ETHosphere Timeline Update 26 April 2021

Hello Ethstaker-fam. This is the weekly ETHosphere timeline update.

Some big updates to the timeline this week as we had a decision-packed All Core Devs call and a series of highly informative presentations at ETHGlobal all of which shed new light on things. Shoutouts to u/Liberosist who posted a really great summary of the ETHGlobal presentations from Friday up here. If you missed it, I’d also highly recommend checking out Vitalik’s talk on where Ethereum goes after the merge – he goes deep into the merge cleanup, sharding and other future improvements. Very inspiring.

Let’s get into it!

  • London: the confirmed target date for London/1559 is now 14 July. It will deployed to the testnets in June. There had been talk in previous weeks on whether or not to add extra EIPs to the scope of London but this was roundly rejected by the devs in favour of getting London out quickly. The confirmed EIPs for London are 1559, 3238 (ice age delay), 3198 (basefee opcode), and a simplified replacement for 3403 (removing gas refunds).
  • The merge / Shanghai: The same ‘get it done asap’ approach is being taken for the merge. As a result, there will be a separate EIP cleanup upgrade either before or after the merge, depending on how well work on the merge goes, but at this point in time the aim is to deliver the merge in October. On the one hand this feels ambitious, but the overwhelmingly positive updates from Rayonism are making me feel that it could actually happen. So Shanghai is officially a separate upgrade vs the merge. EIPs being discussed for Shanghai include 3074, 3521, 2935, 2537, and 2677 but this is TBC. Reminder: Ethereum Cat Herders community call on 3074 taking place on 26 April!
  • Don’t forget also that there is an Eth2 upgrade planned to happen in the same timeframe as well – Altair. Viktor from Bison Trails posted a good summary of Altair back in March for those interested in understanding Altair’s scope. The current update is that Altair testnets should be up in a couple of weeks ahead of a likely mainnet date in July (previously June).
  • After the merge/ Shanghai, will come a post-merge cleanup upgrade, which I’m assuming will bear the Cancun title. In Vitalik’s talk he lays out a possible scope for Cancun:
  1. Remove Eth1data voting (the consensus layer can read the execution layer directly at this point so the old voting mechanism is no longer needed)
  2. Implement withdrawals (stakers can unlock their rewards, hooray!)
  3. Move the execution layer to SSZ, retire RLP (efficiency improvement)
  4. Agreement that clients shouldnt need to download the historical chain data (looking ahead to light clients)
  5. Beacon state access opcodes (useful for onchain randomness, better awareness between the execution and consensus layers, and other things)

So there you have it… London and the merge becoming increasingly locked-in, and the picture immediately following becoming much clearer.

In other timeline notes:

  • OpenEthereum posted this post-mortem of the Berlin upgrade bug which was quickly fixed on launch day.
  • Loopring announced this really cool-sounding L2 / L1 bridge whereby L1 transactions can be batched up with the bulk of computations happening on the L2. This should save gas costs for those looking to interact with Loopring’s zkRollup from or to another L1 app/CEX. Launching in May so added to the timeline.
  • zkSync have clarified that their massively scalable zkPorter L2 solution will be introduced in October, after the initial release of zkSync 2 in August. Timeline adjusted.
  • Still no Rocketpool confirmed launch date. Rocketpool need to to implement changes off the back of security audits so the current guestimate on Discord is June. Pushed back on the timeline from May.


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

Q2 (Apr-Jun) 2021

Q3 (Jul-Sep) 2021

Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2021

  • October – Shanghai: Eth1 upgrade to clean up EIPs previously mooted but ultimately excluded from London and The Merge. Considered EIPs: 3074, 3521, 2935, 2537, 2677
  • October – The Eth1 / Eth2 Merge: Ethereum 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.