In an effort to address the scalability and cost concerns plaguing the Ethereum network, developers have reached a consensus on the Dencun upgrade, also known as the Ethereum Cancun-Deneb (Dencun) upgrade. This eagerly anticipated hard fork is set to introduce five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) designed to optimize data storage and reduce transaction fees. With a targeted release date slated for the end of 2023, this upgrade promises to enhance the overall performance of the Ethereum blockchain.
Reducing Fees and Enhancing Storage Capacity
At the core of the Dencun upgrade lies EIP-4844, commonly referred to as proto-danksharding. By expanding the blockchain’s capacity for data storage, this feature will enable the processing of larger “blobs” of data, ultimately resulting in decreased gas fees for layer-2 rollups. Furthermore, EIP-1153 aims to lower fees associated with on-chain data storage, thereby improving block-space efficiency. Additional enhancements include EIP-4788, which refines bridge and staking pool designs, EIP-5656, introducing minor code changes to the Ethereum Virtual Machine, and EIP-6780, eliminating code that could potentially terminate smart contracts.
So What Is Danksharding?
Danksharding is a term used to describe the most significant feature of the Dencun upgrade on the Ethereum network. It refers to a technique that aims to enhance scalability by increasing the available storage capacity for data on the blockchain. The term combines “dank” (meaning cool or excellent) with “sharding” (a concept in distributed database systems).
Traditionally, sharding involves partitioning a database into smaller, more manageable parts called shards. In the context of Ethereum, danksharding takes this concept a step further by creating more space for larger “blobs” of data. By allowing the blockchain to process and store larger amounts of data efficiently, danksharding addresses the scalability challenges faced by Ethereum.
The implementation of danksharding as part of the Dencun upgrade is expected to have a positive impact on the Ethereum ecosystem. It will reduce gas fees for layer-2 rollups and enable the network to handle a higher transaction throughput. This improvement in scalability and cost-effectiveness is crucial for supporting the growing demand for decentralized applications and facilitating the widespread adoption of Ethereum as a robust and scalable blockchain platform.
The Dencun Timeline
During the All Core Developers Execution Layer 163 call, Tim Beiko, the protocol support lead at the Ethereum Foundation, confirmed that no further additions would be made to the upcoming hard fork. While an exact date for the fork has not been specified, it is expected to go live by the close of 2023. The Dencun upgrade encompasses two simultaneous upgrades: Cancun on the execution layer and Deneb on the consensus layer. This dual-fork approach will ensure comprehensive improvements across the entire Ethereum network. This approach is similar to the last major upgrade that Ethereum underwent, the Shapella Upgrade or the Ethereum Shanghai Capella Upgrade.
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The Ethereum community is eagerly anticipating the implementation of this fresh new Dencun upgrade, which aims to address scalability and fee-related concerns. With the adoption of EIPs focused on enhancing data storage capacity and reducing transaction fees, Ethereum is poised to deliver a more efficient and cost-effective platform for decentralized applications. As the end of 2023 approaches, all eyes remain on the successful deployment of the Dencun upgrade, which is expected to propel Ethereum into a new era of scalability and usability.
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