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Ethereum Developers Set March 13 as Target Date for Dencun Upgrade

Ethereum developers have announced the mainnet launch date for the Dencun upgrade, slated to introduce multiple Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), among which is proto-danksharding. This particular EIP is anticipated to significantly reduce transaction costs on layer 2.

In a bi-weekly coordinating call held on Thursday, Ethereum developers concluded on March 13 as the target date for the much-anticipated Dencun upgrade, signifying a noteworthy advancement in the blockchain’s development. This upgrade stands as the most substantial set of alterations to Ethereum since April 2023.

Ethereum Dencun Upgrade Live On Holesky Testnet

Dencun, amalgamating the Cancun and Deneb upgrades on Ethereum, encompasses enhancements across both execution and consensus layers. A pivotal aspect of Dencun is proto-danksharding (EIP-4844), which introduces “blobs” to facilitate the temporary storage and access of substantial volumes of off-chain data by Ethereum nodes.

This groundbreaking innovation aims to alleviate storage requirements and notably reduce transaction costs for Ethereum decentralized applications (dapps), with a particular focus on benefiting Layer 2 rollup chains. It achieves this by enabling more cost-effective and scalable data processing.

The decision to establish the upgrade date was reached during the all-core developer’s consensus layer call 127, subsequent to the seamless integration of the upgrade into the Holesky testnet, encountering no complications along the way.

Yesterday, the Dencun upgrade was successfully implemented on the Holesky testnet at around 6:35 a.m. ET, as verified by Ethereum execution client Nethermind, and swiftly finalized thereafter. This phased rollout strategy for the upgrade previously saw Dencun deployed on the Goerli testnet on Jan. 17 and the Sepolia testnet on Jan. 30.

Parithosh Jayanthi, a DevOps engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, expressed excitement, commenting, “It’s fantastic to witness years’ worth of effort finally getting scheduled for the Ethereum mainnet,” via CoinDesk over Telegram.

The Dencun upgrade on the main Ethereum network, colloquially known as a “hard fork,” is slated to take place when the blockchain reaches slot 8626176, precisely at 13:55 UTC on March 13. However, this date is contingent upon validation by developers and confirmation via the open-source software platform GitHub.

Dencun Network Upgrade Activated on Ethereum Goerli Testnet, Introducing Proto-Dank Sharding

The Dencun network upgrade was initiated on the Goerli testnet on January 17, ushering in several Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), notably EIP-4844, which introduces proto-dank sharding. This eagerly anticipated enhancement, developers assert, will significantly reduce transaction fees on Ethereum layer-2 solutions.

Dencun will introduce a novel transaction category termed “proto-danksharding,” designed to diminish transaction costs for rollups by introducing data “blobs” for storage. Moreover, it aims to decrease the expense of data accessible on Ethereum, thereby enhancing the appeal of projects such as Celestia, Avail, and EigenDA.

The development team conducted three tests to ensure the seamless operation of Dencun on the mainnet, with the recent deployment on the Holesky testnet marking the culmination of these endeavors. Proto-danksharding serves as the initial phase of a broader technical feature known as “danksharding,” which aims to scale the Ethereum blockchain.

The confirmed date for Dencun represents a departure from the developers’ initial timeline, which originally aimed for the end of 2023. However, technical obstacles necessitated a postponement, pushing the upgrade schedule to early 2024.

Looking ahead, developers are already formulating plans for the next hard fork, Prague/Electra, which may incorporate “Verkle Trees,” a novel data structure intended to enable node storage of large data volumes without compromising block validation capabilities.

Ethereum’s previous major upgrade, Shapella, took place in April 2023, allowing users and validators to withdraw their staked ether on the network for the first time. With the imminent deployment of Dencun, Ethereum continues its evolution, bolstering its capabilities to meet the expanding demands of its user base and decentralized ecosystem.

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