Photo source: https://unsplash.com/photos/wuG7LKcDx2w
Ethereum is in its “final stages of planning” the next major milestone in the network’s history – Dencun. Even though it hasn’t been long since the successful completion of the Shapella upgrade, Ethereum is cooking another significant improvement in the oven, which is expected later this year.
Ever since the cryptocurrency was created, the team of developers behind this network has continuously sought ways to improve the blockchain and offer seamless experiences to users. Some upgrades positively impacted the Ethereum price, while others were categorized as “non-events.” What is certain is that Ethereum’s efforts to enhance the network’s security and scalability are welcome, bringing hope to the market, which struggled last year to stay afloat. A series of negative events culminated in cryptocurrency prices hitting the ground and impacting the once-optimistic investor’s sentiment.
After the Shapella update, the last major network improvement was finally deployed, and Ethereum began planning the following big move. On the 4th of May, Ethereum’s core developers met to discuss the next ship of the blockchain. This update focuses on proto-dank sharding – a solution to add data to blocks more cost-effectively. Therefore, it’s essential to approach Ethereum’s roadmap focused on roll-ups successfully.
Ethereum makes strides toward a more crypto-friendly future, and the series of upgrades and the important future upgrade – Dencun- stand as proof.
Dencun is achievable owing to the previous upgrades
Ethereum must set a good example in the crypto world, and so far, it hasn’t fallen short of expectations. It goes through regular updates to tackle environmental issues and inflict hope for a greener future. Cryptocurrencies have long received a judgment for the alarmingly large amounts of energy consumed, some equaling the electricity consumed by a small country in a year. However, Ethereum had put an end to environmentalists and eco-aware individuals and institutions when it announced that cutting CO2 emissions by an impressive 99.95% would be part of its roadmap.
Ethereum already represents a significant platform for coordination worldwide. Yet, ambitious goals exist to improve and transform it into a resilient, fully scaled platform. Extra security, cheaper transactions, future-proofing, and enhanced user experience describe its roadmap.
Let’s look at the upgrades deployed so far that laid the groundwork for future implementations.
The Ethereum Merge made the network eco-friendly
Since its creation, Ethereum has employed a power-hungry Proof-of-Work system, implicating complex mathematical equations, or cryptographic hashes, that devices would battle to solve. Other blockchains like Bitcoin use this consensus mechanism, which remains a worrying factor for the sustainability of the crypto industry. Ethereum joined the ranks of environmentally-conscious networks when it completed the Merge, the most ambitious project up to date. This transitioned the network to a Proof-of-Stake system and eliminated the need for mining nodes to be rewarded by giving participants another means to gain revenue: Ethereum staking. Other factors besides reducing hardware requirements also contributed to Ethereum’s upgrade. Developers’ goals were to make the cryptocurrency a more deflationary asset by reducing its scarcity, enhance security by allowing more participants at the table, make transaction confirmations faster, and introduce more scaling solutions, like the one making the headlines these days – Dencun.
Shapella update, a combination of Capella and Shanghai updates, represents the second major upgrade after the Merge. It enabled investors to redeem the Ether staked in the following seven months after the upgrade, allowing investors to lock up their coins to help the network operate more efficiently and receive rewards. Since the Merge, ETH staking has been a one-way road, enabling participants to lend their tokens but lose access to them. Given that there has been a limitation on the number of stakers who could retract their assets, the queue formed exceeded expectations.
These two upgrades, as well as the upcoming ones, fuel positive headlines and may increase institutional and investor credibility, paving the path to treating cryptocurrency like other well-established, traditional financial assets. The Dencun is only achievable thanks to the completion of these two upgrades.
The Dencun update will introduce a new transaction type
According to Ethereum Foundation, Ethereum’s team of devs is preparing the final details for the following upgrade. A set of improvement proposals already exists and will be included in the update. Dencun, short for Cancun-Deneb, primarily consists of the proto-dank sharding feature, also known as EIP-4844 or “The Surge.” Experts predict that the upgrade will significantly decrease the transaction fees on Layer 2.
The announcement comes after Layer2s surfaced as the leading scaling solution. These networks surpassed the daily transaction volume on the Ethereum mainnet, and Layer2s now beat Ethereum, with 2 million transactions per day. These emerging solutions reached almost 4 million, while activity on Ethereum showed signs of stagnancy.
Ethereum’s core devs consider a series of other Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). EIP-2537 has been considered since 2019, but it’s now that it begins to be shaped, as the issues impeding its implementation have been fixed. This upgrade intends to facilitate verifying signatures on the Beacon Chain and implement other applications.
EIP-4788 is also a delayed improvement. It allows the execution layer to access data from the Beacon Chain, introduces new blocks to execution payloads and collects them in contracts. Furthermore, this improves the security of staking pools, restacking protocols, and bridges by permitting access to the information through a new opcode.
EIP-4844 will introduce “blobs,” a conglomerate of binary data that acts as a single identity. These are large and will remove the “call data” that take up plenty of block space. Unlike blocks that are visible and stored on EVMs, blobs have a short lifespan and are invisible to the EVM.
This new technology will improve the Layer2 networks by minimizing the space used.
The set of upgrades launched transformed Ethereum into a better and greener network. The crypto community received the last update well, and the Ether deposits grew. Additionally, Ethereum’s price on exchanges also appreciated around the Shapella upgrade.
So far, no one can tell how these improvements will affect the network. But it’s interesting to stick around to see what benefits the following major update can bring to the table.