Ethereum Developers Target January for First Testnet Deployment of Next Big Upgrade, 'Dencun'

Developers also penciled in the end of February as a soft target for the upgrade to hit the main Ethereum blockchain.

AccessTimeIconDec 21, 2023 at 3:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:04 p.m. UTC

Ethereum developers are heating up their testing process for the upcoming Dencun upgrade, a major milestone expected next year that would add capacity for data storage via a new process known as "proto-danksharding."

In a biweekly call Thursday, the developers discussed that they are targeting Jan. 17 for the Goerli test network (testnet) to run through Dencun, the much-anticipated upgrade that will enable “proto-danksharding,” which reduces fees for layer 2 rollups and scale the blockchain by increasing space for “blobs” of data.

“Obviously if we find a major issue or something crazy before then we can always cancel,” Tim Beiko, protocol support lead at the Ethereum Foundation, said on the call. “This would mean ideally we’re putting out the blog post for the fork sometime during the week of Jan. 8, so people have at least a week to update.”

Dencun was originally targeted for the last quarter of 2023, but the developers pushed it back to 2024, citing the engineering complexities of the upgrade.

Developers also discussed a draft timeline for the Dencun testing upgrade, aiming to run through another test network, Sepolia, on Jan. 31, the Holesky testnet on Feb. 7, and then proceeding to deploy the changes on mainnet around the end of February. These dates could change depending on the outcome of the testnet forks, they cautioned.

Dencun would be the first major upgrade since Shapella earlier this year, which enabled staked ether (ETH) withdrawals from the blockchain.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.