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Ethereum core devs decide on Dencun testnet schedule, soft launch slated for January 2024

The Dencun upgrade represents Ethereum's next major upgrade after the Shapella hard fork.

Ethereum core devs decide on Dencun testnet schedule, soft launch slated for January 2024

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Ethereum developers have agreed on a tentative date for the first testnet phase of the Dencun upgrade.

Consolidating the testnet in three phases, Ethereum developers marked January 17, 2024, for Dencun’s deployment on the Goerli testnet. The Sepolia and Holesky testnet launches are scheduled for January 31 and February 7, 2024.

According to Ethereum protocol support lead Tim Beiko, the dates for the three testnet phases are not yet final. They are thus subject to change if developers encounter major issues during the testnet.

Beiko added that a blog post covering details of the fork will be released within the second week of January 2024 to provide stakeholders with ample time to adjust to the updates.

The meeting discussed pending issues with the Dencun upgrade. In particular, the developers discussed requirements for implementing “proto-danksharding,” a process that would enhance Ethereums data storage capacity by using “blobs.”

Blobs are a new type of transaction with extra space for data designed to lower Ethereum gas fees by moving rollup data from the expensive EVM layer to the consensus layer.

Proto-danksharding limits the number of blobs in each block (16 per block, limited to 128 KB each). This adds about 2 MB of space to each processed block. The proposal for proto-danksharding was first forwarded through EIP-4844.

Developers also discussed recent developments for Layer 3 app-chains, particularly the recent partnership between Avail and StarkWare. Avail has partnered with StarkWare to integrate their data-availability solutions for app-chains within the latter’s Layer 2 network. The integration will use StarkWare’s Madara sequencer to build app-chains that can function as Layer 3 solutions.

The Dencun upgrade represents Ethereum’s next major upgrade after the Shapella hard fork earlier in April, which introduced staked ether withdrawals.

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