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Ethereum Developers Gear Up for 'Dencun': The Next Hard Fork with Proto-Danksharding

Discover the latest plans of Ethereum developers as they prepare for the 'Dencun' hard fork. Learn about the introduction of proto-danksharding and other technical upgrades to enhance scalability and reduce fees.

Ethereum developers are already gearing up for the next major upgrade that will transform the blockchain. Following the success of the recent Shapella upgrade, which introduced staked ETH withdrawals, the development team is now focused on planning the highly anticipated 'Dencun' hard fork.

The name 'Dencun' represents a combination of two simultaneous upgrades taking place on the two primary layers of the Ethereum blockchain. The execution layer, responsible for housing all protocol rules, will undergo the 'Cancun' upgrade. Simultaneously, the consensus layer, which validates blocks, will experience the 'Deneb' upgrade. The clever amalgamation of these two upgrades has led developers to refer to the combined event as 'Dencun,' following in the footsteps of previous merged upgrade names like 'Shapella.'

At the core of the 'Dencun' hard fork lies EIP 4844, widely known as "proto-danksharding." This proposal aims to enhance scalability by increasing the capacity for data "blobs." Furthermore, these changes are expected to reduce fees for layer 2 rollups, providing a more efficient and cost-effective ecosystem.

While the previous Shapella upgrade focused on staked ETH withdrawals, Ethereum developers made the strategic decision to reserve EIP 4844 for the upcoming 'Dencun' hard fork, considering its complexity and significant impact.

During an official call, Ethereum developers delved into the technical intricacies of EIP 4844. Tim Beiko, the protocol support lead at the Ethereum Foundation, emphasized the scope for the 'Cancun' upgrade and welcomed any proposals for changes moving forward. While 'Dencun' may not be the most elegant term, developers occasionally opt to refer to the upgrade simply as 'Cancun' for convenience.

Although the timing of the 'Dencun' upgrade was not discussed during the call, Ethereum developers have previously expressed their intention to deploy it in the second half of 2023.

In addition to proto-danksharding, the 'Dencun' hard fork is also expected to include several other technical upgrades, such as EIPs 6780, 6475, and 1153. The full scope of the 'Dencun' upgrade is still under consideration, with developers conducting tests and evaluating other proposals before finalizing the features that will be included in this significant hard fork.

As Ethereum's development continues to forge ahead, 'Dencun' holds the promise of revolutionizing the blockchain, introducing crucial scalability improvements and paving the way for a more efficient and robust ecosystem. Stay tuned as Ethereum developers work diligently to bring this exciting upgrade to life.