The long-awaited upgrade to the Ethereum network today underwent its final practice run before it goes live. 

Developers on Wednesday finalized Dencun, which aims to decrease transaction costs and address scalability issues, on a testnet named Holesky. A testnet allows developers to try out an upgrade before it becomes available to everyone on the mainnet

Now, the next step, according to Ethereum Foundation developer Parithosh Jayanthi, is for it to hit the Ethereum mainnet. 

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Ethereum has long suffered from scalability problems. Simply put, the blockchain behind the second biggest cryptocurrency, ETH, is slow and expensive to use. 

This has led those wanting to build things like decentralized applications (dapps), or trade NFTs and meme coins on DeFi platforms, to use other blockchains. 

But the Dencun upgrade aims to fix this issue. One feature of the upgrade is dubbed “proto-danksharding” (or EIP-4844), which developers claim will allow the network to cheaply handle over 100,000 transactions per second. A key feature of proto-danksharding is the introduction of “blobs,” which store data off-chain temporarily and in turn minimize storage and processing costs on Ethereum.

The Dencun upgrade will achieve this via Ethereum layer-2 solutions, such as Optimism, which run parallel to the main network. Costs on such networks will be greatly reduced, according to those working on the upgrade. 

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Ethereum has undergone a number of upgrades since its inception. The most talked-about was dubbed “the merge” back in 2022, which moved the network from proof of work to proof of stake, dramatically reducing the amount of energy the blockchain consumed. 

Developers expect to launch Dencun on the mainnet in the next few weeks. 

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