HomeCryptoEthereumEthereum is working on a new update: Pectra

Ethereum is working on a new update: Pectra

The next Ethereum update, scheduled for 2025, will be called Pectra. 

There is no precise date yet, but the developers are counting on being able to release it on the mainnet in the first quarter of next year. 


Ethereum: what is the new Pectra update?


Pectra is the next major update of Ethereum, after the Dencun update implemented in March.

What is known, for now, is that it should welcome at least three improvements. 

Il primo è EIP-7251, or the increase of the maximum effective balance for staking.

The proposal aims to modify the maximum limit of ETH that can be staked on a validator node, raising it to 2,048 ETH. This would allow the use of a smaller number of validators, potentially reducing complexity.

As of today, 2,048 ETH correspond to almost 8 million dollars, while the current limit of 32 ETH corresponds to only less than 125,000$. However, the minimum limit would be maintained at 32. 

The second improvement that should be integrated into Pectra is the incorporation of the Ethereum Virtual Machine Object Format (EOF), which actually comprises 11 improvement proposals for the EVM code, both on Layer 1 and on the second layers. 

The third is the EIP-7702 proposal by Vitalik Buterin which would replace the account abstraction of EIP-3074.

EIP-7702 would introduce a new type of transaction that will allow Ethereum addresses to temporarily function as smart contract wallets during a transaction, returning to their original state afterward.

The updates of Ethereum 

Updates are the way in which the Ethereum protocol evolves. 

It is not, in fact, a fixed protocol that always remains the same, but one that evolves over time. 

Instead, Bitcoin, for example, evolves extremely slowly, and almost never with profound changes.

For example, from 2017 to today there have been only two major updates to Bitcoin, while the Ethereum protocol is updated almost every year, and even in 2022 the consensus algorithm was completely replaced, switching from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake.

On the other hand, Bitcoin is primarily a financial asset whose strength lies precisely in being immutable, while Ethereum is more similar to a worldwide and decentralized network of computers that continues to add functionalities, even if on average only once a year. 

Ethereum is destined to evolve, while Bitcoin is destined to remain unchanged, especially at the base level. 

The retrocompatibilità

In general, these updates tend to remain backward compatible. 

In other words, they try to add functionality without disrupting the previous ones. 

A volte invece, come il passaggio da PoW a PoS, richiedono un tale cambiamento da non risultare retrocompatibile. 

If the updated protocol is compatible with the previous one, it is called a soft fork, whereas if, once updated, it will no longer be fully compatible with the previous version, it is called a hard fork. 

In case of soft fork, those who want can continue to use the previous protocol, only they will not be able to use the new functions.

Instead, in the case of a hard fork, there is always the risk that someone decides to continue using the old protocol, thus giving rise to two distinct protocols, each of which is based on its own blockchain that from the moment of the update becomes independent from the other, while maintaining the previous chain in common. 

In case of hard fork, like when there was the transition from PoW to PoS, all those who want to use the new updated version must update their software. 

At the time, for example, the so-called Ethereum PoW (ETHW) was born, which is nothing more than the old Ethereum protocol based on PoW and not updated with Pos. 

After an initial moment of success, in September 2022, when ETHW maintained a market price above $40, starting from September it plummeted to $4, and since then it has never managed to climb back above $6.

Ethereum: The timing of an update of the scope of Pectra

The reason why important Ethereum updates are only about once a year is that developing in a decentralized environment is quite complex. 

Not only are all the codes, and must be, open source and therefore checked and rechecked to ensure they do not contain bugs, but it is also not easy to get the entire community of developers to agree on what to do. 

In fact, it happens quite often that someone disagrees and either ends up developing other updates that give rise to hard fork, or maintaining the non-updated protocol alive. 

In the past, for example, there has already been another sensational case that always concerns Ethereum, because the year after its launch, that is in 2016, a significant part of the developer community did not accept a rather important change that was needed to solve a problem related to a large theft, and thus kept the unupdated protocol alive by calling it Ethereum Classic (ETC). 

Initially ETC maintained a market price of about one-tenth compared to ETH, but already during the bull speculativa of 2017 it began to lose ground against its fork (Ethereum is in all respects a fork of Ethereum Classic). 

The problem amplified in 2023/2024, when it didn’t even come close to approaching the all-time high of $167 from 2021, while ETH reached only -20% from the all-time highs. 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli
Born in 1975, Marco has been the first to talk about Bitcoin on YouTube in Italy. He founded ilBitcoin.news and the Facebook group" Bitcoin Italia (open and without scam) ".