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The Merge, Surge, Verge, Purge, Splurge

Vitalik Buterin presents the Ethereum roadmap and plans beyond The Merge.

Quick Take

  • Vitalik Buterin presents the Ethereum roadmap.

  • Core devs discuss EIP-4444 and EIP-4844.

  • Flashbots releases the MEV Boost landing page

  • Epic Games CEO says they will not ban NFTs.

The Longer-Term Future For Ethereum

While at ethCC 5 in Paris, Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin presented the Ethereum roadmap and plans beyond The Merge. Buterin categorized future upgrades to the network into five phases, coined as The Merge, The Surge, The Verge, The Purge, and The Splurge. The Merge is the upcoming transition to proof-of-stake planned for late September. The Surge is the implementation of sharding, which splits the blockchain into smaller shards that handle execution independently. The Verge implements verkle trees, an upgrade to Merkle proofs that allow for smaller proof sizes. The Purge aims to reduce the hard disk space needed for validators by eliminating historical blockchain data. And lastly, The Splurge will be a series of smaller upgrades to ensure the network continues to run smoothly. Buterin stated that after The Merge, Ethereum will be 55% complete and by the end of Ethereum’s roadmap, the L1 network will be able to process around 100k TPS.

All Core Devs Call #143

Ethereum core developers held their 143rd all core devs call this week, discussing EIP-4444, EIP-4844, and updates for the upcoming merge on Goerli. EIP-4844 will be part of The Surge upgrade on Ethereum and could be implemented as soon as the Shanghai hard fork, the first post-merge upgrade. EIP-4844, aka protodanksharding, proposes an intermediate sharding specification for Ethereum which accepts “blobs” of data to be persisted in the beacon node. The goal is to immediately enable lower transaction fees on L2 rollups. The core devs discussed the ongoing coordination of the KZG ceremony, a process for providing random input for the proving scheme used to verify shard data. EIP-4444 seeks to limit how execution layer nodes store and access historical data. Currently, uncompressed historical chain data on Ethereum is costing validators upwards of 300GB of storage. EIP-4444 relies on multiple parties hosting and distributing historical chain data.

MEV Boost For Beacon Chain Validators

Flashbots released a landing page for MEV Boost, a free open-source software for Beacon Chain validators. MEV-Boost allows validators to maximize staking rewards by selling blockspace to an open market. According to Flashbots, validators can increase rewards by up to 75%, increasing their APR upwards of 12% rather than the base ETH staking APR of ~7.35%. MEV Boost is currently in a testing phase, focusing on preventing liveness failures once Ethereum transitions to proof-of-stake. Flashbots is a research and development organization that provides tools for fair MEV extracion. Flashbots Auction is an MEV product available to miners and searchers. Ethereum users can use the Flashbots RPC for MEV-protected transactions.

Epic Games Won’t Ban NFTs

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney posted a tweet in response to Minecraft’s NFT ban, stating that the Epic Games Store will not ban NFTs in games. He added on to say that stores and operating system makers shouldn’t interfere by forcing their views onto others. Epic Games is the game publisher behind Fortnite, Fall Guys, and Cyberpunk 2077 among others. The Epic Games marketplace reported over 194 million users at the end of 2021. The game publisher previously raised $2 billion from Sony and LEGO in April. Sweeney had stated the funds would be used to accelerate the company’s work to build a metaverse.

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