As the Shapella upgrade scheduled for April 12 draws nearer, the Ethereum Foundation has reportedly up its bug bounty to $500,000 for issues that may affect the update. The update will enable Ethereum validators to withdraw their staked ETH on the main protocol.
Anticipating The Shapella Upgrade
The upcoming upgrade on the Ethereum blockchain, Shapella, will signal another major milestone for the network after its September 2022 Merge. Accordingly, the Ethereum Foundation has increased its bug bounty offer to $500,000 to enhance the detection of possible flaws with the Shapella upgrade.
The highly-anticipated update, the Shanghai-Capella, is expected to go live on April 12 on the Ethereum mainnet on the block size 6,209,536. Furthermore, the main feature of the upcoming update is the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4895, which will pave the way for the validator staking withdrawal to become a reality on the network for the first time.
Meanwhile, the upgrade includes three other improvement mechanisms that will help optimize gas fees for specific activities. Per reports, Fredrik Svantes, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, explained the benefits of the update during developers meeting on Thursday.
As part of the last-minute testing process, Svantes revealed a double reward for any identified vulnerability that will hinder the launch of the Shapella update. He urged testers to go ahead and look for other bugs that might affect the Shapella codebase, adding that the bounty payout for Shapella-related vulnerabilities is half a million dollars.
Bug bounty reward programs are incentives offered to individuals by organizations for their role in identifying and reporting a security glitch on a software or system. Meanwhile, analysts believe that doubling the bug bounty reward is a precautionary measure adopted by the Ethereum Foundation before launching the Shapella protocol.
The Final Shadow Fork
According to a DevOps engineer for the Ethereum Foundation, Parithosh Jayanthi, once the final client releases are completed, the developers will unveil the last shadow fork mainnet to test them. Regarding Ethereum, Jayanthi explained that the software fork is a test carried out in the mainnet than on the testnet.
This will allow developers to determine if a code from the proposed upgrade will function optimally with the real blockchain. Moreover, several shadow fork tests have already been conducted by the team preparatory to the Shapella upgrade, while the last one will be used to test the client release.
He added that once all the client releases are completed, the mainnet shadow fork will be ready, signifying the final transition before the project hits the mainnet. Ethereum developers have reportedly conducted extensive public tests on the three testnets, Georli, Zhejiang, and Sepolia.
Additionally, Shapella was deployed on March 14 on the Georli testnet as the last dress rehearsal before the mainnet release. At the Thursday meeting, the development team urged node operators on the Ethereum network to upgrade their nodes before the April launch date to ensure a seamless transition.
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