Vitalik Buterin reveals Ethereum’s next major hard fork and scaling plans

Ethereum has just made a significant upgrade to its network with the introduction of “Shapella”. This update was rolled out at epoch 194.048 and allows users to withdraw their staked ETH at any time from the Beacon Chain. This is the most noteworthy upgrade since The Merge in September 2022.

In a recent livestream by the Ethereum Foundation, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, stated that the development team is now prioritizing scaling features to expand the network. He noted that the Shapella upgrade is the final step in the transition to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and that support for ETH withdrawal is crucial.

Buterin also warned that if the scaling process does not meet expectations, any on-chain operation may cause each Ethereum transaction to consume hundreds of dollars in fees. Therefore, the focus should be on scaling, and the upcoming hard fork with EIP-4844 (proto-danksharding) is expected to eliminate “call-data” and turn it into “blob,” reducing storage costs on the network during large activities.

Buterin believes that proto-danksharding could bring 10x efficiency to the scaling process and also support the implementation of full sharding. He was impressed with the development and efforts of Layer-2 teams, as many zkEVM projects continued to launch alongside Arbitrum and Optimism’s development.

In terms of long-term stability, Buterin explained that the network is still in a volatile upgrade phase and will only stabilize once the scaling roadmap is complete. The upcoming hard fork and scaling solutions need to be carefully implemented at a slower pace.

According to the new development roadmap announced at the EthCC conference in July 2022, Ethereum’s transition will require some speed adjustments. At some point, the speed of Ethereum’s change will need to slow down, and safety and stability will become the priority instead of rapid development.

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