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Ethereum’s Dencun Upgrade Promises 10x Lower Rollup Costs and Faster Transactions

The crypto industry eagerly anticipates the official mainnet for Dencun’s upgrade that will potentially reduce the outrageous gas fees associated with Ethereum.

In a significant stride toward reducing gas fees and enhancing transaction speeds, the Ethereum ecosystem is nearing a transformative shift with the introduction of the Dencun upgrade.

The upgrade, activated on the Goerli testnet on January 17, promises to address key challenges, particularly in the realm of layer-2 (L2) rollups.

Dencun to Boast Ethereum’s Efficiency

Dencun’s upgrade integrates several Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), with a spotlight on EIP-4844. The proposal introduces proto-danksharding, a highly anticipated enhancement poised to reduce L2 transaction fees significantly.

In addition to the EIP-4844, the Dencun upgrade introduces changes to both Ethereum’s consensus and execution layers, incorporating a total of nine distinct EIPs. Among these, proto-danksharding and blob transactions emerge as particularly awaited improvements.

Proto-danksharding transforms transaction handling by employing blob-carrying transactions instead of calldata. This innovation bolsters scalability and promises substantial cost reductions, estimated between 80% and 90%.

Other EIPs expected to come with the Dencun upgrade include Transient storage opcodes (EIP-1153), Beacon block root integration in the EVM (EIP-4788), and the introduction of Shard Blob Transactions (EIP-4844).

These advancements collectively propel Dencun toward a more efficient and cost-effective Ethereum ecosystem.

Dencun Timeline Commitment

On January 17, the Dencun’s upgrade experienced a temporary setback during its deployment of Goerli. Ethereum core developers encountered a four-hour delay during the activation of the testnet due to a bug in Ethereum’s proof-of-stake client Prysm.

However, experts believe such challenges are instrumental in refining the system despite the temporary setback.

Nebojsa Urosevic, co-founder of the Ethereum development platform Tenderly, shed light on the bug, emphasizing that synchronization delays are common and can be quickly rectified due to the existence of multiple clients and testnets.

Despite the issues during the Goerli testnet, the Ethereum core developers remain committed to the Sepolia and Holesky testnet launch timeline.

The developers plan to continue with the release scheduled for Sepolia on January 30, 2024, and Holesky on February 7, 2024. According to the official Ethereum blog post, once the three upgrades run effectively without issues on the testnets, mainnet activation will be scheduled for launch.

Christine Kim, vice president of the research team at Galaxy Digital, a crypto-focused financial services firm in the United States, said there is a 60% probability of the upgrade’s mainnet activation by the end of March.

The crypto industry eagerly anticipates the official mainnet for Dencun’s upgrade that will potentially reduce the outrageous gas fees associated with Ethereum.

Ethereum Dominates Developer Preferences

Meanwhile, while the Ethereum community awaits the mainnet debut of Dencun’s upgrade, a recent report by Electric Capital found that interest in the blockchain protocol has continued to surge among developers.

According to the study, Ethereum is the preferred blockchain for crypto developers, with over 70% of new contract codes debuting on the network. The 2023 Crypto Developer Report discovered that the developers are now living outside North America in countries in Latin America and Western Africa.

Furthermore, the report found that Ethereum’s appeal lies in its distinctive smart contract code, initiating 71% of contracts on the platform.

A noteworthy trend is the surge in multi-chain developers, increasing from 3% in 2015 to an impressive 34% in 2023, reflecting a tenfold rise in eight years. This cross-pollination extends between Ethereum and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains, encompassing BNB Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, and various layer 2 networks.

Electric Capital observed that BNB Chain hosts the largest share of multi-chain developers, followed by Ethereum at 39%, Polygon at 36%, Arbitrum at 24%, and Avalanche at 18%.

Interestingly, the report also disclosed that 40% of developers actively engaged with both the Ethereum and Bitcoin protocols in 2023. Despite Bitcoin experiencing a 25% decline in monthly active developers, Ethereum remained resilient. The drop in Bitcoin’s figures was mainly attributed to part-time developers and those exploring multi-chain solutions.

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