Ethosphere Timeline Update 21 June

What’s up Let’s take a moment to avert our gaze, just for a little bit, from the challenging price action and remind ourselves that the overall development plan for the ecosystem is making solid progress and Hawaii 2022 is definitely a thing! Although perhaps we’ll all be too rekt to enjoy it?

In super positive news, the major Ethereum protocol updates – London, Altair and The Merge – are all still on track. London and Altair have additional meat around the bones re: testnet dates. London’s are now firmed up. This week (!) London goes up on Ropsten, with Goerli and Rinkeby to follow each a week apart. 28 July is definitely still in play for the London mainnet date. Check out 1559 fee burn on the Calaveras devnet here and Cat Herders 1559 pre-launch Q&A with Tim Beiko and the team. For Altair, solid engineering progress has been made by the consensus layer client teams, and an early August release date is looking more certain. Altair testnet dates soon to be agreed on 1st July Eth2 Implementers call.

Not too much news on The Merge this week as all dev team focus is on London and Altair. Variety of date estimates on The Merge right now. Some of the more credible ones:

Looking beyond The Merge, the Sharding spec is iteratively improving.

Vitalik also has a proposal out for state expiry and statelessness, to occur over the course of two separate upgrades. These changes will improve scaleability by reducing the size requirements for running Ethereum nodes. We’ll need to wait and see if the ideas gain traction (let’s be real, they likely will) over the coming months before assignment to any particular hard forks.

Other things

  • Competition in the ZK-rollups space is heating up with the impending mainnet launches for both zkSync and Starkware edging closer (see table below).
  • No update on how close Arbitrum or Optimism are to the same but Arbitrum in particular are announcing new partner on-boardings at pace right now. Although, not to be outdone, at least Optimism has The Graph lined up for launch!


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

DateInitiativeWhat is it?Latest update
15 JuneGo/no-go decision for Hawaii 2022Decision on Holdercon 2022 in HawaiiHawaii is greenlit!
24 June, 30 June, 7 JulyLondon / EIP-1559 on testnetsLondon upgrade being tested ahead of launchTestnet dates now confirmed.
End of JunezkSync 1.x NFT minting and transfers, as well as token swaps (mainnet)Token and NFT swaps on Layer 2Announced to go live w/c 21 June on 88mph Community Call VII.
JuneStarkNet Planets releaseSingle-App ZK rollupsThis has now been released to testnets.
Q2Optimism / DAI initial bridgeFirst stage towards eliminating 7 day optimistic rollups withdrawal lockupSoon!

Q3 (Jul – Sep) 2021

DateInitiativeWhat is it?Latest update
28 July TBCLondonEth1 / Execution Layer protocol upgrade to include EIPs 1559 (Eth fees burned, gas more predictable), 3554 (ice age delay to December), 3198 (basefee opcode), 3529 (reducing gas refunds), and 3541 (reject 0xEF contracts).28 July TBC once performance on testnets is reviewed.
July/August TBCRocketPool mainnet launchDecentralised staking pool for those looking to stake less than 32 ETHLatest update. Final audits have completed. Prater mainnet release candidate imminent. Team still investigating funds distribution/MEV issue.
Q3Arbitrum public mainnetOptimistic rollups solution by Offchain LabsMainnet beta is now live. Projects are able to be whitelisted. Public launch soon.
JulyOptimism Public MainnetOptimistic rollups by Optimistic EthereumStill July
July also?Uniswap optimistic rollupsCheaper swaps on Uniswap v3Latest update
AugustAltairEthereum consensus layer / beacon chain upgrade. Proposed changes can be found here alongside the annotated spec.Testnet fork dates to be agreed on 1 July. On track for early August mainnet release date.
August TBCzkSync 2 Mainnet releaseLayer 2 scaling via Matter Labs EVM-capable ZK rollups techTestnet alpha is live
Q3Optimism fast withdrawals via MakerDAOVideo explainer. Eliminates the 7 day withdrawl lockup for optimistic rollups.Optimism / DAI intial bridge (pre-req) soon to launch.
Q3Argent L2 scaling with ZK RollupsCheap swaps within Argent walletAs per roadmap March update.
Q3Arbitrum optimistic rollups mainnet public launchLayer 2 scaling via Offchain Labs optimistic rollups techCurrently in public beta
Q3Loopring EthportLayer 2 bridge and direct L2 withdrawals from CEXsNow included in Loopring 3.8 release
Q3Synthetix v3Fully scaled version of the Synthetix protocol on optimistic rollupsTransition is in progress

Q4 (Oct – Dec) 2021

DateInitiativeWhat is it?Latest update
Date TBC – Could be before or after The Merge depending on complexity.ShanghaiEthereum upgrade to clean up EIPs previously mooted but ultimately excluded from London and The Merge. Considered EIPs: 3074, 3521, 2935, 2537, 2677, 3540To be confirmed in upcoming All Core Dev calls once a date for The Merge is agreed.
Q4 (or Q1 2022)The MergeEthereum consensus transitions from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, initially without withdrawals.Date estimates: Nethermind – October 2021, Prysm – late 2021, Besu – December, Teku – Q1 2022, Vitalik – early Q1
OctoberzkSync zkPorter20,000 TPS on Ethereum layer 2Alpha version of zkSync 2.0 is live.
Q4StarkNet Constellations releaseInteroperable multi-app ZK rollupsRoad to StarkNet presentation in May

Q1 (Jan – Mar) 2022

DateInitiativeWhat is it?Latest update
Q1 2022CancunEthereum upgrade to include validator withdrawals / post-merge cleanup. Scope TBC at this stage, but Vitalik talked about it hereVitalik time estimate is ~2 months post-Merge.
Q1 2022StarkNet Universe releaseFully decentralised ZK rollups on StarkNet)Road to StarkNet presentation in May

Q2 2022 and beyond!

DateInitiativeWhat is it?Latest update
2022 TBC but likely 2-3 upgrades after The MergeShardingEthereum execution layer to comprise of 64 data shards (no execution on shards at this point, yet). Scalability massively increases, compounded by L2 rollupsPost Rayonism, work on sharding prototype has commenced
21-30 JuneHawaii 2022Holdercon 2022 in HawaiiHawaii is greenlit!

List dump of other post-Merge Ethereum improvements

Data Availability Sampling, 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.

Roadmaps to monitor

Key ecosystem roadmaps with additional significant milestones that do not have specific dates. To be expanded over time.

InitiativeWhat is it?Latest update
MakerDAOOG foundational DeFi on Ethereum – DAI, CDPsRoadmap May 2021
LoopringDecentralised exchange layer 2 on its own zk rollup techRoadmap Apr 2021
Starkwarezk rollups tech – used by dYdX, Immutable X (StarkEx)Roadmap Jan 2021
ConnextDecentralised Layer 2 bridgeRoadmap Dec 2020

And lastly, archives of this timeline exist over @