Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade faces delay on testnet due to low participation and software issues

Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade, which aims to introduce a new and cheaper way of storing data on the blockchain, has encountered some problems on the Goerli testnet, where it went live earlier Wednesday.

The upgrade, which was pushed at 6:32 UTC, did not reach consensus and was not finalized on the testnet, meaning that the transactions were not confirmed and irreversible. Developers expect to fix the issues in the coming days, which they attribute to low participation and validators not upgrading some parts of their software.

Dencun is part of a three-phased approach to implement a new data storage method called “proto-danksharding” on the main Ethereum blockchain. This method will increase the capacity for data availability and reduce the cost of transactions for layer-2 blockchains, which are secondary networks that run on top of the main Ethereum blockchain to offer faster and cheaper transactions.

Layer-2 blockchains have become popular in the past year as a solution to the scalability and congestion issues of the main Ethereum blockchain, but they still face high data costs under the current setup. Proto-danksharding will address this problem by allowing more data to be stored on the main blockchain in a more efficient way.

The next phase of the Dencun upgrade will take place in the next few weeks, with an upgrade to the Sepolia testnet, followed by the Holesky testnet. The final phase will be the deployment of the upgrade to the main Ethereum blockchain, which is expected to happen later this year.

Dencun will be the biggest upgrade for Ethereum since the Shapella upgrade last March, which enabled the withdrawals of staked ether (stETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network. That upgrade marked the second step for Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake blockchain, which is more secure and less energy-intensive than the current proof-of-work blockchain. The final step, called the Merge, will switch the consensus mechanism of the main Ethereum blockchain from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, completing the transition.

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