Ethereum’s highly anticipated Dencun hard fork is poised to kick off on March 13, following the finalization of the mainnet launch date during a crucial meeting held on February 8. The meticulous planning has pinpointed the exact moment of the upgrade at 13:55 UTC, coinciding with the blockchain’s attainment of slot 8626176 on March 13.
Communities within the Ethereum ecosystem have welcomed the news with enthusiasm. One member expressed admiration for the improved precision in hitting target dates, acknowledging the growth of core developers in meeting deadlines. This sentiment marks a notable shift from past skepticism, with users now taking release dates at face value.
No one is talking about how much better ethereum core developers got at hitting target dates. It’s honestly impressive. I used to discount every date by a few months, and now I take them at face value. Bravo, TimBeiko, and all the contributors!
Touted as the biggest overhaul since April 2023, the Dencun upgrade aims to streamline layer-2 transactions and enhance data availability on the Eth network. A key feature contributing to this enhancement is the introduction of ephemeral data blobs through the “proto-danksharding” mechanism. This innovation is designed to cut costs for transactions on auxiliary “layer-2” networks built on Ethereum by providing a dedicated space for data storage.
Protodanksharding, a pivotal aspect of the upgrade, has been in the works for almost two years, with developers successfully deploying a full data-blob-transaction prototype on February 21, 2022 [referred to as mini-danksharding]. These data blobs represent the initial step towards the broader goal of full Ethereum sharding, offering substantial capacity boosts to rollups like optimism PBC.
30M Staked Ethereum
The lead-up to the mainnet launch has seen a notable surge in staked Ethereum, with a staggering 30 million ETH, valued at nearly $73 million, already staked. This constitutes 25% of the circulating ETH supply, as per data sourced from theblock. Among Ethereum staking platforms, Lido Finance has emerged as a dominant force, with 9,471,392 ETH deposited, making up over 30% of total deposits.
The successful implementation of “The Merge,” which marked Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus, has facilitated increased participation in the network, resulting in an upswing in the ETH staking ratio. Concurrently, the number of ETH validators has surged from around 488 to over 928, showcasing the network’s resilience and adaptability post-merge, according to reports from Beaconcha.in.