Ethereum’s Dencun Upgrade is Live on Goerli Testnet, But There is a Catch

The widely-anticipated Dencun upgrade for the Ethereum network is live on the Goerli testnet. However, the upgrade is experiencing some issues.

According to a livestream on YouTube, Dencun was launched on Goerli at 6:32 UTC on Wednesday, but the chain appears to have split as it failed to finalize when expected.

Ethereum’s Dencun Upgrade Goes Live

The Dencun upgrade is Ethereum’s biggest since the Shapella upgrade in April 2023. While Shapella enabled the withdrawal of staked ether (stETH) on the network, the former is expected to significantly reduce transaction costs on layer 2 (L2) networks. They are significant steps in Ethereum’s transition from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) after the Merge.

Dencun is expected to enhance Ethereum L2 rollup efficiency through a mechanism called proto-danksharding or ephemeral blobs (EIP-4844). The approach introduces temporary storage space for higher transactional throughput by allowing access to off-chain data to reduce storage demands. This process will slash L2 transaction costs by 10x or more as analysts believe high costs hamper the growth of the protocols.

The upgrade was initially slated for October 2023 but moved to late Q1 or early Q2 2024. It will be implemented in three phases, with Goerli’s deployment being the first. The subsequent implementation will be on the Sepolia testnet on January 31 and then the Holesky testnet on February 7 before the final release on the Ethereum mainnet.

Finality Issues

Dencun’s deployment on Goerli failed to reach a consensus and finality. Developers believe this may be because of low participation, roughly 80%, and validators being offline. Pseudonymous X user Terence explained that validators could be offline due to operators not upgrading a piece of software or the presence of a bug.

Due to Goerli having a “highly” diverse set of validators, it could take a while before the issue becomes clear. Regardless, developers intend to conduct a proper non-finality test over the next few hours or days.

“Personally, I will not base my assessment of Goerli Deneb’s readiness on the immediate finality results. It will take time to accurately evaluate the status. Therefore, before someone claims that the Goerli hard fork failed and Deneb is delayed, we should allow time for a proper analysis,” Terence stated.


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