Proto-Danksharding is coming: here's what people think

The next Ethereum upgrade is right around the corner: EIP-4844, also known as Proto-Danksharding. Before getting to the thoughts from different crypto community members on the meaning of this, let’s start with a quick refresher on what EIP-4844 is. 


This proposal is part of Ethereum’s roll-up-centric roadmap to aid the development of roll-ups by reducing their operational costs. Currently, more than 80% of rollup costs are generated by fees for storage on the Ethereum mainnet. 

Not anymore, once EIP-4844 goes live. Proto-Danksharding introduces a new component to transactions: blobs. Blob, short for binary large objects, will be attached to blocks to increase their data capacity. This means more space is available to store transactions. Each blob will contain up to 125kb and is cryptographically verifiable. 

EIP-4844 will serve to mitigate costs for developers posting L2 rollup data to the Ethereum mainnet via “blobs.”  - Nikwadz, dapdap 

As we’ve all learned in introductory economics classes, if the supply of something goes up, the price tends to go down unless demand increases. Consequently, blobs are expected to reduce fees rollups face. 

Nevertheless, chances are even with blob storage, storing your data on Ethereum mainnet might end up being more expensive than using an alternative Data availability layer. Additionally, as some have pointed out on X (formerly Twitter), Blob storage isn’t persistent. 

“This is a very serious change in the design as up until now, all the historical transactions and the associated data were guaranteed to be stored on-chain, and any full node was able to access it. 
Now, and this is inevitable, the full nodes will prune this data, and in principle, it can be lost forever. Indeed, this is an inescapable trade-off for increasing the bandwidth — w/o data pruning and at high tps, any chain will require terabytes of space just to store the data.”   - Dima, Subsquid CEO 

So, with that in mind, what do the people think this update will mean for builders, Web3 enjoyers, and other community members? 

Comments and thoughts on Proto-Danksharding 

Ethereum is becoming more attractive for DA 

“EIP-4844 introduces “blob types” to ethereum validators, which results in the cost of using Ethereum for Data Availability drastically decreasing. This makes Ethereum a more attractive venue for DA, though it’s facing fierce competition. That’s all I have to say about that. DA is not super sexy, although extremely useful. Like a Toyota Corolla”   - Jasper, CTO & Co-Founder SEDA

But there is competition in Data availability

As Phil from Lastic points out:

“EIP4844 is a first step in the right direction for sure, but some fans may be overhyping the impacts. The issue is that it’s simply not enough to come close to satisfying the throughput required for Ethereum’s L2s, which will gain 0.0625MB/s of throughput, while other protocols like Polkadot already have ~60MB/s.
Of course, both of these systems plan to expand their throughput, but others will likely outpace the growth of Ethereum's capabilities in this regard.” 

Prabal from Avail also welcomes the move but is confident that it doesn’t suffice to satisfy the demand for DA, leaving room for other DA providers. 

“EIP4844 is a very welcome move, something which we had been anticipating for a very long time. Rollups are hungry for DA, and EIP4844 would bring some respite to the Ethereum native rollups. It also comes with blob submission and KZG opening interfaces, which are very similar to what we have for Avail. What this means is that rollups which use EIP4844 API would also be very easily integrated with Avail with minimum changes. that
At the same time, the space addition proto-dank sharding does very little, and the demand for DA in a rollup-centric future is very high. The cost delta would still remain an order of magnitude between Ethereum and other DA solutions. Plus, it does not bring efficiency for DA verification, which only comes with the full danksharding roadmap. Users would still need to host full nodes to verify DA on Ethereum. At Avail, we look forward to dank sharding coming to Ethereum and want to play our part by bringing the same tech primitives used by Danksharding to Avail for rollups to be able to get the trust-minimized experience.”

EIP-4844 benefits the people

“As a consequence of improving Ethereum's scalability over the last few years from Full Sharding to now Proto-Danksharding, this will hopefully create an even more resilient, efficient, and cheaper experience for users and their favorite dapps.” 

- Nikwadz, dapdap 

Things are getting more complex; maybe a chance for other L1s? 

As Mikko, co-founder of Trading Protocol, points out: 

“Like all other updates similar to EIP-4844, it adds extra complexity to the Ethereum protocol. Complexity always means that updating and maintaining implementations will be harder, and the likelihood of critical bugs goes up. There is no free lunch. 
Because this update is an afterthought for Ethereum, other newer competing blockchains may have simpler and more efficient methods in place to solve the same problem.” 

And it isn’t just a question of complexity. The lack of persistent storage, as mentioned above, could mean more headaches. 

Unless, of course, devs use Subsquid. 

Changes for builders in indexing 

“This [the lack of persistent storage], in particular, completely changes the game when it comes to indexing. So far, one could hope that running an archival node is enough to retrieve and index the historical on-chain data, and after EIP-4844, it is obvious that storing and accessing this data requires a Web3 native solution aimed specifically at handling terabytes, if not petabytes, of data.
This is a very strong validation for Subsquid Network, a scalable decentralized data lake, and a query engine. It already serves the data from 100+ chains, often hardly accessible via RPC due to a lack of performant endpoints, and with EIP-4844 going live, we expect to be the major source for the blob data.”  - Dima, Subsquid CEO 

Overall, the implementation of EIP-4844 is welcome, with the expectation of lower transaction fees facilitating further adoption and lowering barriers to onboarding. 

“EIP-4844 creates special storage handling for layer two data. Because this storage is separate from the other Ethereum storage, it has its own pricing mechanism. The expectation is that this will greatly reduce layer two transaction costs. Lower transaction costs mean easier adoption and onboarding of new users.”   Mikko, co-founder of Trading Protocol 

What is your take on Proto-Danksharding and Ethereum’s rollup-centric roadmap? Let us know! 

And check out the projects builders are working on who contributed: