ETHosphere Timeline Update 16 May 2021

This is this week’s ETHosphere Timeline update where we state many of the big things upcoming in Ethereum in one big consolidated list.

Updates from this week:

  • Positive news in L2 scaling wars as Offchain Labs’ optimistic rollups implementation Arbitrum deployed their sequencer testnet this weekend. Devs interested in having a play can read the docs here. Additionally, Arbitrum now has a mainnet date set – 28 May. That’s next week! Everybody is guessing at who their launch partners might be… not long before they’ll need to reveal. Hopefully Offchain Labs can stick a solid landing here, and if so, they will have beaten Optimism to the punch.
  • Speaking of, the never-officially-committed-to “shortly thereafter” speculative date of 12 May for Uniswap on Optimism has passed with bare silence. The best public info out in ETHosphere on when it might actually happen is a vague June/July. Considering July is the target for Optimism revised public launch, I think this is the most likely shot right now, but again, we are all just guessing.

Protocol updates:

  • Merge: In more good news, the new Nocturne merge devnet launched this week as part of Rayonism. Nocturne achieved finality with consensus across 7 clients. Although the hackathon itself is now done, work will continue on The Merge via Nocturne and any follow up dev/testnets, specifically for validator withdrawals as well as a Sharding prototype. However the focus for the client teams will turn to implementing the Altair and London upgrades. When these are sufficiently progressed, The Merge transition will then become the focus.
  • London / 1559: Still optimistically on track for mainnet release on 14 July, although with the heavy heavy caveat that seeing how 1559 performs on testnets will be key. Testnets are planned to fork commencing 9 June, so watch this space. EIPs 3541 and 3554 have been officially included in the London scope. See below in the timeline for the full list of included EIPs for London and testnet dates. The All Core Dev calls almost always make for interesting viewing… in this week’s call from this timestamp we can observe a push/pull dynamic in that the teams acknowledge both how complex the 1559 delivery is (“the most YOLO hard fork we’ve done so far.”), with a genuine desire to get visibility of the London changes on testnets as early as possible. There isn’t an appetite for delaying the 14 July target date at this stage, but if there are issues that crop up in the testnets, these will obviously impact. Squeaky bum time.


~ Ethereum protocol upgrades / hardforks in bold.

~ All dates are moderately informed guesses by me, and should definitely NOT be viewed as commitments from the respective teams.

Q2 (Apr-Jun) 2021

Previously announced Q2 milestones with unspecific dates:

Q3 (Jul-Sep) 2021

Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2021

  • October – Shanghai: Ethereum upgrade to clean up EIPs previously mooted but ultimately excluded from London and The Merge. Considered EIPs: 3074, 3521, 2935, 2537, 2677, 3540
  • October – The Eth1 / Eth2 Merge: Ethereum consensus transitions to Proof of Stake
  • October – zkSync 20,000+ TPS ZkPorter solution.
  • StarkNet Universe release. Decentralised zk rollups.

Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2022

  • Cancun – Ethereum upgrade to include validator withdrawals / post-merge cleanup. Scope TBC at this stage, but Vitalik talked about it here.

2022 and beyond!

  • Sharding – 64 data shards (no execution on shards yet) and staggered shard blocks make rollups massively fast.
  • 21-30 June – Hawaii 2022. Get hype.
  • Data Availability Sampling – Security improvement for sharding.
  • List dump of other future Ethereum improvements – Single Secret Leader Elections, verifiable delay functions, proof of custody, address extension to 32 bytes, statelessness and state expiry, account abstraction, EVM improvements, CBC Casper, SNARKed EVM and beacon chain, replace SNARKs with STARKs for quantum security.