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Upcoming Testnet and Upgrade Plans Under Discussion by Ethereum Developers

Ethereum developers prepare for Devnet-9 launch, integrating code changes for the Cancun/Deneb upgrade, with concerns about potential delays impacting the mainnet activation schedule.

Key Points

  • Ethereum’s ACDC call #118 focused on preparations for the forthcoming Devnet-9 launch.
  • Devnet-9, scheduled for September 27, integrates complete code modifications for the Cancun/Deneb upgrade.
  • Some concerns have been raised about the Dencun testing timeline impacting the mainnet activation schedule.
  • Various Execution Layer and Consensus Layer client teams have confirmed their readiness for the Devnet-9 launch.

On September 21, 2023, Ethereum’s All Core Developers Consensus (ACDC) call #118 took place.

The call, chaired by Ethereum Foundation Researcher Danny Ryan, was crucial for developers to discuss and coordinate changes to Ethereum’s consensus layer (CL).

The main focus of the call was the preparations for the upcoming Devnet-9.

Devnet-9 Preparations and Activation Date

Devnet-9 is set to be the second testnet that integrates the complete set of code modifications for the Cancun/Deneb upgrade, also known as Dencun. Previous testnets had centered around Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4844, but Devnet-9 will mark the activation of EIP 7514 and 7516. Parithosh Jayanthi, a DevOps Engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, shared plans to launch Devnet-9 on September 27, 2023.

Various Execution Layer (EL) and CL client teams, including Lodestar, EthereumJS, Lighthouse, and Geth, have confirmed their readiness for the Devnet-9 launch.

On the other hand, representatives from Besu and Nethermind are currently conducting Hive tests on their Devnet-9 versions. Jayanthi mentioned that the launch could proceed even if all clients aren’t ready, as additional clients could be added post-launch.

Dencun-related Tests and Correction

During the ACDC call, it was noted that certain Dencun-related tests were not functioning properly. A corrective measure has since been implemented to the “consensus-spec-tests” code repository to resolve the issue.

EIP 4788, a conventional smart contract, is set to be deployed, requiring a contract address for client implementations to activate the code alteration. However, the definitive contract address for EIP 4788 is yet to be determined.

The validation of blobs on Ethereum relies on a unique value generated through a multi-party ceremony. This ceremony for EIP 4844 took place from January to August 2023, with over 140,000 contributions gathered.

Concerns about Timing

Tim Beiko, the chair of the ACDC calls, expressed concerns about the Dencun testing timeline after Devnet-9. If Dencun is not introduced on a public testnet before the November 2023 Devconnect conference, the mainnet activation might be postponed to the following year.

During the call, there was a suggestion for the launch sequence of Dencun on the Holesky, Goerli, and Sepolia testnets. However, Jayanthi proposed initiating Dencun on Goerli before Holesky, considering the imminent deprecation of Goerli.

In summary, the Ethereum developer community is actively preparing for Devnet-9 and the Dencun upgrade. The insights from the ACDC call highlight the collective efforts to ensure the smooth progression of Ethereum’s development.