The Ethereum team has formed a Deneb update package

Ethereum hard fork (Shapella)
Ethereum hard fork (Shapella)

Ethereum developers discussed the details of the upcoming Deneb consensus level update, which will be part of the Dencun hard fork, during a teleconference.

The specialists considered the following proposals for improving Ethereum for inclusion in the upgrade:

  • EIP-7044 – Improves user experience by ensuring signed validator outputs are valid forever (proposed by developer Lodestar and already included in the Deneb specs)
  • EIP-7045 – Improves network security by extending the attestation slot sliding window from one to two epochs (proposed by Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan, under further discussion and final review)
  • EIP-4788 – simplifies communication with developers dapps. The update will reveal for them inside EVM chain state information for minimal trust access (proposed by Ethereum Foundation researcher Alex Stokes).

The latest EIP is also included in the Cancun runlevel update package – the second part of Dencun – and was greenlit a week earlier to be included in the hard fork specification.

Developer Mikhail Kalinin introduced EIP-6988, which introduces changes to the logic for selecting a validator as a block proposer. According to Stokes, this update is not yet ready for implementation.

“I think we should be focusing on what goes into the final Deneb release. And it looks like there are a number of design issues. There are also several studies planned that we want to conduct regarding this particular feature. I propose to leave its consideration for later, ”he said.

At the online meeting, the developers continued discussing the possibility of increasing the maximum number of binary data arrays (BLOBs) per block from 4 to 6. Dancrad Feist from the Ethereum Foundation previously made the recommendation. The customer teams have agreed to test the option on the Devnet 6 testnet and make a final decision in two weeks.

Developer Nimbus has raised the issue of an increase in the number of block reorganizations on the mainnet following the activation of the Shapella (Shanghai-Capella) update.

“Over the past six months, we have gone from almost no reorganizations to a few per hour. There is no good answer to why this happens, only a couple of theories. It looks like the number is growing along with the number of validators. The situation definitely worsened after Shanghai,” he said.

In this regard, Nimbus has proposed increasing the four-second time limit for aggregating validator attestations. Colleagues considered the possibility of adding 1-2 seconds and agreed that further research is needed to develop a concrete proposal.

Ethereum Foundation researcher Michael Neuder has proposed removing the 32 ETH limit on the effective balance of validators to limit the growth of their active set.

In the current configuration, validators do not receive staking income above the limit. This forces those who want to place more capital to split it in multiples of 32 ETH and register additional nodes.

According to Neuder, increasing the effective balance to 2048 ETH will slow down the growth in the number of validators, which will bring a number of benefits, such as:

  • simplifying the implementation of future roadmap updates, such as finalizing a transaction in one slot;
  • reduction of excessive volumes of messages at the peer-to-peer level;
  • increasing the attractiveness of self-staking;
  • facilitating the work of service providers.

The developers agreed to further discuss Neuder’s idea through various channels.

Recall that in November 2022, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin published an updated network development roadmap with an emphasis on scaling through zk-Rollups.

In June 2023, he proposed a “recipe” for the sustainable development of the ecosystem.

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