SPOILER ALERT: One proposal includes the unlocking of Beacon Chain Ether.
On November 24, 2022, the Ethereum Foundation announced that they have decided on eight Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) to include in the next major upgrade to the ecosystem following the Merge. [See, e.g. Pereira, A.P. Ethereum developers decided on eight proposals for the Shanghai update. (Accessed November 25, 2022)].
Included in this list is the much anticipated and desired inclusion of the proposal to permit the systematic withdrawal of Beacon Chain Ether, meaning any pre-merger users with staked Ethereum can finally access these tokens together with any associated rewards. It should be remembered that merely ten days ago, the Ethereum Foundation removed the whole of the staking withdrawal schedule from its social media. [See, e.g. Nagoda, K. The Post Merger Ether Staking Withdrawal Schedule Now Totally Removed from the Foundation’s Media. (Accessed November 25, 2022)].
It is clear that the decision to permit withdrawal of the staked Ether overshadows the other chosen EIPs. Nonetheless, several of the other key EIPs to be included are:
EIP-3651: Warm COINBASE.
EIP-3855: PUSH0 Instruction.
EIP-3860: Limit and meter initcode.
[See e.g. Qureshi, M. Ethereum Developers Agree On 8 Proposals After Merge — But Give No Timeline On ‘Shanghai’ Upgrade. (Accessed November 25, 2022).
Of these three, EIP 3651 might be the brightest for the ecosystem as it would lower network fees for the key network participants known as ‘builders’ [For further discussion, see, e.g. Nagoda, K. Shanghai Upgrade Will Cut Gas Fees for Certain Key Participants on the Ethereum Network. (Accessed November 25, 2022).
Also, of major importance is the inclusion of EIP 4844. This EIP calls for a focus to the protodanksharding technology. What implementation of this EIP will accomplish if successful is to boost system throughput and cause the reduction of overall network fees. Bottom line: if successful this EIP will significantly improve scalability within the ecosystem.
However, there is present a major failure in this Foundation announcement. While agreeing on the focus for their efforts relative to Shanghai, the Developers could not reach a decision on a timeframe for hard fork mainnet deployment of the Shanghai upgrade. Plus it is very important to note that there is absolutely no guarantee that all of these EIPs will be included in the finalized version of Shanghai.