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Dencun Upgrade Set to Mark Significant Ethereum Progress, Launching on March 13

The Ethereum community is prepping up for a major upgrade as the Dencun hard fork will soon be live on the Ethereum mainnet on March 13.

This upgrade introduces proto-danksharding and blobs, aimed at reducing transaction costs on Ethereum layer-2 solutions.

According to Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko, the fork is scheduled to occur at 13:55:35 pm UTC, corresponding to approximately slot 8626176 on the Ethereum network.

The decision on the launch date was reached during an “AllCoreDevs” call on February 8, following the successful deployment of Dencun on the Holesky testnet a day earlier.

Proto-danksharding, a sharding design implemented in the upgrade, introduces “blob-carrying transactions” to create more block space on Ethereum layer-2 solutions. These transactions carry an additional piece of data alongside the regular transaction data.

The design limits the number of blobs in each block to 16, with each blob not exceeding 128 KB in size, as per Cointelegraph. This is expected to add approximately 2 MB of block space.

Optimistic and zero-knowledge rollups can also leverage this additional data space to post transaction data commitments on-chain, storing the actual data in data blobs instead of calldata.

The necessity for scaling infrastructure to lower transaction costs on Ethereum has been emphasized by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder. In fact, Buterin has highlighted that Ethereum could face failure without sufficient scaling infrastructure, particularly in making transactions economical.

Philippe Schommers, head of infrastructure at Gnosis, noted that a successful implementation of Dencun on the Ethereum mainnet could potentially reduce rollup costs by up to 10 times.

This upgrade, combining the Cancun and Deneb upgrades, is regarded as the most significant since the Shapella upgrade last April, which allowed for the unstaking of Ether (ETH) from the Beacon Chain, hitting a main goal since the proof-of-stake chain’s launch on December 1, 2020.

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