Your Guide to the Ethereum Roadmap for 2024

With its smart contract capabilities, Ethereum has created a thriving ecosystem. The platform is the hub for most decentralized applications. It supports a large sector of decentralized financial services, hosting tens of billions of dollars.
Since its inception in 2015, Ethereum has experienced significant growth, garnering the backing of individuals, communities, and businesses worldwide. 

However, the network still has room for improvement to gain widespread acceptance. To become more accessible, cost-effective, and robust enough to be embraced by the masses, Ethereum must overcome several obstacles. The Ethereum roadmap is designed to outline these challenges and how the network can overcome them.

Looking towards the future, we consider Ethereum's challenges and how its planned upgrades will benefit mass adoption. This will help us better understand what's in store for the world's second-largest blockchain.

What Is the Ethereum roadmap for?

In contrast to Ethereum's success as a global coordination platform, the network experiences slow transaction speeds and high fees during high congestion.
Achieving mainstream adoption for Ethereum is hindered by its biggest roadblock: scalability. If Ethereum were to reach close to mainstream adoption in its present state, it would be unreasonably slow and expensive. Scalability in blockchain refers to the network's ability to accommodate many more users while functioning well. This is a crucial consideration for blockchain technology to succeed.

Regarding Ethereum's scalability challenges, it's important to note the concept of the blockchain trilemma. The term was coined by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's co-founder, and refers to the idea that a blockchain has three essential elements: decentralization, scalability, and security. Unfortunately, you can only optimize for two of them. You can have a highly secure and fully decentralized blockchain, but it won't be scalable.
To balance decentralization, scalability, and security, Ethereum must remain adaptable and tackle its challenges. Additionally, cryptocurrency's ever-evolving and innovative nature requires Ethereum to integrate new features, assets, and applications as they emerge.

A roadmap was created to track all the necessary upgrades to ensure the Ethereum network is cost-effective, user-friendly, secure, and sustainable. This roadmap consists of a comprehensive list of specific modifications that must be made.

How are Ethereum's upgrades decided on?

One of the key features of Ethereum is its decentralized and open-source nature, which means that no single entity has control over it. The roadmap for upgrades usually comes from Ethereum researchers and developers, but anyone can propose suggestions to enhance the protocol. 

Anyone interested can suggest changes to Ethereum by creating an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP), which details the technical specifics of the proposed changes. These proposals are then reviewed, debated, and potentially implemented by the community of Ethereum developers and researchers. It's worth mentioning that EIPs usually stem from discussions on major Ethereum forums or the EthR&D Discord and then develop into concrete ideas for enhancements.

It's important to note that the roadmap is subject to change. As new information, ideas, and technologies become available, the points on the roadmap may evolve.

Previously, the roadmap aimed to scale the network through sharding. This method involves splitting up the blockchain so subsets of validators handle only a portion of the total data. However, the roadmap has changed, and danksharding now integrates 'blobs' of data into Ethereum blocks, replacing the earlier proposed sharding approach.

What changes are coming to Ethereum?

The Ethereum roadmap includes several planned upgrades to address this scalability issues.

One solution to make Ethereum transactions cheaper and faster is Danksharding, which involves using Layer 2 solutions such as blockchain rollups. Danksharding allows the Ethereum network to process bundled transactions from layer two rollups without permanently storing all their data.

Single-slot finality (SSF)
It currently takes approximately 15 minutes for an Ethereum block to finalize. The introduction of single-slot finality (SSF) aims to make the block validation process more efficient. With the SSF mechanism, blocks can be proposed and finalized in the same slot, considerably reducing the time required to finalize a block.

Verkle trees
Verkle trees combine "Vector commitment" and "Merkle Trees." They function as a data structure that upgrades nodes and enables stateless clients for Ethereum. Stateless clients, made possible by Verkle Trees, aid in scalability by requiring only a tiny amount of storage space to verify new blocks.

User experience improvements
As the popularity of crypto continues to grow, blockchains need to prioritize user experience and design to appeal to a broader audience. This is crucial for bringing the technology to more users and advancing the next generation of decentralized applications.

To improve the user experience, a group of upgrades - called account abstraction - is being developed. These upgrades aim to support smart contracts natively on Ethereum, which is a significant improvement from the current setup where smart contracts can only be interacted with through externally owned accounts (EOAs).

With account abstraction, Ethereum will introduce numerous exciting features, including the capability to batch transactions, recover lost account keys, and allow someone else to pay for gas.

Security in Ethereum

To ensure excellent security and prevent attackers from exploiting the Ethereum network and its users, Ethereum is currently exploring the following features.

Proposer-Builder Separation (PBS)
Validators in the PBS system are responsible for different tasks, with block builders creating blocks and presenting them to the block proposer for each slot. The proposer then selects the most profitable block without knowledge of its contents and pays the block builder a fee before sharing it with peers. This setup ensures transaction censorship prevention, establishes a more equitable consensus mechanism, and enables the Danksharding upgrade.

Clever cryptography
One of the critical challenges with the proof-of-stake (PoS) based consensus mechanism is the publicizing of upcoming block proposers, which can make them vulnerable to attacks such as a DOS attack due to the mapping of their IP addresses. However, using clever cryptography ensures that the identity of the current block proposer remains private and protected from potential attackers.

The Ethereum Roadmap so far

Ethereum has experienced various upgrades to improve its network in the past nine years, including the Merge and Shanghai, the latest two significant upgrades.

The Merge

Developers implemented the Merge on September 15th, 2022, enabling Ethereum to transition from the energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to the more efficient Proof-of-Stake (PoS). The PoS consensus mechanism randomly selects validators based on their total ETH staking and duration. In December 2020, developers introduced the Beacon Chain, a basic PoS-based version running alongside the Ethereum mainnet, allowing for safe testing of reconfigurations and new features.

In September 2022, after almost two years, Ethereum officially adopted the PoS consensus mechanism across its ecosystem by integrating both the Beacon Chain and the mainnet.

The Shanghai upgrade

Following the implementation of the Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade also referred to as the Shapella upgrade, Ethereum completed its transition from PoW to PoS. This hard fork enabled new advancements in the protocol and allowed for the retrieval of staked ETH from the Beacon Chain.
Before the Shanghai upgrade, users who staked their ETH on the Beacon Chain could not access their locked-up ETH and the rewards they earned. With the implementation of the upgrade on April 12th, 2023, validators could finally retrieve their ETH holdings and receive their rewards.

The Dencun upgrade

On March 13th, the Dencun Upgrade, a significant upgrade, was launched. Its purpose is to decrease costs for layer-2 transactions and improve data availability on Ethereum. The upgrade also introduces "proto-danksharding," the first stage to scale the network through danksharding. "Proto-danksharding," or EIP-4844, has introduced data "blobs" (Binary Large Objects). 

These data blobs can be sent and attached to blocks to reduce the data stored permanently on Ethereum. The Dencun Upgrade, one of the significant upgrades, went live on March 13th. It's designed to reduce costs for layer-2 transactions and enhance data availability on Ethereum. Notably, this upgrade introduces "proto-danksharding," the first step to scaling the network through danksharding.

Proto-danksharding, or EIP-4844, introduced data "blobs"—an acronym for 'Binary Large Objects.' These data blobs can be sent and attached to blocks to minimize the data stored permanently on Ethereum.

Layer-2 scaling solutions use CALLDATA to post transactions, which can be costly because the data remains indefinitely on the chain. In contrast, using blobs will automatically delete data after a fixed period, reducing data storage costs and ultimately lowering user transaction fees.

Prague Electra upgrade

After implementing the Dencun upgrade, developers can focus on the next upgrade, Prague/Electra (Pralectra). It's worth noting that there's an ongoing discussion among core Ethereum developers regarding Pralectra's specifics.
On the one hand, the proposed upgrade to Ethereum is a collection of smaller EIPs to enhance the network's capabilities. One such proposal, EIP-6110, would modify the network's validator deposit processing to improve security and stability.

On the other hand, Pralectra may also serve as a significant protocol upgrade, introducing Verkle Trees to the blockchain's execution layer. As mentioned earlier, Verkle Trees is a crucial milestone in Ethereum's roadmap, essential for improving scalability. On one hand, it could look like several smaller EIPs focused on adding new features to the network. For example, one of the major proposals for this upgrade is EIP-6110, which would improve Ethereum's security and stability by changing how the network processes its validators' deposits.

Otherwise, Pralectra could become a significant protocol upgrade, adding Verkle Trees to the blockchain's execution layer. As previously mentioned, Verkle Trees are an essential milestone in the overall Ethereum roadmap and important for increasing scalability.

It has not yet been decided which specific items Prague/Electra will focus on. Still, this upgrade will undoubtedly enhance the network's performance, security, and usability.


It is difficult to predict when each upgrade on the roadmap for Ethereum will be completed, as many items are worked on in parallel and developed at different speeds. Some upgrades, such as quantum resistance, are lower priority and may not be implemented for the next 5-10 years. The urgency of an upgrade can also change over time depending on external factors, such as advancements in quantum computers. An analogy to biological evolution can help understand Ethereum development. A network that can adapt to new challenges and maintain fitness is more likely to succeed than one that is resistant to change. As the network becomes more performant, scalable, and secure, fewer changes to the protocol will be required.



1. What is Ethereum's roadmap, and why is it important?

Ethereum's roadmap outlines the development plan and goals for the Ethereum blockchain network. It is a guiding document for developers, investors, and users, providing insights into upcoming features, upgrades, and improvements. 

2. What are some key milestones in Ethereum's roadmap?

Some significant milestones in Ethereum's roadmap include transitioning to Ethereum 2.0, which involves moving from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, enhancing scalability and sustainability. Additionally, upgrades like Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) introduce new functionalities and improvements to the network.

3. How does Ethereum plan to address scalability issues?

Ethereum is tackling scalability challenges through various initiatives, including Ethereum 2.0, which introduces shard chains to parallelize transaction processing. Layer 2 solutions like rollups and sidechains are also being developed to offload transaction processing from the main chain, thereby increasing throughput and reducing congestion.

4. What is Ethereum 2.0, and how does it differ from Ethereum 1.0?

Ethereum 2.0, or Eth2 or Serenity, is a significant upgrade to the Ethereum network to improve scalability, security, and sustainability. The transition involves implementing a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, shard chains for parallel transaction processing, and other enhancements to address the limitations of Ethereum 1.0, such as high gas fees and network congestion.

5. What role do Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) play in the roadmap?

Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are design documents that propose new features, standards, or changes to the Ethereum protocol. They play a crucial role in the roadmap by providing a mechanism for community feedback and consensus on proposed upgrades. EIPs cover various topics, including technical improvements, network upgrades, and governance changes.

6. What are some upcoming features or developments on Ethereum's roadmap?

  Some upcoming features and developments on Ethereum's roadmap include the continued rollout of Ethereum 2.0 phases, such as implementing shard chains and integrating Ethereum 1.0 into the new consensus mechanism. Additionally, advancements in Layer 2 scaling solutions, smart contract functionality improvements, and developer tool enhancements are expected to enhance the Ethereum ecosystem's capabilities further.