Ethereum Developers Optimistic of Dencun Upgrade Delivering Lower Gas Fees and Higher Transaction Speeds

Ethereum Developers Optimistic of Dencun Upgrade Delivering Lower Gas Fees and Higher Transaction Speeds

The Ethereum ecosystem developers are optimistic about realizing lower gas fees and higher transaction speeds in layer-2 rollups. The developers are banking on the Dencun upgrade set for a trio of testnets in early 2024. 

The developers are confident that the systematic Dencun upgrade to realize the Goerli testnet before February 2024 will benefit the Ethereum layer-2 rollups.

Developers admitted that the Dencun network upgrade attained activation on the Goerli testnet on Wednesday, January 17, coupled with its introduction to several Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). 

The upgrade targets EIP-4844, poised to facilitate the proto-danksharding poised as a catalyst to lower the L2 transaction fees. 

Dencun upgrade deployment to the Goerli testnet faced a four-hour delay due to a bug that hindered the testnet capability to finalize the upgrade. Nebojsa Urosevic, who co-founded the Ethereum development platform Tenderly, disclosed the bug details. 

Urosevic disclosed that the network failed to sync with the nodes because of the bug within Prysm – a proof-of-stake (PoS) client for Ethereum. 

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The Tenderly co-founder, who serves as the senior vice president role for the engineering team, observed that client synchronization delays are normal. The delay enabled the bug identification and quick rectification. 

Urosevic added that the delays emerging during client synchronization explain the reasons for testnets and multiple clients’ existence. 

The protocol lead at the Ethereum Foundation, Tim Beiko, delved into the matter by sharing a debrief from the concluded Core Developers Execution Call on Thursday, January 18. The call saw the historical root issue identified. 

Beiko indicated that historical roots constitute the legacy mechanism utilized by Beacon Chain in managing the computational load of the Ethereum blockchain’s state. 

Beiko explained that the bug arose from Ethereum’s POS customer Prysm. The protocol lead indicated that the client set the historical roots value to 0, thereby preventing the Goerli testnet from setting the value of the historical root and hindering the Goerli testnet’s capability to finalize the Dencun upgrade. 

Dencun Roadmap for Network Improvement

Dencun features nine unique EIPs, with proto-danksharding and blob transactions emerging as the most critical milestones. Urosevic explains that proto-dank sharding targets scalability by utilizing blob-carrying transactions instead of call data.

Urosevic considers data blobs to deliver improved storage efficiency to make the transaction data accessible in a compressed format. He added that data blobs have proven cost-effectiveness with a cost reduction range of 80 – 90%. 

Urosevic revealed that the successful implementation of the Goerli would facilitate the Sepolia and Holesky testnet to undergo the Dencun upgrade. He adds that successful deployment on the three testaments is mandatory before upgrading the mainnet. 

Dencun Upgrade Bringing Additional Block Space

The infrastructure director of Gnosis, Philippe Schommers, illustrates that the Dencun upgrade is set to offer additional block space and reduce costs on layer 2. Unlike in the previous situation, the upgrade is set to discard data every fortnight, where such data was indefinitely retained on-chain. 

Urosevic’s scalability aligns with the endgame of the Dencun upgrade without compromising decentralization. The storage improvements are a critical objective desired during the Dencun upgrade. 

Urosevic added that L2 networks will realize efficient data storage since blobs are deleted every fortnight. Such is manageable for L2s while also retrieving and verifying data seamlessly unlike the indefinite storage in typical transaction calldata. 

The process will allow Dencun to lower the gas fees while guaranteeing faster transactions. Its accomplishment will facilitate opening opportunities for complex applications using the 2 solutions. 

Rollups will reap the highest benefits, given that the resulting economic viability and scalability will significantly lower operational costs. 

Anurag Arjun, behind the data availability blockchain firm Avail, illustrates that block space witnessed growing demand from the rollups in 2023. A similar increase in block space demand is inevitable for L2s. 

Protodanksharding Delivering Additional Block Space for Rollups

Arjun considers that proto-danksharding is much needed since rollups will need additional block space. Its accomplishment without compromising decentralization, security and scalability makes the Dencun upgrade necessary. 

Arjun indicates that though systematic upgrades are implemented on the Ethereum network to help lower fees and expedite transactions, Avail is best placed to resolve the interim block space required for rollups. 

Arjun observes that the recent benchmarks realized by Avail’s Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) based on zero knowledge will lower transaction fees by 90%. This involves posting the transaction data to the Avail blockchain rather than Ethereum. 

Arjun confirms that Avail still settles to Ethereum while guaranteeing secure and decentralized data availability. The process becomes an attractive option for the blockchains seeking migration into the Ethereum ecosystem. 

Urosevic hails the Dencun upgrade as resolving scalability issues directly on the Ethereum mainnet. He considers that multiple EIPs will yield greater storage efficiency while lowering the gas fees. 

The Dencun upgrade is set to help improve the developer’s experience by making rollups more cost-efficient. 

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