The Ethereum (ETH) blockchain has achieved a new milestone, with the number of non-zero addresses reaching an all-time high of 97 million, according to Glassnode data. This record-breaking achievement comes just in time for the highly anticipated Shanghai update, which will take place in almost three days, approximately April 12.
The surge in non-zero addresses indicates growing interest in ETH, as more people are creating wallets and investing in the cryptocurrency. This is a positive sign for the ecosystem, as it reflects wider adoption of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) built on top of the Ethereum network.
Ethereum's Shanghai hard fork
The upcoming Shanghai update, or more specifically the hard fork, will result in the unlocking of around 18 million ETH from staking for validators and other staking participants.
Some validators have been waiting over two years for access to their locked Ethereum coins. Now, as part of the update, they will be able to collect their ETH and staking rewards, which amount to around 15% of the coin's supply. It is important to note that staking rewards can be withdrawn immediately, but withdrawal by validators of the originally deposited ETH will be speed-limited.
However, this is just one, albeit the most important, item of the upcoming Shanghai update. In addition to that, Ethereum improvement proposals numbered 3651, 3855, 3860 and 6049 will also be put into effect. These proposals are aimed at reducing costs for network developers.