The Future of Scaling Ethereum: Proto-Danksharding and the Cost Reduction of Rollups

The Future of Scaling Ethereum: Proto-Danksharding and the Cost Reduction of Rollups

Scaling the Ethereum ecosystem has been a critical challenge, but the development of zero-knowledge (ZK) proof solutions has provided promising solutions. However, the introduction of proto-danksharding is expected to significantly reduce the cost of rollups, bringing further scalability improvements. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph Magazine, Nicolas Liochon, the Head of zkEVM Linea at Consensys, explained how proto-danksharding could potentially reduce rollup costs by up to 10 times. This article will delve into the details of proto-danksharding, its impact on rollup costs, and the implications for the Ethereum ecosystem.

Rollups, which involve batching transactions and off-chain data, have already shown promise in reducing costs and increasing scalability. However, the current implementation of rollups still has limitations due to the high costs associated with posting transactions in call data within Ethereum blocks. Ethereum’s documentation highlights this issue, emphasizing that the on-chain storage of unnecessary data for extended periods contributes to the overall expenses.

Proto-danksharding, also known as Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) identifier EIP-4844, aims to address the cost challenges faced by rollups. It introduces data blocks that can be sent and attached to blocks, storing information that is not accessible to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. These data blocks are automatically deleted after a certain time period, effectively reducing transaction costs.

According to Liochon, the primary cost driver for rollups is data availability. Currently, all the data is written to layer 1, resulting in significant expenses. However, proto-danksharding allows for a more efficient approach by separating the data storage and reducing the reliance on layer 1. By eliminating the need to process and store unnecessary data on-chain indefinitely, proto-danksharding promises to bring down rollup costs substantially.

Liochon highlighted that the prover, responsible for off-chain computation and cryptographic proof creation, represents only a fifth of the overall cost of rollups. In contrast, data availability accounts for a staggering 95% of the cost. This disparity emphasizes the pressing need to address data storage inefficiencies to pave the way for more cost-effective scaling solutions.

While there are other solutions, such as Optimistic Rollups, competing to become the go-to scaling solution for Ethereum, Liochon stated that Linea, the ZK-rollup developed by Consensys, aims to be a general-purpose solution supporting various decentralized applications across different domains. This inclusivity is crucial as it ensures that Linea can be utilized by diverse sectors, including DeFi, gaming, and social applications.

The Ethereum Foundation has not yet announced an expected launch date for proto-danksharding, but active development and testing are ongoing. Once proto-danksharding is integrated into the Ethereum ecosystem, it has the potential to revolutionize the scalability landscape by significantly reducing rollup costs. This will open doors for a wider range of applications, improved user experiences, and increased adoption of Ethereum-based solutions.

Proto-danksharding is poised to bring substantial cost reductions to rollups, marking a significant step towards scaling the Ethereum ecosystem. By tackling the issue of data availability and storage inefficiencies, proto-danksharding promises to unlock the true potential of ZK-rollups as the preferred scaling solution. As Linea continues to develop and evolve, it is well-positioned to be a versatile ZK-rollup solution catering to a wide array of decentralized applications. With ongoing testing and development efforts, the Ethereum community eagerly anticipates the integration of proto-danksharding and its game-changing implications for the future of Ethereum scaling.


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