Ethosphere Timeline Update 6 June

This is the weekly-ish post where we update the Ethosphere overall timeline. Let’s start with the commentary>>

Protocol updates:

No news seems to age more quickly than protocol news, but from last week’s All Core Devs call, the London / 1559 upgrade has been pushed back. We are now looking at a 28 July mainnet date due to the need to address an issue re: max fee caps. A new devnet, Calaveras, has been spun up to facilitate this testing. As always, Tim Beiko’s call summaries are strong. On the next call the revised block dates will be discussed/confirmed.

The Merge / Cancun – Assuming the first post-Merge upgrade is indeed Cancun, and that Cancun will include validator withdrawals, Vitalik thinks this should happen ~2 months after the merge. That puts a middle-ground estimate for Cancun at Q1 2022, as per the timeline already. Neat!

Sharding – For the recently wrapped up Rayonism hackathon, it was hoped that there would be bandwidth to progress a sharding prototype. This didn’t eventuate in the end due to the focus on merge devnets, but good news from the Eth2/consensus layer camp with the reveal that work on a sharding prototype is ongoing!

The upcoming consensus layer upgrade, Altair is currently on the 7th version of its Alpha spec. Hopefully this should be the final version ahead of testnets towards the end of June. Altair is looking likely for early August at this point as it is a week or two behind when the spec freeze was originally envisaged. Still solid progress nonetheless.

Layer 2 updates:

Offchain Labs has launched the mainnet beta for its optimistic rollups implementation, Arbitrum (or Arbitrum One, as they are calling this specific blockchain). They are opening this up to any and every developer keen to integrate. So far over 250 takers (including Uniswap who have already deployed on Arbitrum!) which is a massively positive signal. I’m guestimating the Arbitrum mainnet public launch somewhere in Q3.

In the previous update, I mentioned that Matter Labs’ zkSync was getting close to releasing. Indeed, it happened! ERC-20 and NFT swaps are available on testnets as well as the alpha version of the EVM-capable zk rollups tech zkSync 2.0. We now await public mainnet with zkPorter implementation later on this year.

Zk rollup/DEX Loopring has gone live with it’s 3.7 upgrade but not quite yet with Ethport. It sounds like they are bundling this up to go live with their next 3.8 release. Will keep this on the timeline for Q3.

MakerDAO, on a quest to integrate with absolutely everything, is getting pretty close to delivering their initial DAI / Optimism bridge. It’s now in final testing.


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
28 MayArbitrum mainnet betaOptimistic rollups solution by Offchain LabsMainnet beta is now live!
MayzkSync 2 Public testnetEVM-capable zk rollups by Matter LabsIt’s live!
MayzkSync 1.x NFT minting and transfers, as well as token swaps (testnet)Token and NFT swaps on Layer 2Also up!
MayLoopring 3.7 releaseWas to include Ethport, a L2 > L1 bridge (batches L1 transactions together and uses L2 to do the bulk of computation)3.7 is now live, but Ethport is deferred to the 3.8 release.
15 JuneGo/no-go decision for Hawaii 2022Decision on Holdercon 2022 in HawaiiCountdown to go/no-go decision
23 June, 30 June, 7 July TBCLondon / EIP-1559 on testnetsLondon upgrade being tested ahead of launchOG dates pushed back due to London fee cap issue. New dates to be discussed on ACD call 11 June
June/July TBCRocketPool mainnet launchDecentralised staking pool for those looking to stake less than 32 ETHFinal audits have completed. Update due this week post PoS Implementers call re: 0x02 issue. This may or may not impact RP launch.
Q2Optimism / DAI initial bridgeFirst stage towards eliminating 7 day optimistic rollups withdrawal lockupSoon!

Q3 (Jul – Sep) 2021

DateInitiativeWhat is it?Latest update
28 JulyLondonEth1 / 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).Looking to launch 28 July to address new issue with 1559 fee caps.
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.Currently in Alpha 7. This should be the final one prior to testnets towards the end of June
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: October 2021, late 2021, Q1 2022, Vitalik early Q1
OctoberzkSync zkPorter20,000 TPS on Ethereum layer 2Alpha version of zkSync 2.0 is live.

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.

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 HawaiiCountdown to go/no-go decision

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