ETHosphere Timeline Update 24 May 2021

Hello! This is this week’s ETHosphere Timeline update – many of the big things upcoming in Ethereum in one big consolidated list.

Clearly, the big news this week was/is the price action, with its potential negative influence on the the ALL-IMPORTANT Hawaii 2022 event/decision. Be fearful of dead cats, everyone. Not much change in the overall timeline, however which is somewhat comforting.

Protocol updates

The mid-year upgrades Altair and London / 1559 are both still on track. With Rayonism now wrapped up and the focus turning to the above upgrades, work on the Merge recedes into the background. Large range of opinions on the projected Merge launch date, ranging from October, to the end of 2021, through to early 2022, but too early to be making any firm calls. I’m taking the most optimistic view in this timeline until demonstrated otherwise.

Layer 2s

All going to plan, optimistic rollups solution Arbitrum should be launching on mainnet this week (28th), initially for devs. An insightful comparison of Optimism vs Arbitrum has been posted here for those looking to understand this a bit more. Optimism now also has a nifty integration with Etherscan so you can see block activity as it happens.

Matter Labs’ zk-rollup implementation zkSync has a two highly significant milestones coming up (targeting May), namely the launch of NFTs and swaps on mainnet v1, as well as their public testnet for EVM-capable zkSync v2. They’ve given an update this week and similar mentions on Discord to assure us that these are all still landing soon, receiving full team focus! Further edit: New post!

In other stuff, decentralised staking solution RocketPool has been fairly quiet of late, mainly due to to most of the team being off having babies… solid timing there 😉 While that has been happening a new round of audits started last week. We still don’t have a launch date, but it’s edging closer. Shoutouts to Reddit users u/Legitimate-Ship-4060 u/lifesmage and u/actuallymentor who have been posting weekly project summaries to the under-utilised RPL sub. Sliding the launch estimate back to July at this stage.


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 (possibly later) – The Eth1 / Eth2 Merge: Ethereum consensus transitions to Proof of Stake, although initially without withdrawals. Date estimates: October 2021, late 2021, Q1 2022
  • 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.