ETH Core Developers to update Shanghai testnet as EIP-4844 comes closer
Vitalik proposes new transaction serialization as EIP-4844 data types are assessed.
During the recent All Core Developers Execution (ACDE) call on Feb.2, chaired by Tim Beiko of the Ethereum Foundation, contributors discussed the timeline for the public testnet launch of the Shaingahi upgrade, which will bring with it the ability to unstake ETH from the Beacon chain.
Zhejiang Testnet Launch
The first iteration of the Shanghai upgrade was deployed to a testnet on Feb. 1 — dubbed Zhejiang, and backed by 61,000 validators.
However, Barnabus Busa, a DevOps engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, commented that “the testnet was struggling to process new deposits of staked ETH due to what may be a configuration issue with the CL software clients,” according to a Galaxy report on the call.
The issue is expected to be fixed and deployed to Zhejiang on Feb. 7.
The roadmap for future testnet deployments of the Shanghai upgrade will be confirmed on the next All Core Developers Execution Consensus (ACDC) call scheduled for Feb. 9. Beiko stressed that:
“Ethereum client teams should prepare to cut releases for the Sepolia Shanghai testnet launch shortly after next Thursday’s ACDC call.”
The Sepolia deployment of Shanghai is expected to launch in mid-February, with developers confirming on the call that they are “ready to move forward.”
Regarding the decision to deploy to Sepolia before Goerli, the chair of the ACDC calls, Danny Ryan, said,
“I think it makes sense to do Sepolia before Goerli given that Goerli is used by much more validators outside of a limited set and so that gives a bit more time for documentation and tooling to become more robust.”
A mainnet launch for Shanghai is scheduled for mid-March as long as the testnet deployments succeed.
The next update scheduled for deployment, Cancun, was also discussed as the implementation of EIP-4844 comes closer.
EIP-4844 will add Proto-Danksharding to the Etherum blockchain introducing blobs of data as the “first milestone towards full Ethereum sharding, enabling rollups like Optimism to grow 100x in capacity,” according to Ethereum researcher Diederik Loerakker of OP Labs.
An Ethereum developer website dedicated to EIP-4844 described the benefits of the upgrade as improving rollups, reducing fees, low disk usage, blobs existing in Beacon nodes instead of on the execution layer, and blob pruning every two weeks.
During the ACDE call, Jacek Glen from imapp commented that EIP-4844 testing had led to “notable differences” in gas prices and no significant issues which would hold back development. As a result, the ACDE agreed to move forward and review the testing at a later date.
The developers continued to discuss the implementation of ‘blobs’ and whether they should have access to mempools. However, Ethereum Nethermind developer Łukasz Rozmej commented that “zero blob transactions” could become an issue.
“There is also the question mark on the general UX, user experience and usability, because if we mark these transactions as blob transactions, they have in my opinion a special domain… and they have special treatment because of this.
If we allow zero blob transactions, this reasoning is broken and then you have to also inspect how many blobs they have in terms of the rules for this transaction.”
Ansgar Dietrichs also disclosed his research on decoupling blocks from blob production by creating sub-networks for propagation. The proposition is intended to reduce bandwidth for Ethereum clients while also adding bob production.
Vitalik SSZ proposal
Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin also presented a proposal for five new SSZ transaction types to help preserve backward compatibility as the network upgrades to EIP-4844 and other new data types. Simple serialize (SSZ) is the serialization method used across the Beacon Chain, replacing the RLP method used on the execution layer. Vitalik’s proposal is intended to “do all the work at once to avoid extra costs from engineering a multi-step transition.” The new proposed types are:
The conversation of SSZ formatted was parked until a later call as Ethereum Nimbus developer Etan Kissling raised questions on Feb. 7t of SSZ on EIP-4844 code changes.
The dates and links for the subsequent calls related to EIP-4844 and Shanghai are available via the following links:
More detailed information written by Vitalik Buterin can be found on EIP-4844 via the website.