Ethereum developers have recently disclosed their roadmap for the forthcoming Dencun network upgrade, presenting a significant breakthrough for Layer 2 transactions. At the heart of this upgrade lies EIP-4844, commonly referred to as Proto-Danksharding, which promises to substantially reduce transaction costs.
Following the success of the Shapella upgrade, Dencun is positioned as the next major evolution for the Ethereum network, offering the potential to lower transaction expenses. In a recent blog post, Tim Beiko, a core developer for Ethereum, shared the preliminary list of major Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) tentatively included in the Dencun upgrade.
In terms of nomenclature, Dencun draws inspiration from the fusion of Deneb, a prominent star, and Cancun, a city in Mexico. This naming convention follows the precedent set by Shapella, which combined Shanghai and Capella, a star in the northern constellation.
The Dencun upgrade primarily concentrates on enhancing Ethereum’s execution layer through the adoption of four selected EIPs. Similar to the emphasis on EIP-4895 during the Shapella upgrade, which facilitated validator withdrawals from the Beacon Chain, the spotlight for Dencun will likely shine on EIP-4844, also known as “Proto-Danksharding” or “The Surge.”
EIP-4844 introduces temporary “data blobs” into the Ethereum network, which Layer 2 networks can utilize to store transaction and proof data, currently stored elsewhere. The ephemeral nature of these blobs significantly reduces gas costs, leading to substantially cheaper Layer 2 transactions, as clarified by Beiko.
Beiko acknowledged that although EIP-4844 is not as monumental as “The Merge,” it constitutes a significant change for Ethereum, introducing an entirely new data layer that necessitates interaction between the existing consensus and execution layers.
The introduction of EIP-4844 also limits the capacity for other alterations to the network. Nonetheless, developers have included three additional EIPs alongside it. These encompass EIP-1153, which enhances blockspace availability, EIP-6475, ensuring forward compatibility of transaction formats, and EIP-6780, which deactivates the code responsible for terminating smart contracts.
While Beiko did not provide a specific deployment date for this upgrade, he indicated that the next update regarding Dencun’s finalized scope would likely coincide with the first testnet fork announcement.