Ethereum Developers Discuss Dencun Activation and Devnet-9 in Latest ACDC Call

In the latest Ethereum All Core Developers Consensus (ACDC) call #118, held on September 21, 2023, Ethereum developers congregated over Zoom to discuss important matters regarding the upcoming Dencun upgrade and the launch of Devnet-9. Chaired by Ethereum Foundation Researcher Danny Ryan, these bi-weekly meetings are a critical platform for developers to coordinate and discuss changes to the consensus layer of Ethereum.

Devnet-9 Preparations

One of the key highlights of the meeting was the preparation for Devnet-9, which is poised to be the second testnet featuring the full suite of code changes planned for the Cancun/Deneb (Dencun) upgrade. Previous devnets focused on testing Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4844, but Devnet-9 introduces the activation of two new EIPs, 7514 and 7516.

Parithosh Jayanthi, a DevOps Engineer at Ethereum Foundation, expressed readiness to launch Devnet-9 on September 27. Several Execution Layer (EL) and Consensus Layer (CL) client teams, including Lodestar, EthereumJS, Lighthouse, and Geth, confirmed their readiness for this launch. Besu and Nethermind representatives mentioned conducting Hive tests on their Devnet-9 releases and promised updates on their readiness shortly.

Notably, Jayanthi emphasized that Devnet-9 could commence even if not all clients were ready. “We can still start the devnet as long as we have at least a couple of clients ready and we can add the rest post-launch,” he stated during the call.

Dencun-Related Tests and Deployment Strategies

Ethereum developers also discussed issues related to Dencun and Devnet-9. Some Dencun-related tests had encountered problems, leading to the issuance of a hot fix. Additionally, there were deliberations about a potential change to an endpoint called “blockv3,” used for block production between the validator client and the beacon node.

Carl Beek, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, was working on converting results from a trusted setup ceremony for EIP 4844 into a standardized format for implementation on Ethereum testnets and mainnet. However, Beek noted that the timing for completing this work was tight. In case it wasn’t ready for Devnet-9, developers were open to using an untrusted setup as an interim solution.

The Timeline for Dencun Activation

Tim Beiko, chair of the ACDE calls, raised concerns about the timeline for Dencun testing after Devnet-9. He suggested that launching Dencun on a public testnet before Ethereum Devconnect in November 2023 was crucial for its mainnet activation this year. Beiko had previously recommended launching Dencun on testnets in a specific order, with Holesky being the first. However, due to network misconfigurations, the Holesky launch was delayed.

During the call, Jayanthi advocated for launching Dencun on Goerli before Holesky, as Goerli was a deprecated testnet. He argued that experimenting with Dencun specification changes on a deprecated testnet like Goerli would have lower consequences compared to a long-lived network like Holesky. This proposal received support from several developers on the call.

In conclusion, Ethereum developers are actively working towards the successful activation of the Dencun upgrade, with preparations for Devnet-9 and discussions about testnet deployment strategies playing a crucial role. The Ethereum community remains committed to ensuring the stability and functionality of the network as it progresses toward these important milestones.

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