BUTERIN HIGHLIGHTS KEY STEPS FOR ETHEREUM PURGE 

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, has recently elaborated on essential developments aimed at streamlining Ethereum, specifically focusing on the ‘Purge’ phase, which follows the Merge. This phase is critical for enhancing the protocol’s efficiency by optimizing data storage and revisiting past design choices constrained by earlier technological limitations. The goal is to refine the protocol, eliminate unnecessary complexities, and lower the costs for network participation by discarding obsolete historical data.

The Importance of EIP-6780 in the Purge Process

A significant step towards the Purge is the implementation of EIP-6780, introduced during the Dencun hard fork. This proposal is designed to limit the use of the SELFDESTRUCT opcode, thereby simplifying Ethereum’s architecture and bolstering its security. Buterin emphasized that such measures are key to removing redundant complexities and addressing the technical debt that has accumulated, thereby making Ethereum more streamlined and resolving longstanding technical challenges.

Furthermore, Buterin is looking forward to the introduction of EIP-4444, which proposes to limit the storage of historical data by clients to the most recent year. This approach challenges the necessity of retaining the entire history on every node, suggesting instead that specific entities like block explorers could manage this data, with peer-to-peer protocols being optimized for efficient data storage and sharing.

Streamlining Node Operations and Decentralization

Reducing the storage requirements for running an Ethereum node is pivotal for broadening network participation. EIP-4444, by shortening node synchronization times, could simplify the operational procedures for node operators and potentially improve the network’s decentralization. The idea is that if each node were to store only a fraction of the historical data, the network could maintain a similar level of historical data redundancy as it currently does.

Precompiles Reevaluation

Buterin also touches on the issue of precompiles within the Ethereum network. While some precompiles have been highly effective, others have seen minimal use and have, in some instances, led to consensus bugs and complications in new EVM implementations. To resolve these issues, Buterin proposes either the elimination of these precompiles or their replacement with equivalent EVM code.

Additionally, in the realm of LOG reform, Buterin advocates for the elimination of bloom filters in favor of generating a hashed state value. This process could leverage technologies like ZK-SNARKs and incrementally verifiable computation to create verified log trees.

Transition to SimpleSerialize (SSZ)

Buterin also discusses the transition of Ethereum’s consensus layer to SimpleSerialize (SSZ), noting its efficiency and cleanliness. However, the execution layer still needs to shift to SSZ for uniformity. Ultimately, Ethereum’s data structures are expected to converge on binary Merkle trees using SNARK-friendly hashes as SNARK hashing technology advances, streamlining and unifying the protocol’s data handling mechanisms.

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