Proto-Danksharding Ahoy! Ethereum Upgrade Clears Another Hurdle

Dencun successfully passed tests on Sepolia, further clearing the way toward cheaper, faster layer-2 transactions.

A highly anticipated upgrade to the Ethereum network, called Dencun, crossed a major hurdle, becoming active on the Sepolia testnet on Tuesday. The development follows activation on the Goerli testnet earlier this month.

Dencun introduces “proto-danksharding” to the number one proof-of-stake blockchain. Proto-danksharding is designed to reduce transaction costs for layer-2 blockchains, making data availability cheaper while also addressing scalability issues. This latest upgrade lays the groundwork for full “danksharding,” which takes cost reductions and performance gains even further.

Dencun, after full implementation, will allow the Ethereum network to more cheaply handle more than 100,000 transactions per second.

The last of three testnet deployments, called Holesky, is scheduled to implement Dencun on February 7. After this test is completed, a date for Dencun’s activation on the main Ethereum blockchain will be set.

“Danksharding is how Ethereum becomes a truly scalable blockchain, but there are several protocol upgrades required to get there,” an Ethereum developer wrote on the official Ethereum website. “Proto-Danksharding is an intermediate step along the way.”

The Dencun upgrade also introduces ‘blobs,’ which are intended to reduce rollup cost on the Ethereum mainnet by first compressing transaction data off-chain, decreasing the storage and processing load.

Data temporarily stored in blobs is only needed for a short time to verify transactions and can be safely deleted to avoid overloading the network. Cryptographic commitments ensure that any alterations in the data are still detectable, allowing for secure and efficient data handling.

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