Ethereum had its latest upgrade, the Dencun or the Cancun– Deneb upgrade, which was highly anticipated to be completed within the year’s first quarter. This upgrade will mainly focus on improving Ethereum’s security, efficiency, and scalability through a chain of EIPs (Ethereum improvement proposals). One of the EIPs, proto-dank sharding or EIP-4844, will soon be implemented during the Dencun upgrade, and this will allow users on the Ethereum blockchain network to benefit from reduced gas fees on L2 (Layer 2) transactions after the proto-danksharding. The second of the three test networks recently went live with the Dencun upgrade.
In this article, we will discuss this recent update on Ethereum, including proto-danksharding, the upgrade execution on the Sepolia testnet, and its progression through Goerli and Holesky. We will also discuss Dencun’s significance and timeline and compare it with the Shapella upgrade.
Proto-Danksharding and Its Purpose
The Ethereum blockchain ecosystem constantly experiences the Blockchain Trilemma, including scalability, decentralization, and security, which affect its potential to perform optimally at low costs. This Trilemma remains the catalyst of all the ongoing innovation to improve the Ethereum network.
Proto-danksharding is the immediate solution undertaken to enhance Ethereum’s scalability issues, ensuring the network’s true scalability. It improves Ethereum’s scalability by allowing users to load blobs of data that can be linked to the blocks at the lowest cost possible for layer 2 blockchains. The data is then deleted, saving on the cost of transactions and space.
Proto-danksharding is set to introduce blobs of temporary data, allowing rollups to use and store a part of the transactional data. The data blobs will offer lower gas fees while interacting with EVMs, allowing Ethereum nodes to remain slim.
The Dencun upgrade will have a broader impact on the Ethereum ecosystem and benefit many decentralized sectors, including Ethereum casinos. The optimized layer 2 solutions brought forward by Proto-danksharding will enhance transaction affordability and efficiency for Ethereum casinos and various decentralized entities. Moreover, this will ensure a smooth integration aligning with Ethereum’s technological advancements and growth.
Upgrade Execution on Sepolia Testnet
The launch of the recent Dencun upgrade on the Sepolia test network was flawlessly executed on Thursday from 22:51 UTC to 23:10 UTC. This marked a notable achievement for the entire Ethereum ecosystem. This Sepolia testnet is the second of the three test networks to run through Dencun’s simulation. Earlier this year, Duncan went live on Goerli, although it initially broke down during the final stage.
Testnet Progression: Goerli and Holesky
Goerli was unveiled by Ethereum developers at the ETH Berlin Conference in 2018 as a multi-client ETH testnet. It provided a safe place for developers to try out decentralized applications and develop infrastructure elements. However, the testnet progression with Goerli faced challenges as it failed to keep up with the ever-growing traffic in the Ethereum ecosystem. More developers wished to use Goerli, which increased its usage and made the test networks slower. Although Goerli was a good upgrade, it needed to handle the rising number of developers and their ambitious Ethereum-based projects.
In 2021, Ethereum expanded its test net by introducing Sepolia, which is designed to incorporate limitless test net tokens. Ethereum’s latest upgrade, Holesky, represents the huge efforts of core developers in the Ethereum ecosystem to resolve the challenges that impact the utilization and functionality of previous test nets. Holesky remains the first long-standing Ethereum public test net that merged from Genesis. Holesky was developed to help Ethereum testers deal with the disadvantages of previous testnets.
Dencun’s Significance and Timeline
Ethereum developers are planning for the biggest upgrade on the main Ethereum blockchain with Dencun activation – making changes on the two main test nets – the final steps theoretically before it goes live on the main network. Before the upgrade is triggered, developers will give a run-through of changes in the protocol on Sepolia and Holesky test nets. However, the targeted dates for the Dencun upgrade will be the end of February or early March 2024.