Ethereum readies its next major modernization called Pectra


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It has been barely two months since Ethereum implemented its most recent network update. Currently, the heads of the world’s largest smart contracts blockchain are discussing a timeline for the next update.

Ethereum’s top developers have set a goal of unveiling the next update, called Petra, by the first quarter of 2025, The Block reported Monday citing an execution-level meeting. The tentative date means the network’s next technical progress may come ahead of the first anniversary of its previous update.

March this year saw Ethereum’s latest update, Dencun, implemented on the main blockchain, which introduced long-awaited ‘proto-danksharding’, a feature aimed at lowering transaction costs for ZK-rollups and saving on data storage capacity, a progress achieved by incorporating ‘blobs’, a data structure divided into compartments.

Dencun was the last major network upgrade since the implementation of Shanghai-Capella, also known as Shapella, in March 2023, which facilitated ETH’s withdrawal. That upgrade was at the time preceded by The Merge, which signified Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) system.

Pectra: the next Ethereum upgrade

Pectra, which is an acronym for Prague and Electra, is next on the roadmap. Roughly speaking, the upgrade, tentatively scheduled for early 2025, will seek to increase the scalability and performance of the blockchain, as well as simplify the usability of digital wallets and make other adjustments.

In particular, it will integrate Ethereum’s Ethereum Virtual Machine Object Format (EOF), which includes about 11 enhancement proposals that refine the EVM code at Layer 1 and Layer 2 levels, details The Block. 

Additionally, the creators will include in Pectra the enhancement proposal or EIP-7251 to ‘increase the maximum effective balance’. This modification will allow individual validators to wager more than 32 ETH, with a maximum of 2,048 ETH. This will extend the current maximum limit of 32 ETH and limit the increase in the number of validators.

The Ethereum Foundation claims that the sustained growth of Ethereum’s set of validators can cause instability in the existing consensus layer due to the burden it places on the network, so increasing the maximum balance of effective validators would make it easier for those operators to manage a smaller number of validators, albeit of higher risk, which would allow the complex task to be reduced.

At the meeting, the development team also decided to exclude Pectra’s EIP-3074 enhancement proposal and to include in its favour the EIP-7702 proposal, submitted by its creator, Vitalik Buterin.

EIP-7702 will introduce a new transaction type that would allow Ethereum account addresses to temporarily operate as smart contract wallets during a transaction, and then revert to their original state, the report explains.

In this regard, Ethereum’s lead developer Tim Beiko stated that while many questions remain to be resolved about the replacement of EIP-3074 with EIP-7702, the team is generally in agreement on the inclusion of this new technology in the Pectra update.

The news comes just days after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved Ethereum’s first spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are expected to launch soon in the local market. 

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