The rate of the native blockchain token Solana (SOL) on the night of December 22 reached its highest since April 2022, immediately reaching $99.4 on the Binance exchange in pairs with the stablecoin Tether USD (USDT). At 15:00 Hong Kong time, the coin is trading at $97, according to TradingView. SOL’s capitalization exceeded $41.7 billion, making the token the fourth largest crypto asset after Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and USDT. Solana’s price has increased 10-fold since the beginning of the year, but the token is still trading below its all-time high of $250, reached in November 2021 during the peak of the crypto market.
On December 21, the SOL token surpassed XRP from Ripple Labs in capitalization and it took another day for its market valuation to rise above BNB from the Binance exchange, which for a long time occupied fourth place in the Coimnarketcap rating. The service ranks crypto assets based on the Fully Diluted Market Cap indicator – this is the total value of the asset at the current price, provided that all coins are traded on the market.
The Bitcoin rate at 15:00 Hong Kong time is at around $44 thousand. The second largest cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) is trading at $2281, having risen in price by 3.4% per day. The price of BNB sank to $273 and fully recovered the fall after news of a pre-trial settlement of criminal charges against Binance and its former head Changpeng Zhao with the US authorities; Cardano (ADA), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Avalanche (AVAX) added 3 to 6 over the past 24 hours %.
Ethereum developers made a preliminary decision on January 17, 2024 to first deploy a testnet for the upcoming “Dencun” update during the last two-week developer meeting on December 21. The Dencun update was originally scheduled for the last quarter of 2023, but was pushed back to 2024 due to technical difficulties involved. Tim Beiko, head of protocol support at the Ethereum Foundation, noted that the date has not yet been firmly set and could change if serious problems arise. The team plans to publish a blog post detailing the fork during the week of January 8, 2024, giving interested parties a week to prepare for the upgrade.
After the launch of the Goerli test network on January 17, 2024, the developers plan to launch tests on other networks – Sepolia on January 31, 2024 and Holesky on February 7, 2024. The developers intend to implement the changes on the mainnet by the end of February 2024, if everything goes smoothly. However, these dates are subject to change depending on the results of testnet forks.
Dencun will be the first major update to Ethereum since “Chappella” earlier this year, which in itself was a major milestone, allowing ethereum (ETH) to be taken off-chain. An important aspect of the Dencun update is the implementation of “proto-dencsharding”. This new process is designed to increase Ethereum’s data storage capacity, which is expected to reduce Layer 2 rollup fees and scale the blockchain by increasing the space for “binary large objects” of data. By improving processing capabilities and efficiency, it aims to improve rollup performance and therefore the overall throughput and availability of the Ethereum network.
In addition to the Dencun update, the meeting also highlighted the collaboration between Avail and StarkWare. The partnership aims to improve data availability for application chains on the Starknet Layer 2 network. Using Madara, a custom sequencer, the initiative aims to develop application chains that will function as layer 3 solutions in the Starknet ecosystem. These Layer 3 application chains, a collaboration between Avail and StarkWare, are designed to revolutionize data availability regimes, including validium and sovereign rollups. This, in turn, will help optimize the efficiency and completeness of transaction processing, which is critical to the scalability of the blockchain.
The developers also touched on the role of Ethereum in the broader context of decentralized finance (DeFi) and blockchain technology. They reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining Ethereum’s position as an industry leader, emphasizing the need for constant innovation and adaptation to meet ever-changing market demands. The meeting also provided a platform for developers to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead for Ethereum. From addressing network congestion issues to improving the user experience, the developers explored a range of topics that are critical to Ethereum’s roadmap and the needs of its users.