Ethereum Developers Consider Additions to Deneb Upgrade Beyond EIP 4844

Ethereum developers held their 107th All Core Developers Consensus (ACDC) call on April 20, 2023, to discuss and coordinate changes to the consensus layer (CL) of Ethereum. The ACDC calls are held every two weeks and chaired by Ethereum Foundation Researcher Danny Ryan.

During the meeting, developers gave updates on their progress around Deneb and discussed other code changes in addition to Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4844, which should be included in Ethereum’s next upgrade.

Since the successful activation of Shanghai on April 12, Ethereum developers have been focusing their attention on preparations for Cancun, the name for the next upgrade on the execution layer (EL) of Ethereum. Deneb is the corresponding upgrade name for the CL.

During the 159th ACDE call, developers began discussing the final scope of the Cancun/Deneb upgrade, which will be centered around EIP 4844, the implementation of blob transaction types. This week, after a brief acknowledgement around the success of Shanghai, developers promptly moved on to discussing preparations for Deneb, starting with the launch of devnet #5.

The fifth devnet for EIP 4844 will be launched next week, according to Tim Beiko, the chair of the ACDE calls. Paritosh Jayanthi, a DevOps Engineer for the Ethereum Foundation, said he is in the process of doing trial runs for clients like Ethereum JS (EL) and Lodestar (CL) to prepare them for the devnet launch next week.

During the call, developers also discussed concerns around how blob transactions should be reinserted into blocks in the event of a chain reorganization. This issue was raised by Geth (EL) developer Péter Szilágyi during a presentation he gave at ETHTokyo. Szilágyi said that due to the decoupled nature of blob transactions from regular transactions, reconstructions of blobs after a chain reorg may only be available from transactions seen in the public mempool.

Given that there are plenty of transactions that bypass the mempool, such as MEV transactions and bundles, one way to guarantee all blobs can be reconstructed is to have the CL pass along blob data for every block to the EL, which the EL can then cache until block finalization. Alternatively, the network could simply require users that have submitted transactions bypassing the mempool to resubmit their transactions in the event of a chain reorg.

There are also other code changes under consideration for the Deneb upgrade, such as EIP 4788, which exposes the CL Beacon Chain state in the EL. This will allow for trust-minimized access to the CL by smart contracts executed on the EL, relevant for staking pools, restaking protocols, MEV mitigations, and more.

In conclusion, the Ethereum developers discussed their progress around Deneb during their 107th ACDC call. The developers discussed preparations for the launch of the fifth devnet for EIP 4844 and other code changes, such as EIP 4788, that are under consideration for the Deneb upgrade. The discussion also touched on how blob transactions should be reinserted into blocks in the event of a chain reorganization. Overall, the call gave insight into the progress and plans of Ethereum’s development team.

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