By introducing blob transactions, proto-danksharding enables more efficient data storage. This subsequently lowers the overall costs for users when submitting transactions on Ethereum.
Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency network, has recently deployed its latest major upgrade, called Dencun, on the Sepolia testnet. This testnet functions as a sandbox environment that allows developers to experiment with upgrades before launching on the main Ethereum network.
The successful deployment of Dencun on Sepolia marks a significant milestone as Ethereum moves closer to implementing the upgrade on the mainnet. The upgrade is expected to introduce two important improvements to the network, which are lower transaction fees and enhanced scalability.
Reducing Costs and Increasing Scalability through Proto-Danksharding
One of the key features introduced in Dencun is a mechanism called proto-danksharding. This refers to a compressed data storage method that allows large amounts of data, called “blobs,” to be included in transactions. At around 125 kB, these blobs can hold significantly more data compared to regular transactions.
By introducing blob transactions, proto-danksharding enables more efficient data storage. This subsequently lowers the overall costs for users when submitting transactions on Ethereum. DevOps at the Ethereum Foundation, Parithosh Jayanthi, expressed his delight about the progress after blobs started functioning smoothly on the Sepolia testnet in his tweet on X.
Blobs are now flowing in Sepolia 😀
— parithosh | 🐼👉👈🐼 (@parithosh_j) January 30, 2024
In addition to enabling lower transaction fees, the proto-danksharding upgrade also helps to scale the Ethereum network better. By condensing more data into blob transactions, the overall storage and bandwidth requirements are reduced. This creates the capacity for more transactions to be processed per second.
Currently, Ethereum can handle around 15 transactions per second. With upgrades like proto-danksharding, the network aims to eventually achieve far more transactions per second. This level of scalability is essential for Ethereum to support increased adoption and handle more applications.
The Dencun upgrade has already been deployed successfully on two testnets: first Goerli earlier this month and then Sepolia yesterday. The final testnet deployment is scheduled for February 7th on the Holesky testnet. Once the testing process is fully completed, the Ethereum core developers will determine an actual date for launching Dencun on the main network, where it will start to support the official blockchain environment.
Continued Evolution Since Previous Upgrades
It is worth noting that Ethereum activated its previous upgrade called Shapella in April 2023. A key feature introduced back then was enabling users to withdraw staked ETH, which improved accessibility and user control. It was also an important step in the network’s transition to a proof-of-stake network, which happened in September 2022.
With Dencun, Ethereum continues to evolve by implementing cutting-edge solutions around scalability and transaction fees. These issues have the chance of hindering mainstream adoption of the blockchain network, and they need to be solved.
As upgrades like proto-danksharding, shard chains, and others manifest through 2024, Ethereum aims to cement itself as an advanced and highly capable blockchain network. The ongoing improvements also help Ethereum stay competitively ahead of rival chains like Solana, Cardano, and Polkadot.