While Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake was a significant milestone, it remains just one of many important upgrades to come. A key focus of Ethereum’s roadmap is to scale computational throughput without compromising on decentralized validation.
Layer-2s are seen as the most expedient route to scalability, aligning with the roll-up centric vision. Notably, Layer-2s continue to gain traction, as mainnet data publishing fees reach record heights in 2023, increasing by 257.7% YTD.
Danksharding is how Ethereum becomes a truly scalable, unified settlement and Data Availability layer. In particular, Proto-Danksharding (EIP-4844) serves as a precursor to Danksharding and introduces blob-carrying transactions, a dedicated storage space for Data Availability.
Blobs are based on a multi-dimensional EIP-1559 fee market where there are two resources, gas and blobs, with separate floating gas prices and limits. The use of blobs unlocks several material benefits for Layer-2s, offering a more cost-effective solution than the current calldata space rollups utilize.
The path to Danksharding also includes key components such as Data Availability Sampling, KZG Commitments, and Proposer-builder Separation. All paths lead to the endgame of centralized block production with decentralized trustless block validation.
Verkle trees are a critical step on the path to statelessness. These data structures enable nodes to validate blocks without having to store the entire state database.
High disk space requirements serve as a barrier to universal node access, undermining decentralization. History expiry (EIP-4444) and state expiry are designed to minimize historical data storage burden and eliminate technical debt.
Other notable upgrades that refine Ethereum’s architecture include Single Slot Finality, Distributed Validator Technology, Secret Leader Election and recently, Account Abstraction.
Ethereum: Beyond The Merge
Binance Research (Moulik Nagesh)
Sep 4th, 2023