Ethereum developers have set the activation of the next network upgrade called “Dencun” for March 13. Dencun will introduce a technical feature called “proto-danksharding” and stands as the most substantial update to Ethereum since the “Shapella” upgrade last April that allowed people to withdraw their previously locked staked ether for the first time.
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A hard fork for the second-largest blockchain by market capitalization, Dencun, if adopted by the majority of node operators, will irreversibly change the underlying code of Ethereum. The name Dencun combines “Deneb,” the name of a star in the Cygnus constellation, with “Cancun,” where Devcon 3 took place.
One of the most widely-discussed changes is the upgrade’s “proto-danksharding” feature which introduces a new type of transaction involving “blobs,” a memory space for storing transaction data. The advent of blob-carrying transactions is expected to reduce the cost of transacting for layer 2 rollups like Arbitrum and Optimism.
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Software developers decided on the date on Thursday morning at their biweekly Zoom meeting focused on coordinating changes to the blockchain’s consensus layer, the component of Ethereum dedicated to establishing agreement among network participants over the state of the network.
The announcement comes one day after Ethereum developers successfully triggered the upgrade on a test network named “Holešky.” Test networks are instances of blockchains where developers and users can experiment with changes to the functionalities of the network without affecting the real, live network.
The price of ETH, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, has increased 2% in the past 24 hours to $2,435 at the time of publication, data from CoinGecko shows.