Vitalik Buterin Unveils the Next Steps for Ethereum Purge

Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum Purge

The Purge will implement history expiration to curtail the accumulation of historical data

Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin has unveiled the next steps for the network’s major upgrade, known as the “Purge.”  

The Purge upgrade has been in development for months, showing Ethereum’s commitment to addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing blockchain technology.  

The Purge also represents a key phase in Ethereum’s evolution. It involves eliminating outdated and excess network data, thereby streamlining the network’s structure progressively.  

The Launch of EIP-6780 

Buterin mentioned that the introduction of Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-6780 during the Dencun hard fork significantly eliminated the presence of “SELFDESTRUCT” code functions, simplifying the protocol by reducing complexity and bolstering new security assurances. 

In addition to reducing historical data storage, the phase will significantly reduce the hard disk requirements for node operators and decreases the technical debt associated with the protocol. 

The Ethereum founder mentioned that following the implementation of EIP-6780, every Ethereum block would have an increased number of storage slots due to the removal of certain SELFDESTRUCT functions.    

Buterin further expressed aspirations for a future EIP to eliminate the SELFDESTRUCT code.  

Historic Data Accumulation

Through the introduction of EIP-444, the Purge will implement history expiration to curtail the accumulation of historical data. Consequently, nodes will gain the ability to prune historical blocks that exceed a one-year threshold.  

Historical data will only be necessary when a peer must match the chain’s latest state or when specifically requested. However, once new blocks are confirmed, a fully synchronized node will no longer require historical data older than 365 days.  

“Potentially, if each node stores small percentages of the history by default, we could even have roughly as many copies of each specific piece of history stored across the network as we do today,” Buterin said. 

During a virtual conference, the Ethereum creator also revealed that Geth has recently streamlined its codebase by removing thousands of lines of code, achieved through the discontinuation of support for pre-merge (PoW) networks. 

Buterin also addressed the necessity of purging precompiled Ethereum contracts. These contracts execute complex cryptographic functions beyond the capabilities of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).  

He further mentioned that following the Dencun update, the implementation of an 18-day storage window for blobs will effectively decrease node data bandwidth to 50 gigabytes.