Ethereum’s long-anticipated Dencun upgrade has been assigned a projected launch date of March 13, following a bi-weekly coordination call amongst its top developers last Thursday. This upgrade marks the most extensive changes to the Ethereum blockchain since April 2023.
The Dencun upgrade, recognized primarily for its inclusion of the “proto-danksharding” feature, is expected to lower costs for transactions on layer-2 networks that are built on top of Ethereum. The feature accomplishes this by allotting a dedicated area for data storage.
Confirmation of this decision was made during call 127 of the all core developers consensus layer, happening shortly after the successful implementation of the upgrade on the Holesky testnet, the last of three test networks.
Ethereum users can expect the Dencun upgrade, also referred to as a “hard fork,” to take effect when the Ethereum network reaches slot 8626176 at 13:55 UTC on March 13, pending developer approval and confirmation via GitHub.
This upgrade introduces users to a new type of transaction class known as “proto-danksharding,” designed to decrease transaction costs. The upgrade should also lower the cost of data availability on Ethereum, potentially impacting projects such as Celestia, Avail, and EigenDA.
To ensure the smooth transition of the Dencun upgrade, developers have completed three test runs, finalizing with the successful deployment on the Holesky testnet this week. This upgrade represents the first implementation of a technical feature referred to as “danksharding,” an innovation aimed to scale the blockchain.
The intended launch date of the Dencun upgrade is later than initially intended by the developers as they initially aimed for a late 2023 release. However, due to technical complications, the upgrade has been deferred to early 2024. As part of the ongoing expansion of Ethereum, developers are already planning for the next hard fork, known as Prague/Electra, which may include “Verkle Trees,” a new form of data structure.