ConsenSys, Joe Lubin’s Ethereum software company, has rolled out a new tool it claims will smoothen Ethereum’s transition to Proof of Stake in August, also known as “The Merge.”
The tool, “Bonsai Tries State Storage”, came out of early access on May 17. It runs on ConsenSys’s Ethereum client, Hyperledger Besu.
State tries are Ethereum data structures that record the blockchain’s account and transaction data. The blockchain updates its state – a snapshot of the network – whenever it produces a new block.
The cost of storing Ethereum’s ever-expanding state, currently around 714GB, can mount for validators. And when Ethereum’s mainnet transitions to Proof-of-Stake, Ethereum users want faster state tries to ensure that their transactions are validated as quickly as possible.
ConsenSys said Bonsai Tries is more efficient than other methods because it lets node operators only store current states, rather than the network’s entire history. Bonsai Tries also store a smaller log that nodes can use to recreate the history of the entire blockchain.
In October 2021, ConsenSys recorded a 554GB difference between nodes using Bonsai and FastSync Forest, another state tries method. “For stakers, [Bonsai Tries] means less state bloat and less upkeep of your staking infrastructure over time,” said ConsenSys.
The trade-off is that Bonsai Tries aren’t as fast as accessing older states as other methods, like Go Ethereum. “Bonsai Tries will be fastest at providing the [current] state and will get progressively slower at reproducing historical states, the further back from the head you look,” said ConsenSys.
The Merge, which will unify Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Beacon Chain with its Proof-of-Work mainnet, is expected to go live during the third quarter of this year.
Although Ethereum’s upgrades are heavily delayed, predictions about a Q3 Merge gained more weight after the upgrade launched on multiple shadow forks – special testnets that operate in parallel to the main chain. Core developers also expect a public testnet, one of the final hurdles, to launch on June 8.
Ethereum’s community manager, Tim Beiko said earlier this month that The Merge will go live on mainnet after a dozen more shadow forks and three successful public testnets.