The much-awaited upgrade, referred to as Deneb-Cancun or “Dencun,” is likely to be delayed until early next year, according to remarks from core developers on Friday. This upgrade is designed to address scalability issues within the Ethereum ecosystem by implementing an improvement proposal known as EIP-4844.

Tim Beiko of the Ethereum Foundation, who chaired a recent Ethereum consensus-layer meeting, expressed concerns about a possible delay in Dencun’s deployment on the mainnet. His worries stem from the fact that the upgrade has not yet undergone testing on public networks such as Goerli, Sepolia, and Holesky.

Beiko further emphasized the risks associated with not testing Dencun on a public network before Devconnect, an Ethereum-specific developer conference scheduled for November 2023. If this situation arises, the mainnet activation of Dencun might not occur this year, straying from earlier predictions. He suggested that if testing does not begin by November, the Dencun upgrade might only be realized in 2024.

The readiness for Dencun’s mainnet deployment depends on several factors including the readiness of the software code across Ethereum’s execution and consensus layers and the preparedness of numerous client teams. All these elements need to undergo testing on public networks and might require significant time.

Currently, the upgrade is still in its “devnet phase,” with only three months remaining in the year. During the meeting, core developers launched a localized developer network called “Devnet 9,” which is set to start testing Dencun next week before transitioning into the public network testing phase.

The Dencun upgrade will introduce changes across Ethereum’s two mainnet layers: the execution layer responsible for handling smart contract execution and the consensus layer focused on blockchain consensus through staking. The execution layer upgrade will be dubbed Cancun, while the consensus layer upgrade will be termed Deneb, together forming the name of the upgrade, Cancun-Deneb.

The Ethereum Improvement Proposal 4844, also known as proto-danksharding, is the most eagerly anticipated feature of Ethereum’s Cancun-Deneb upgrade. EIP-4844 is designed to enhance Ethereum’s scalability beyond the current capabilities of Layer 2 solutions by enabling Ethereum nodes to temporarily store and retrieve off-chain data, thereby meeting the data and storage needs of blockchain applications. Once activated, EIP-4844 is expected to reduce transaction costs on Layer 2 rollup solutions, such as Optimism and Arbitrum, compared to their current rates.

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