Ethereum Dencun Update Scheduled For March 13

Dencun will reduce L2 fees with the introduction of proto-danksharding, or "blobs".

Will "blobs" prove a game-changer for Ethereum gas fees?

Ethereum's long-awaited Dencun update is set to go live next month, after core developers agreed the date last week. The network upgrade is set to reduce Layer 2 fees thanks to the introduction of so-called "proto-danksharding", aka EIP-4844.

Enter The Blobs

The big innovation of EIP-4844 is "Blobs", or Binary Large Objects. These will replace calldata, which is expensive in gas terms. Calldata is stored permanently on the blockchain, and is a significant contributor to gas. Blobs will be deleted after two weeks, and will not push up gas costs by competing for block space in the same way.

EIP-4844: Shard Blob Transactions
EIP-4844 introduces a new kind of transaction type to Ethereum which accepts ‘blobs’ of data to be persisted in the beacon node for a short period of time.

One aim of EIP-4844 is to help facilitate an ecosystem-wide move to rollups, as a stopgap while work on sharding continues. Even when sharding is implemented, L2 solutions will likely still be required to support the volume of transactions carried out on Ethereum.

Proto-danksharding (aka. EIP-4844) is a proposal to implement most of the logic and “scaffolding” (eg. transaction formats, verification rules) that make up a full Danksharding spec, but not yet actually implementing any sharding. In a proto-danksharding implementation, all validators and users still have to directly validate the availability of the full data.
The main feature introduced by proto-danksharding is new transaction type, which we call a blob-carrying transaction. A blob-carrying transaction is like a regular transaction, except it also carries an extra piece of data called a blob. Blobs are extremely large (~125 kB), and can be much cheaper than similar amounts of calldata. However, blob data is not accessible to EVM execution; the EVM can only view a commitment to the blob.

Calling Core Developers

The Ethereum Foundation recently announced the launch of a 10-week-long program to train new core developers. This will take place between February 19 and April 29, and will be completely open and permissionless. In other words, anyone can participate.

While this program is designed to act as a precursor to the Ethereum Protocol Fellowship, this study group is for anyone that is interested in learning more about the inner workings of the Ethereum Protocol. Those that have general knowledge or use of Ethereum and/or blockchains as well as those that have some computer science, technical, or developer experience will get the most from this program.

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