Vitalik Says Ethereum Will Focus on Post-Shapella Scalability

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With the “Shapella” update in the rearview window, Ethereum network developers will now prioritize significant improvements for scalability, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said in a livestream ahead of the highly anticipated forks.

The Shanghai and Capella forks of Ethereum, known as Shapella, were released on Wednesday (12) at the height of block 194,048. The update allows Ethereum network players to withdraw their Ether (ETH) for the first time. The event marked the network’s first major upgrade since The Merge switched from Ethereum to Proof of Stake or PoS consensus last September.

“The Shapella update closes the loop on some things that are part of the PoS transition. But the fork didn’t arrive in time for The Merge. Of course withdrawals are indeed important,” Buterin said in an Ethereum Foundation live stream. “The next immediate focus after that … will be scalability.”

Ethereum will focus on scaling the network

As Buterin warned, without improved scalability, an increase in activity on the blockchain could result in network users shelling out hundreds of dollars in transaction fees just to transact on the network, as was often the case during the previous bull cycle.

“If we don’t fix the size before the next bull run, people will be stuck paying $500 transaction fees,” Buterin said.

Buterin confirmed that the next Ethereum hard fork, said to happen around early 2024, will include Improvement Proposal EIP-4844, otherwise known as proto-thanks hardening.

The researchers say that EIP-4844 will dramatically improve the scalability of Layer 2 summaries. In practice, this will replace “call data” with “blops” of data, which take up less space in blocks to be processed by the network. Buterin described the minimization of transaction data as “the main bottleneck” for scaling assemblies.

Buterin went on to say that proto-danksharding could offer a tenfold improvement in scalability. Furthermore, he added that development for EIP-4844 is “moving forward rapidly”. According to Buterin, the update paves the way for full fragmentation.

The Ethereum founder also praised the network’s Tier 2 teams for their progress over the past 12 months. He highlighted the launch of zkEVMs from Polygon and Matter Labs, as well as the growth of arbitrum and optimism.

Relative stability

Looking ahead, Buterin said that Ethereum is still going through its most disruptive upgrades. Furthermore, he predicts that the network will enter a period of relative stability once the Ethereum scalability roadmap is completed.

“After this [próximo] fork is complete, and after scaling is complete, we will be at a point where the most difficult and fastest parts of the Ethereum protocol transition are essentially done,” Buterin said. “Several things will need to be done, but these things can be done safely at a slower pace.”

Speaking at a conference in Paris on July 21, 2022, Buterin said that the transition from Ethereum to Proof of Stake would usher in a temporary phase of turbulent change.

“At some point, the rate of change of the ETH protocol will have to [desacelerar]”, Buterin said. “This doesn’t necessarily mean that Ethereum will completely stabilize, but it does mean that it looks a little more like a system that optimizes for security and predictability, and less like an ecosystem that optimizes to enchant and dazzle people,” he said.

* Translation of the article “Vitalik Says Ethereum Will Focus on Scalability Post-Shapella” with authorization from the The Defiant.

Disclaimer: The text in this column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of CriptoFácil.

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