The Surge



Ethereum's sharding roadmap has evolved from an idealistic, to a pragmatic rollup centric approach. As shown in the Ideation chart below, the Ethereum community original pursued sharding at the execution layer (Full Sharding). Gradually, and in conjunction with the rollup centric roadmap, leading research began to favor sharding only on the consensus layer (Data Sharding). Again, the community shifted in favor of Danksharding , which is not technically sharding at all, but rather a probabilistic data sampling approach requiring the introduction of second transaction type, blobs. Proto-Danksharding is the first iteration of this approach.


Proto-Danksharding is slated for inclusion in the upcoming hard fork, Cancun-Deneb, as specified by EIP-4844. It is likely that Full Danksharding will follow piecemeal in a subsequent upgrade(s). In the medium term, it is reasonable to predict Danksharding will sufficiently scale rollups, and that additional protocol changes won't be necessary.

In Practice

It's worth noting that Ethereum's base layer will continue to marginally scale as the gas limit is periodically increased. Validators may choose to individually signal this at anytime, and certain Ethereum upgrades outside of 'The Merge' will increasingly make gas limit increases more palatable to the average validator.