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Ethereum Dencun Upgrade: Final Countdown Begins

By Published On: March 13, 20242.4 min readViews: 2110 Comments on Ethereum Dencun Upgrade: Final Countdown Begins
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Excitement is brewing in the Ethereum community as the final countdown to the Dencun upgrade begins. After successfully activating on all testnets, the Dencun network update is now ready for deployment on the Ethereum mainnet and will activate on the network at epoch 269568, which will occur on March 13, 2024, at 1:55 p.m. UTC.

The upgrade, which follows last year’s Shapella upgrade, features several changes, the most notable of which is the implementation of ephemeral data blobs with EIP-4844, better known as “protodanksharding,” which will help cut L2 transaction fees.

Tim Beiko, an Ethereum core developer, excitedly tweeted about the countdown to X, saying, “Less than 24 hours before Dencun.”

The initial announcement regarding the Dencun mainnet upgrade was made on Feb. 27, and Beiko highlighted that several client teams have since made Dencun-compatible releases containing significant performance and stability improvements.

A March 12 update of this initial blog post explains the client releases, listing both the minimum and recommended versions.

The Minimum Version column indicates the lowest Dencun-compatible release for a client, while the Recommended Version contains performance and stability improvements.

Ahead of the big launch on the ETH mainnet, Gnosis Chain has deployed a version of the Dencun upgrade on its network. Gnosis Chain, formerly known as xDai Chain, functions as a sidechain to Ethereum and is managed by GnosisDAO.

This milestone was hailed by the larger Ethereum community as well as Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin.

Expectations for Dencun upgrade

According to IntoTheBlock’s recent analysis, major Ethereum layer 2 (L2) may experience fee reductions of at least 80% following the Dencun upgrade.  This also includes OP stack chains, which are expected to receive upgrades that include data blob functionality.

Based on estimates, costs for depositing USDC on platforms such as Aave might fall as low as $0.0091, representing a 27-fold decrease. The fee reductions for L2s could be considerably greater, potentially 60 times lower than current levels based on PolyMarket estimations.

While the likelihood of fee reductions remains, the exact magnitude of such reductions resulting from the Dencun upgrade remains largely unknown.

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