In the Ethereum landscape, the planning for Dencun network tests has been confirmed. With a focus on the upcoming upgrade named ‘Pectra.’ Developers concluded the first All Core Devs Execution (ACDE) call in 2024, setting dates for the Dencun testnet implementations. This process will commence with Goerli on January 17, followed by activations on Sepolia on January 30 and Holesky on February 7.
The Dencun upgrade’s primary goal is a significant reduction in transaction fees on Layer 2 through the introduction of Verkle Trees. This innovative data structure will enhance data availability on Ethereum’s Layer 2 and, furthermore, enable the network to become stateless. The idea behind this improvement is to eliminate the need for clients to store Ethereum’s complete state history. Thereby reducing the hardware requirements for being a validator on the network.
Attention shifts to the ‘Pectra’ upgrade, where prioritizing the introduction of Verkle Trees is under discussion as a measure to enhance decentralization. This data structure, also known as “The Verge,” will allow validators to verify Ethereum blocks without the need to store hundreds of gigabytes on their disks, a significant move to foster decentralization on the network.
Most other clients felt the timeline, albeit somewhat aggressive, was acceptable. ACDE#179 is scheduled for Jan 18 so should there be an issue within the first 24 hours of the fork, we'll have the opportunity then to revisit the schedule.
— ً (@lightclients) January 4, 2024
Updates for Ethereum Could Take Longer Than Anticipated
However, debates arise about the time needed to fully develop Verkle Trees. Some suggest it could take more than 12 months, while others estimate a period of 18 to 24 months. This uncertainty leads to the conclusion that the implementation of Pectra might not take place in 2024.
Furthermore, other Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) were mentioned that could be included in Pectra. The complexity of state updates and resistance to change present challenges. Some developers suggest focusing on smaller EIPs to expedite the upgrade process.
The ongoing development of Ethereum involves careful planning and discussion among developers. Network optimization, fee reduction, and decentralization improvement are key themes. The complexity and duration of developments underscore the need for a strategic approach in advancing Ethereum into the future.