Ethereum Core Developers Propose Increase in Blob Count and Deadline Changes in Latest ACDC Call

In a recent virtual meeting, Ethereum core developers convened for the 110th All Core Developers Consensus (ACDC) call to discuss important upgrades and share the results of a data experiment.

Chaired by Ethereum Foundation Researcher Danny Ryan, these bi-weekly meetings serve as a platform for developers to coordinate changes to the consensus layer (CL) of Ethereum. The June 1, 2023 ACDC call addressed various topics, including recommended changes to EIP 4844 specifications and upcoming upgrades codenamed Deneb and Cancun.

Dankrad Feist, a researcher for the Ethereum Foundation, presented the findings of a data experiment focused on the capacity of Ethereum mainnet nodes to propagate large amounts of data. The experiment involved testing blocks ranging from 128 kB to 1 MB in size. Notably, the Ethereum network remained stable throughout the experiment, with no issues observed in metrics such as bandwidth consumption, block propagation speeds, and missed attestations.

Based on the experiment’s results, Feist recommended increasing the maximum number of blobs per block specified in EIP 4844 from 4 to 6. Additionally, he suggested reevaluating the four-second deadline for receiving blocks in a slot to accommodate the increasing data load. Feist proposed prolonging the first phase where the block is awaited and reducing the time allocated for the second and third phases. These adjustments would contribute to a more stable chain and facilitate an increase in the number of blobs.

While there were concerns expressed during the call about increasing the maximum blob count, Feist emphasized the importance of considering the growing demand for this feature and its impact on Ethereum’s ecosystem. The call participants agreed to continue discussions asynchronously on the Ethereum R&D Discord platform.

Another significant topic of discussion during the ACDC call was the pending changes for the upcoming Deneb upgrade. Two changes were highlighted: the addition of an “data_gas_used” field to the EL block and reducing the size of this field to a 64-bit unsigned integer (uint64). These modifications aim to address discrepancies in gas price calculations for blob transactions and improve consistency.

The meeting also touched upon the potential inclusion of EIP 4788 in the Deneb upgrade. EIP 4788 introduces a trust-minimized way for smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) to access the CL and obtain information about validator balances, activity, and rewards. Alex Stokes, a researcher for the Ethereum Foundation, provided an update on his progress with implementing EIP 4788. The proposal will be further discussed in the upcoming ACDC call on June 8, 2023.

Additionally, EIP 7045, which seeks to increase the maximum attestation inclusion slot, and a code change to improve the staking user experience known as fixed voluntary exit domains were mentioned as potential inclusions for the Deneb upgrade.

The ACDC call also delved into the topic of Engine API versioning. Developers discussed a proposed change to reduce the complexity of future API specifications and testing by implementing a 1:1 mapping between an Engine API method version and the supported data type version. This change aims to enhance clarity and reduce specification complexity. Further discussions and comments on this proposal will take place on GitHub.

Overall, the 110th ACDC call brought valuable insights from the data experiment, proposed upgrades, and discussions on versioning, highlighting the ongoing efforts of Ethereum core developers to improve the network’s scalability, stability, and user experience. These developments pave the way for future enhancements to the Ethereum ecosystem and strengthen its position in the blockchain industry.

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