked Ethereum (ETH) withdrawals. Users will not be able to participate in the simulated withdrawals until the testnet is upgraded on February 7. For the time being, users will be able to deposit Ethereum to validators on the testnet and withdraw it the following week.
The Zhejiang testnet was launched after ETH developers deprecated the Shandong testnet. They agreed to shut down Shandong because it contained a few EIPs related to the EVM Object Format, which was removed from the Shanghai upgrade. Ethereum developers agreed earlier this month that the EVM object format upgrade will instead be part of a separate Ethereum hard fork scheduled for the third quarter.
Margaux Nijkerk covers blockchain protocols, with a particular emphasis on the Ethereum ecosystem. She holds a master’s degree in International Affairs and Economics from Johns Hopkins and Emory universities. She only has a small amount of ETH and other altcoins in her possession.