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Ethereum Developers Discuss Upcoming Testnet and Upgrade Plans

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On September 21, 2023, Ethereum‘s All Core Developers Consensus (ACDC) call #118 was held, as detailed in a write-up by Christine Kim from the Galaxy Research Team. The bi-weekly ACDC calls, chaired by Ethereum Foundation Researcher Danny Ryan, are pivotal for Ethereum developers to discuss and synchronize changes to Ethereum’s consensus layer (CL). The recent call, which spanned roughly 30 minutes, was predominantly centered around the preparations for the upcoming Devnet-9.

Key Takeaways from the ACDC Call #118

Devnet-9 Preparations: Devnet-9 is slated to be the second testnet that integrates the complete set of code modifications for the Cancun/Deneb (often termed as Dencun) upgrade. While earlier testnets were centered on Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4844, Devnet-9 will mark the activation of EIP 7514 and 7516. Parithosh Jayanthi, a DevOps Engineer at the Ethereum Foundation, revealed intentions to roll out Devnet-9 on September 27, 2023.

Client Readiness: Various Execution Layer (EL) and CL client teams, including Lodestar, EthereumJS, Lighthouse, and Geth, have reported their preparedness for the Devnet-9 launch. On the other hand, representatives from Besu and Nethermind are in the midst of conducting Hive tests on their Devnet-9 versions. Jayanthi emphasized that the launch of Devnet-9 could proceed even if all clients aren’t ready, noting the possibility of adding clients post-launch.

Dencun-related Tests: Ryan identified that certain Dencun-associated tests were malfunctioning. A corrective measure has since been implemented to the « consensus-spec-tests » code repository.

EIP 4788 Deployment: EIP 4788 is set to be deployed as a conventional smart contract, requiring a contract address for client implementations to activate the code alteration. The definitive contract address for EIP 4788 remains to be determined.

Trusted Setup for EIP 4844: The validation of blobs on Ethereum hinges on a unique value generated through a multi-party ceremony. This ceremony for EIP 4844 transpired from January to August 2023, amassing over 140,000 contributions.

Cancun/Deneb Timing: Tim Beiko, chair of the ACDE calls, expressed reservations about the Dencun testing timeline after Devnet-9. If Dencun isn’t introduced on a public testnet before the November 2023 Devconnect conference, the mainnet activation might be deferred to the subsequent year.

Testnet Launch Sequence: Beiko had earlier suggested a launch sequence for Dencun on the Holesky, Goerli, and Sepolia testnets. However, Jayanthi proposed initiating Dencun on Goerli prior to Holesky, considering Goerli’s looming deprecation.

In summary, the Ethereum developer community is in full swing preparing for Devnet-9 and the Dencun upgrade. The insights from the ACDC call, as reported by Christine Kim, underscore the collective efforts to ensure Ethereum’s seamless progression.

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