The Ethereum blockchain's biggest upgrade since early 2023 went live on the second of three test networks, bringing the much-anticipated "Dencun" project and its "proto-danksharding" feature a step closer to reality.
Proto-danksharding is designed to reduce the cost of transactions for layer-2 blockchains as well as make data availability cheaper, through the introduction of a new compartmentalized space for data known as "blobs." The number of layer-2 chains atop Ethereum is expanding fast, so the upgrade is seen as an essential element of the ecosystem's roadmap for supporting the growth.
Next week, on Feb. 7, Dencun will go live on its final Ethereum testnet, Holesky. After that, developers will ink in a date to activate Dencun on the main blockchain.
Testnets duplicate a main blockchain, and allow developers to make any changes to the protocol or to its decentralized applications in a low-stakes environment.
Dencun, which was originally projected to happen in the final quarter of 2023, will be the biggest upgrade for Ethereum since the Shapella upgrade last March, which enabled the withdrawals of staked ether (ETH).
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