'Pectra,' Ethereum's Next Upgrade, May Benefit Institutional Investors and Wallet UX.

After the Dencun upgrade made layer-2 blockchain transactions cheaper, Ethereum engineers are contemplating the blockchain's next enhancements. The next upgrade, "Pectra," is still being developed, but developers want to launch it while working on the chain's next upgrade.  

In an interview on The Protocol podcast, Ethereum Foundation protocol support head Tim Beiko told CoinDesk, “The idea with Pectra is to try and find a bunch of small wins that we can get relatively quickly while we prototype the larger stuff.”  

At Thursday's Etheruem All Core Developers call, a bi-weekly meeting of the blockchain's key developers, attendees indicated that Pectra may incorporate Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 3074, a code modification proposal to improve Ethereum wallet UX. The plan will let users batch-sign and approve transactions.  

Pectra may also raise the validator staking cap from 32 ETH to 2,048 ETH, a 64-fold increase. EIP 7251 would allow large staking providers like Coinbase and Lido to aggregate their Ethereum blockchain validators and avoid producing new validators every time they stake 32 ETH.  

Over 1 million validators run the Ethereum network, raising latency concerns, according to Dune Analytics. Developers are trying to slow the rate at which new validators enter the system, which could slow it down. EIP 2751 aims to reduce the operational burden for larger stakers, centralize blockchain validators, and let staking providers to use fewer resources for staking and validating.  

A combination of two simultaneous blockchain layer updates gives "Pectra" its name. The execution layer enforces protocol rules, while the consensus layer validates blocks, via the "Prague" and "Electra" upgrades, respectively.  

Brangelina-ing upgrades is common for Ethereum engineers. The simultaneous Deneb and Cancun upgrades were called “Dencun,” (and “Shapella” before that.) For the execution layer, Ethereum names the cities where Devcon was held, and for the consensus layer, it names stars alphabetically.  

Triggering smart contract validator withdrawals, BLS precompile, and deposit window removal are other EIPs. Developers can work on these tiny network adjustments. The upgrade after Pectra will contain long-awaited "verkle trees" to let Ethereum nodes store massive amounts of data.  

Beiko stated developers would release Pectra in late 2024 or early 2025. “The upgrade will be minor. This permits us to operate on two forks simultaneously. Beiko mentioned Verkle trees and transition are being worked on. That will take more than a year, but we're working on it. We have time for other little successes.  

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