Ethereum Cat Herders Update #44

Energy-efficient Ethereum, Rayonism-Nocturne devent for the Merge, London upgrade-Baikal devent & testnet timeline, Eth2-Altair multiclient testnet timeline, client updates, Merge meetings, EIP-ERC repo splitting, Core Developer Apprenticeship Program, GitHub bot, Community events and ECH updates.

Pooja Ranjan
Ethereum Cat Herders


Welcome to the latest edition of the Ethereum Cat Herders community update to bring you up to speed since the last update.

EF blogs

Dodging a bullet: Ethereum State Problems by Martin Swende & Peter S.

A country’s worth of power, no more! Ethereum will use at least ~99.95% less energy post-merge by Carl Beekhuizen

Ethereum for the Next Billion: Announcing the EF Fellowship Program


“Nocturne”. Photo credit: © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2020

Devnet codename: Nocturne

Nocturne, named after the rayonist painting, is the final Merge devnet of the Rayonism project during the hackathon phase. It generally follows the Rayonism spec, which is Eth1 up to and incl. Berlin, Eth2 phase0 with Merge extension (i.e. no Altair fork yet), and is configured with mainnet-like settings.
  • Merge devnet #2 “Nocturne” Genesis on 2021–05–12, 12:00 UTC.
  • Lighthouse was assigned the first Nocturne block.
  • Three Eth1.0 clients (Geth, Nethermind and Besu) and four Eth2.0 clients (Prysm, Nimbus, Teku, Lighthouse).
  • Clients participated in the merge devnet with twelve different combinations eg. Nocturne with Nethermind <-> Teku & Nethermind <-> Lighthouse
  • Huge shoutout to Diederik Loerakker.

Ethereum All Core Developers’ meeting

Core Developer Apprenticeship Program — Get involved in developing at the protocol level! (Apply before May 31, 2021).

London upgrade (timeline)

  • EIP implemented in most of the active clients
  • Clients agreement — Testnet 1 — June 9th, Main net — July 14th (Ref: Issue)

Baikal (2nd devnet for London)

  • Geth, Besu, Nethermind & TurboGeth are syncing. OpenEthereum is working on merging the final EIPs before joining the network.
  • This network will be available for people to experiment with 1559 & other London EIPs, until the first testnet fork.

Difficulty bomb (EIP-3554)

  • The script for calculating when the difficulty bomb will hit next time is available in the EIP. As per James’s proposal, it is expected on Dec 7.
  • Someone should come back and re-check the numbers in 4–6 weeks
  • Decision — To be added in London’s spec

EVM Object Format (EIP-3541)

  • Introduced in the las ACD meeting
  • Implemented in Baikal
  • Decision — To be added in London’s spec

JSON RPC naming

  • Geth team put up a gist & a link to the discussion.
  • Decision — Using the same term as mentioned in the EIP-1559

London infrastructure readiness call

  • 1559 Wallet Interfaces Call scheduled on May 26 at 1300 UTC. Agenda.

Ethereum Core Devs meeting 113 #: agenda, video, Tim’s tweet, ECH notes. The next meeting is planned for May 28th. Agenda.

Other resources

Eth1.0 Clients update

  • GethMaroon Sea (v1.10.3) Geth v1.10.3 is a maintenance release, containing bug fixes and performance improvements. The performance of the snapshot system has been a big focus in this release cycle. Generating a snapshot after a snap sync is approximately 10 times faster.
  • OpenEthereum v3.2.6— Enhancement: Berlin hardfork blocks: poacore (21,364,900), poasokol (21,050,600).
  • Besu21.1.5.
  • TurboGeth (Erigon)— 2021.05.02-alpha. Changelog —
    Sentry (separate p2p layer) improvements (experimental), fix regression for the recovery stage performance. Baikal devnet (pre-London) support. RPC streaming support in debug_traceTransaction, debug_traceCall; very large traces don't cause OOM anymore.

Merge Implementers’ Meeting 🤝

Rayonism Updates ( Nocturne testnet)

  • Reached finality, is stable, some edge cases reported
  • The issue with Eth1 deposit will be solved soon
  • 7 clients implementing the initial Merge specs is amazing work. (OpenEthereum and TurboGeth can catch up soon)
  • 8 teams running validators, several community members are doing this as well.

Rayonism general

  • Wrap up hackathon
  • Implementers are focused on Altair and Rayonism. Specs will be going towards production.

Altair — prerelease coming today, freeze a week from tomorrow.

OE may not be a part of the Merge.

Research updates

  • Transition work to be started soon. Analyze the way difficulty can be changed — Eth1 data voting.
  • Partial withdrawal section added. Updated doc on Withdrawal available for feedback.

Spec discussion

  • Interesting edge case with Catalyst on Nocturine.
  • State length attacks apply to Long-range attacks only, should be redesigned to have a unique state root for one block.

Consensus API

  • Goal: Make a decision on the protocol
  • We have JSON RPC API & Beacon node API
  • Continue using JSON RPC for Consensus API, yet to figure the requirement of the sync process. The discussion will be continued.

Merge implementers meeting #4: agenda, video, ECH’s notes. Next Meeting — June 03, 2021, at 1300 UTC (New time).

Eth2.0 Implementers meeting (Consensus Layer call)

Nearly 4% of ETH supply is locked up in the deposit contract.

Altair (Eth2 upgrade)

Altair testnet

  • Spec freeze (21st May) + 1st Altair testnet (last May/end June) date TBD
  • Expect a multiclient short-lived testnet (devnet) in 1–2nd week of June.
  • Adrian may be running something on Teku
  • Nimbus spun up a little testnet
  • Terence had an end-to-end running testnet, but run for only a few epochs. Same for Lighthouse

Two more weeks to make a decision.

Eth2.0 implementers meeting 63#: agenda, video, Ben’s notes, Alex Stokes tweet, ECH’s notes.

Eth2.0 Clients’ update

  • Nimbus-eth2 v1.2.2.
  • Lighthouse — Pencilvester.
  • Lodestar — Release v0.21.0. Closed issues with Add currentSlot metric, add metric for node’s sync status, to time epoch transition, node gets stuck in Prater, prepareBeaconCommitteeSubnet performance bottleneck.
  • Prysm —v1.3.9 This release has a number of important changes, including a fix for a mainnet issue that was issued as a “hotfix”. Initialize Data Correctly For Powchain Service. Independent eth1 voting.

⚠️ Prysm slasher binary will be deprecated soon. The slasher functionality will be available in the beacon node binary in an upcoming release. Validators using remote slashing protection will need to update their configuration in an upcoming release. ⚠️

  • Teku —21.5.0. Newly created databases will now use LevelDB for storage instead of RocksDB. This uses less memory and has proven to be more stable. Existing databases are unaffected and will continue to use RocksDB. Support for automatic fail-over of eth1-endpoints. Multiple endpoints can be specified with the new --eth1-endpoints CLI option. Thanks to Enrico Del Fante. Add experimental endpoint for retrieving peer gossip scores at /teku/v1/nodes/peer_scores. Continued work on supporting Altair including adding a number of experimental REST APIs. These are subject to change as the Altair spec continues to evolve.

EIPIP working group

Splitting out EIP repository into EIPs & ERCs repositories

  • Agreement on ERC numbering system.
  • Looking out for people having the right access to create a repo in Ethereum GitHub.
  • Follow comments and discussions here.

Statements regarding Ethereum trademarks

  • Someone is creating an informational EIP to propose an appropriate term to describe the Etheruem mainnet. There’s one section in the EIP that mentions that the term Ethereum is trademarked by the Ethereum Foundation.
  • Editors are uncomfortable with ‘legal stuff’ being in EIPs. Tim Beiko will follow up with the Foundation on the mention of statements regarding Ethereum trademarks.

JSON RPC API spec in Eth1.0 repo

  • Alita Moore is drafting up the JSON RPCs based on priority.
  • Progress on documenting 1559 JSON RPC API spec. Follow progress on Eth1.0-spec repo.

EIP GitHub repo action bot

  • New bot codes need to be moved to ethereum GitHub repo.
  • Overall bot progress is good. Hopefully, it will be activated soon.

The canonical source for EIPs

  • Making good progress. A WIP EIP Signal Source Cleanup document can be followed to share your feedback and comments.

EIP and ERC editors

  • Ethereum Cat Herders will be securing funds to fund the present EIP & ERC editors.

EIPIP meeting 32#: agenda, video, ECH’s notes. The next meeting is scheduled for May 19, 2021, at 15:00 UTC. Agenda

Community events, hackathon and other updates

  • Coindesk’s Consensus 2021 —ECH facilitated Ethereum participation (May 25th) at the event. Follow the blog for details.
  • EthGlobal: Web3Weekend — May 28 to May 30

Ethereum Cat Herders

Peep an EIP

ECH meetings

  • Website — Progress on ECH Website development work. The team is working towards closing final comments and SSL certificate resolution.
  • Events — ECH has facilitated speakers from the Ethereum Execution Layer and Consensus Layer to participate in Consensus 2021 on May 25. For details follow the announcement blog.
  • Survey — ECH will soon send out a survey to collect the requirements of the new & existing blockchain developers' to be able to provide support with tools and documentation. This survey is being sponsored by the Nethermind client.
  • Notes documentation — In response to an earlier invite for resources to document public meeting notes, we are now joined by five new resources. Welcome new Cat Herders!
  • The Ethereum Cat Herders meeting #58: agenda, video, notes. The next meeting is scheduled for May 25, 2021, at 1500 UTC. Agenda.

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— The Ethereum Cat Herders



Pooja Ranjan
Ethereum Cat Herders

Herder-in-chief @EthCatHerders, Founder @ether_world, I share news and views about blockchain technology. Ethereum.