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On Thursday, Ethereum developers reached a consensus on the complete extent of the network's forthcoming upgrade, known as "Dencun."

The upcoming upgrade, commonly referred to as a hard fork, scheduled for later this year, encompasses five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) aimed at enhancing data storage capacity and decreasing transaction fees.

Central to this upgrade lies EIP-4844, widely referred to as proto-danksharding. This enhancement aims to enhance the scalability of the blockchain by expanding the capacity for data "blobs" consequently leading to reduced gas fees for layer 2 rollups.

The other EIPs that made the cut are:

  • EIP-1153 - to reduce fees for storing data on-chain, and therefore improve blockspace.
  • EIP-4788 - to improve designs for bridges and staking pools.
  • EIP-5656 - to add minor code changes related to the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
  • EIP-6780 - to get rid of code that could terminate smart contracts.

“We also will not add anything else to the fork,” said Tim Beiko, protocol support lead at the Ethereum Foundation, during the All Core Developers Execution Layer 163 call.

While an exact date for the occurrence of the hard fork is yet to be determined, it is anticipated to be implemented before the conclusion of 2023.

Dencun encompasses concurrent upgrades taking place on both sides of the blockchain. The execution layer, where all protocol rules are located, will undergo the "Cancun" upgrade, while the consensus layer, responsible for validating blocks, will experience its own fork called "Deneb." The term "Dencun" is a combination of the names of these simultaneous upgrades.

With a comprehensive understanding of the complete extent of Dencun, developers can now initiate more rigorous testing for the upgrade.