Ethereum’s ‘Dencun’ upgrade now has a proposed launch date of March 13, just days after a successful third testnet deployment.
A successful ‘uneventful’ deployment at 11:34am UTC (6.34am ET) on Wednesday, February 7 means Ethereum can begin finalizing an upgrade that is set to massively ramp up the protocol’s offerings.
Earlier today Tim Beiko, who runs the core protocol meetings for the Ethereum Foundation, tweeted the slot number for the upgrade, which translates as March 13.
The date was decided in a protocol meeting that was livestreamed on Youtube, with the date conversation starting at 12 minutes.
Blobs are coming to mainnet at slot 8626176 .oO
— timbeiko.eth ☀️ (@TimBeiko) February 8, 2024
Another addition by the Dencun upgrade is “Blobs,” designed to lower rollup costs on the Ethereum mainnet by first compressing transaction data off-chain, which lessens the demand on storage and processing.
After full implementation, the upgrade is expected to enable the Ethereum network to handle anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 transactions per second and bring around lower gas fees.
For context, Ethereum can handle between 13 and 60 transactions per second right now.
Ethereum has long been recognized for its dominance and developer buy-in in the crypto industry, and it is the network of choice for decentralized finance (DeFi), gaming, and the myriad of ERC-20-compatible tokens built off the back of the protocol.
However, the network suffers from a myriad of challenges that have fueled the rise of rival blockchain networks, including Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), and Avalanche (AVAX), each looking to dethrone Ethereum by solving some of its pain points, such as high gas fees.
To retain its place at the top, the Ethereum community has spent many years planning and implementing Deneb-Cancun (aka ‘Dencun’), with the full release potentially arriving at the end of February or in March, following this final testnet deployment.
Dencun’s Journey to Mainnet
As part of the roadmap towards finally launching, the Dencun upgrade launched on the Goerli testnet on January 17, before going live on the Sepolia test network on January 30th.
Testnets duplicate a main blockchain and allow developers to make any changes to the protocol or its decentralized applications (dApps) in a low-stakes environment.
As is the goal of testnets, the Goerli testnet uncovered a bug in the Prysm client nodes that caused the chain to split, preventing the upgrade from finalizing. The testnet was finally upgraded after a 4-hour-long series of bug fixes, which enabled the upgrade to move to the next stage.
The Sepolia testnet served as the second test on January 30 in a seamless transition. The upgrade on the testnet ended about 20 minutes after it began and kept the launch on track for the next and final testnet, the Holesky testnet.
And then, starting at 11.34 UTC on Wednesday, February 7, the protocol took that giant step towards the end-game.
We have blobs on Holesky!
Another un-eventful testnet fork for the books 🙂 pic.twitter.com/uuvrkqJaAI
— ethPandaOps (@ethPandaOps) February 7, 2024
Holesky 🤝 blobs
Dencun is live on the Holesky testnet! Nethermind nodes are green 🟢
Mainnet, you’re next 🔜 pic.twitter.com/ZoQqxX4jnb
— Nethermind (@NethermindEth) February 7, 2024
With this, there is only one step to go: making the changes live on mainnet, again expected on March 13.
Market Mover: Dencun’s Impact on Future Market
The next few days and weeks preceding the mainnet launch later this quarter could be a game-changer in the Ethereum ecosystem. Existing applications will have more reasons to stay with Ethereum, as opposed to migrating to other chains, while developers can look forward to a more efficient network.
With the Dencun upgrade, Ethereum’s transaction processing capacity will be enhanced while also reducing costs. This could attract more developers and users to the Ethereum ecosystem, increasing the volume of its transactions.
In response to the increase in utility and adoption, the demand for ETH may rise, consequently raising its price in the process. Speculation is already building around the upgrade and the likelihood of the Ethereum price rising above $3,000.
Similarly, a successful launch of the Dencun upgrade is bound to increase the trust of investors in Ethereum’s long-term survival, as well as its development team’s capacity to carry out intricate improvements. This perceived reliability and forward momentum could make it a more appealing investment, resulting in price growth.
Ethereum outperformed Bitcoin in January, even as the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US dominated the headlines. As BTC struggled to break resistance at $50,000, falling short at $49,000, Ethereum exploded to a 17-month high of $2,715.
Generally, in the crypto realm, market sentiment and speculation have a significant impact on cryptocurrency prices.
As such, a short-term price fluctuation may arise from traders and investors adjusting their positions based on anticipated effects on Ethereum’s functionality and reactions to the successful implementation of the Dencun upgrade’s expected benefits.
Judging from the impact of past upgrades, the price of ETH typically increases in the weeks leading up to the launch. The same is projected to happen with the Dencun upgrade, where ETH may see significant price increases. However, be wary of “Sell the News” behavior once the upgrade is pushed to mainnet.
For crypto evangelists who value functionality over speculation, the successful deployment of Dencun will help allay fears that Ethereum will lose its dominance in the crypto space.
For where would crypto be without Ethereum?