The Ethereum Foundation announced the final timeline for its much-anticipated Dencun network upgrade, marking a significant milestone in Ethereum’s continuous evolution.
The journey towards the Dencun upgrade began with its successful activation on the Goerli testnet on Jan. 17, 2024.
Following this, the upgrade is scheduled for Sepolia and Holesky testnets on Jan. 30 and Feb. 7, respectively, according to an Ethereum blog.
These testnet upgrades are crucial steps in ensuring the smooth implementation of Dencun on the Ethereum ETH/USD mainnet.
What Is Dencun?: Dencun represents a major upgrade for Ethereum, combining changes to both the consensus and execution layers of the network.
It introduces several enhancements, including the much-discussed EIP-4844, which introduces ephemeral data blobs or “protodanksharding.”
This improvement is aimed at reducing transaction fees on Layer 2 solutions, a significant development for Ethereum users.
Key Features Of The Dencun Upgrade
The upgrade encompasses several critical Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), including:
- EIP-1153: Transient storage opcodes
- EIP-4788: Beacon block root in the EVM
- EIP-4844: Shard Blob Transactions
- EIP-5656: MCOPY – Memory copying instruction
- EIP-6780: SELFDESTRUCT only in the same transaction
- EIP-7044: Perpetually Valid Signed Voluntary Exits
- EIP-7045: Increase Max Attestation Inclusion Slot
- EIP-7514: Add Max Epoch Churn Limit
- EIP-7516: BLOBBASEFEE opcode
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To support the Dencun upgrade, several client releases have been made available for both Sepolia and Holesky. These include updates to popular clients like Lighthouse, Lodestar, Nimbus, Prysm, and Teku for the consensus layer and Besu, Erigon, go-ethereum, Nethermind, and Reth for the execution layer.
Impact On Ethereum Users And Developers: For most Ethereum users and Ether holders, there is no immediate action required unless notified by their exchange or wallet provider.
However, node operators and stakers on the Sepolia and Holesky testnets need to update their clients to the latest versions to be compatible with the upgrade.
Application and tooling developers are advised to review the EIPs included in Dencun to assess their impact on existing projects.
Why ‘Dencun’?: The name ‘Dencun’ is a blend of ‘Deneb,’ a star in the Cygnus constellation, and ‘Cancun,’ the location of Devcon 3. This naming convention follows Ethereum‘s tradition of using star names for consensus layer upgrades and Devcon city names for execution layer upgrades.
Looking Ahead: The successful deployment of Dencun on the Sepolia and Holesky testnets will pave the way for its scheduled activation on the Ethereum mainnet.
This upgrade is a pivotal moment for Ethereum, potentially transforming its transaction efficiency and overall network performance.