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Ethereum’s Dencun Upgrade Goes Live on Testnets, Mainnet Launch Set for March 13

Ethereum, the leading smart contract platform and the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is getting ready for a major network upgrade that will bring significant improvements to its scalability and performance.

The upgrade, dubbed Dencun, has been successfully activated on all testnets, including Pyrmont, Prater, and Goerli, according to an announcement by the Ethereum Foundation on February 27, 2024. The mainnet launch is scheduled for March 13, 2024, at 13:55 UTC, at epoch 269568.

Dencun is the result of two years of research and development, starting from its inception at ETHDenver in 2022. It introduces a novel concept called “protodanksharding”, which allows ephemeral data blobs to be stored on the network, reducing the transaction fees for layer 2 solutions.

Protodanksharding is implemented through EIP-4844, one of the nine Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that are part of the Dencun upgrade. The other EIPs include changes to both the consensus layer and the execution layer of Ethereum, such as adding new opcodes, enhancing the communication between the beacon chain and the EVM, and increasing the security and efficiency of the network.

The Dencun upgrade follows the Shapella upgrade, which was deployed on the mainnet in November 2023, and marked the transition of Ethereum from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. With Dencun, Ethereum will take another step towards its ultimate vision of becoming a scalable, decentralized, and programmable world computer.

The Ethereum Foundation has urged node operators and stakers to upgrade their software to the latest releases that support Dencun. The foundation has also provided a detailed specification of the upgrade, as well as a list of resources and guides for developers and users who want to learn more about the changes and benefits of Dencun.

Ethereum’s native token, ETH, has reacted positively to the news of the Dencun upgrade, gaining over 4% in the past 24 hours and reaching a new all-time high of $3,240. ETH has also outperformed its main rival, Bitcoin, in the past 30 days, surging by more than 42% compared to Bitcoin’s 18% increase.

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