Ethereum Developer Conference provides updates on Shapella upgrade and EIPs

At the Ethereum Developer Conference on March 30, Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko provided updates on the upcoming Shapella upgrade, as well as several other Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that are being considered for implementation.

The testing of the Shapella upgrade is now in its final stages, with a last mainnet shadow fork scheduled for next week, along with cross-client EVM fuzzing of the latest releases.

Beiko emphasized the importance of running the latest version of the client software. For example, ErigonEth has had a version update since the initial announcement, and users should be running version 2.42.0 to ensure compatibility with Shapella. Similarly, Lodestar has put out a new, optional release, and Prysm might do so as well prior to the upgrade.

One of the EIPs discussed at the conference was the EIP for Elimination of Gas Observers (EOF), which aims to address concerns about code and gas observability in Ethereum contracts. The latest version of the EOF spec attempts to remove these as much as possible from EOF contracts, but implementing the spec requires significant alterations to contract creation and disabling or modifying several opcodes. Teams expressed some skepticism about the feasibility of implementing EOF alongside the EIP for Transaction Type 4844 in Cancun, and there were proposals to potentially schedule it for the next fork.

Another EIP discussed at the conference was EIP-6780, which proposes new rules for the SELFDESTRUCT opcode. According to Beiko, EIP-6780 would follow the rules laid out in EIP-4758, except when SELFDESTRUCT happens in the same transaction as a contract creation. This would strike a balance between implementation complexity and not breaking deployed contracts.

Alex Stokes gave an update on trust-minimized CL access by the EL, which proposes providing access to the CL’s state roots on the EL. However, to verify proofs, access to the CL’s Generalized Index is also needed. Stokes proposed three options to address this issue, and teams will be looking into this in the coming weeks.

Finally, there was an unscheduled update by Guillaume Ballet on Verkle Tries, which sparked debate about its readiness relative to EOF. Ballet shared that there are currently two Verkle Tries testnets running, one of which implements CL changes. The implementations are currently 40% slower than MPT, but are improving rapidly. There were also questions about whether all clients could implement Verkle Tries without relying on a similar data model to ErigonEth. Ballet stated that it is possible, but would require relying on these nodes to gossip.

Overall, the Ethereum Developer Conference provided valuable insights into the progress being made on several important EIPs and upgrades, and emphasized the importance of running the latest client software to ensure compatibility with upcoming changes.

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