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Vitalik Buterin Outlines Ethereum Purge: What Does This Mean for ETH?

Last Updated April 2, 2024 12:15 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Last Updated April 2, 2024 12:15 PM
By Shraddha Sharma
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Ethereum is undergoing simplification and improvements through “the Purge.”
  • Key changes aim to reduce computational resources for running nodes.
  • Meanwhile, the upcoming Pectra upgrade is the next focus.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has outlined forthcoming changes in Ethereum’s infrastructure, collectively known as “The Purge.” The next initiatives will enhance Ethereum’s scalability, security, and overall efficiency.

Will Ethereum be able to strip away unnecessary complexity while ensuring the network remains robust?

Simplifying Ethereum With The Plunge

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shared a note  on the upcoming changes in Ethereum, known as “The Purge”. The goal of the upgrade is to simplify how Ethereum works and to reduce the amount of computer resources needed to run an Ethereum node.

Ethereum’s evolution is marked by several key upgrades. EIP-1559 revamped Ethereum’s fee mechanism to reduce ETH supply. The Merge transitioned Ethereum to a less energy-intensive proof-of-stake mechanism. The Shanghai upgrade then unlocked staked ETH for withdrawals. Most recently, the Dencun upgrade, with EIP-4844 (proto-danksharding) made way to reduce Layer 2 transaction fees. 

According to the post shared by Buterin, the Purge will streamline the platform by removing unnecessary complexity and outdated elements. It includes various Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), like EIP-6780, which focus on making Ethereum more secure and easier to use and develop.

By limiting when and how contracts can self-destruct, EIP-6780 makes it easier to maintain and improve Ethereum. According to the blog post, it leads to two main benefits. Firstly, it caps the amount of data a contract can modify in a single transaction. In return, it makes Ethereum’s data management more predictable and secure.

Secondly, the contracts’ code remains consistent throughout a transaction, increasing reliability and security.

2024 Busy Year For Ethereum

Buterin also discusses other areas where Ethereum can be simplified or improved by changing how Ethereum stores data. It will reduce the burden on those running Ethereum nodes.

In the future, Ethereum plans to move away from storing all historical data on all nodes. It will happen as old data is only stored by specialized services or through peer-to-peer networks. Therefore, running an Ethereum node will become less resource-intensive and more accessible.

The post also circles on reforming how Ethereum logs information to make it more efficient and useful for developers. The update noted: “The Ethereum consensus layer has moved to the cleaner and more efficient SimpleSerialize (SSZ).”

SimpleSerialize or SSZ could improve Ethereum’s performance and make it easier to work with.

In 2024, major updates have made way and are lined up for the coming months. EIP-1153 will reduce gas costs; EIP-4788 will integrate the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) with the Beacon Chain; EIP-5656 introduces the MCOPY opcode, a more gas-efficient method for copying data within smart contracts; EIP-6780 restricts the use of the SELFDESTRUCT feature, aiming for a cleaner, stable blockchain; EIP/ERC-6900 proposes a standardized structure for developers.

Pectra Upgrade Will Change Staking

As per the last update by Ethereum developer Tim Beiko, discussions around Ethereum’s updates cover a range of technical improvements and challenges the network faces.

According to Beiko, the community has observed an issue with missed slots, where blocks weren’t properly communicated due to missing data. As of March, efforts were underway to address the issue. Another significant point of discussion was the variability in transaction fees due to EIP-1559’s base fee mechanism, with suggestions to make this calculation more time-aware to stabilize throughput.

Additionally, there’s an emphasis on managing Ethereum’s growing state and history size, especially concerning the rapid growth driven by bridges. Developers are reportedly agreeing on the need to advance EIP-4444, which aims to mitigate historical data storage demands on the network.

Retroactive EIPs were also a topic, specifically EIP-7610 and EIP-7523, which clarify rules around contract creation and address the treatment of empty accounts, respectively.

The next focus is Ethreum’s Pectra upgrade which will let validators increase the amount of Ethereum they can stake.  

Updates Queued For Ethereum Bullish

Buterin’s post paints a picture of cutting out parts that no longer serve a useful purpose, improving existing features, and adopting new technologies. The updates aim to make Ethereum more secure, easy, and sustainable, which is bullish for the network.

Eventually, the successful execution and resulting advantages can be promising for ETH’s trajectory.

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