- The much anticipated Shapella upgrade has launched, pushing Ethereum to a fully functional proof-of-stake network with several upgrades lined up for the rest of the year.
- This year, the blockchain is expected to adopt the Verge, Purge, and Scourge upgrades, all tailored to improve the network’s scalability.
- Digital asset commentators place Ethereum’s development side by side with competitors with some tipping Ethereum to win the scalability battle.
The phrase “development never sleeps on the blockchain” can be seen in the roadmap of Ethereum (ETH) as it continues to implement key upgrades and path new routes for better performance.
Shapella, an upgrade coined by the combination of both the Shanghai and Capella upgrades, has swung into effect, making the blockchain a fully functional proof-of-stake (PoS) network. Changes to the consensus layer of the network are termed Capella while changes to the execution layer are termed Shanghai.
Both upgrades together, known as Shapella, will enable withdrawals of staked ETH for the first time since the Merge, which allowed staking on the network last year. As its roadmap thickens, developers have switched their attention to danksharding.
Generally, sharding aims at improving scalability through more effective data storage systems. It works by splitting the blockchain into shards creating mini blockchains allowing for room to process more transactions.
EIP-4844 is Ethereum’s flagship danksharding project expected to launch on the mainnet in Q3 2023. Working towards the project, developers have launched the KZG ceremony, a “public ritual” that will serve as the foundation for the proto-danksharding.
“If EIP-4844 is a car, this KZG commitment scheme that we’re helping to construct is the engine. This random string of letters and numbers is like helping to kick-start this engine.” Trent Epps, a protocol specialist at the Ethereum Foundation, stated at the time.
More milestones on the horizon
Shapella and danksharding offer only a glimpse of what will come this year with the Verge, Purge, and Scourge upgrades in the offing. Geared towards improving scalability is Verge, which will see Verkle trees being introduced to store large amounts of data.
Users will be required to show only a single piece of the tree, making it a more efficient way to verify transactions. Purge will get rid of historical data on the network to decongest the blockchain giving room for more transactions. Scourge, on the other hand, will increase the credibility of the blockchain as it becomes more neutral for transaction-inclusive while avoiding centralization.