Optimism (OP) Prepares for Canyon Hardfork Across Superchain Testnets on November 14

The Optimism ecosystem is set to embrace a milestone with the Canyon hardfork, slated for activation on the OP Goerli, OP Sepolia, Base Goerli, Base Sepolia, PGN Sepolia, and Zora Sepolia testnets on November 14, 2023, at 17:00 UTC. Announced by the OP Labs Team on November 7, 2023, this upgrade follows the previous Bedrock network enhancement and is eagerly anticipated across the Superchain.

Collaboratively developed with Base, the Canyon hardfork has undergone successful initial activation on a devnet, paving the way for its deployment on testnets. A subsequent rollout to the OP Mainnet and other Superchain mainnets will depend on the Optimism governance protocol’s approval.

Canyon’s launch brings with it several improvements including Shanghai and Capella hardfork support, alongside a series of minor bug rectifications. Noteworthy EIPs—EIP-3651, EIP-3855, EIP-3860, EIP-4895, and EIP-6049—are incorporated, featuring enhancements like new Ethereum instructions, the phasing out of the SELFDESTRUCT function, and modifications for beacon chain push withdrawals.

A crucial update within Canyon is the fine-tuning of EIP-1559, which adjusts the basefee’s sensitivity to network congestion. This aims to moderate the speed of basefee adjustments, fostering a more stable network fee environment.

Protocol modifications also include improved handling of unclosed channels, allowing for uninterrupted operation progression in certain scenarios. A new field in the deposit transaction receipt encoding is also introduced to correct a discrepancy in the nonce consensus.

Furthermore, the hardfork ensures the deployment of the create2Deployer bytecode across all networks, enabling consistent access to this critical contract for developers.

While end-users may not experience direct impact from these upgrades, node operators are required to update their nodes to conform to the new Canyon specifications. Detailed instructions are available through a publicly accessible guide. Participants in the Optimism ecosystem should watch for upcoming governance updates, which will signal the potential mainnet integration of the Canyon hardfork.

Image source: Shutterstock


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China’s Shanghai Unveils Action Plan to Forge a New Path in the Metaverse Tourism Industry

Shanghai has taken a significant step in the realm of metaverse tourism with the release of the “Shanghai Action Plan for Creating a New Path in Metaverse Tourism (2023-2025)”. The plan, unveiled by the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, outlines the city’s strategic focus on five key areas to propel the development of metaverse tourism in the coming years.

Recognizing Shanghai’s immense potential in terms of its large-scale cultural and tourism consumer market, advanced digital infrastructure, diverse cultural and tourism applications, abundant creative resources, and thriving innovation and entrepreneurship culture, Shanghai aims to harness these advantages to foster the growth of metaverse tourism. Embracing the digital wave and technological revolution is crucial for Shanghai’s tourism industry to enhance its overall competitiveness in the digital era.

The plan emphasizes the need to actively embrace the transformative experiences brought about by immersive technologies, the evolving spatial-temporal dimensions, and the industrial transformations driven by new technologies. To achieve these goals, Shanghai will launch five specialized initiatives under the plan: “Digital Tourism Infrastructure,” “Technological Breakthroughs,” “New Metaverse Tourism Scenarios,” “Digital Art Platforms,” and “Immersive Interactive Content.”

The “Digital Tourism Infrastructure” initiative will focus on accelerating the construction of key network infrastructure in designated areas, establishing new cloud platforms tailored for the tourism industry, promoting edge computing capabilities, and facilitating access to cultural resources through the development of international, industry, and local standards.

Under the “Technological Breakthroughs” initiative, Shanghai aims to conduct collaborative research on key areas such as digital cultural rights protection, real-time audio and video, immersive interactions, and smart media. The plan also calls for the accelerated development and application of technologies like digital humans, AIGC tools platforms, rendering engines, and virtual production techniques.

The “New Metaverse Tourism Scenarios” initiative aims to continuously enhance the supply side of metaverse tourism experiences. Shanghai plans to create digital cultural scenes, expedite the digitization and display of precious cultural relics, encourage immersive tourism experiences in cultural and commercial districts, and develop high-quality and innovative performing arts products.

Through the “Digital Art Platforms” initiative, Shanghai intends to leverage its urban blockchain infrastructure to establish digital creative alliances and a storage system for digital artworks. This initiative will encourage cultural institutions, professional organizations, and artists to intensify their creative efforts and explore cross-chain applications of digital artworks in museums, scenic spots, games, and other contexts.

Lastly, the “Immersive Interactive Content” initiative aims to establish Shanghai as a hub for digital content creation. The plan focuses on leveraging artificial intelligence to empower both professional and user-generated content, thereby fostering the development of next-generation high-tech audiovisual products. Additionally, the plan encourages the convergence of innovative elements through the incubation and upgrading of characteristic industrial parks, the construction of digital IP chains, the creation of open and shared environments, and the protection of digital copyrights.

During the Shanghai Metaverse Tourism Initiative event, Shanghai Immersion Opportunities Technology Development Co., Ltd. and Shanghai iQiyi New Media Technology Co., Ltd. shared their latest advancements in metaverse technology applications, content production, scene development, and market promotion. They highlighted the successful implementation of the “Wind Rises in Luoyang” project at the Shanghai Opportunities Center, which exemplifies the integration of popular IPs and technological innovations in offline tourism experiences. Representatives expressed their intention to replicate such projects across the country, encompassing not only virtual reality but also other cultural and entertainment ventures, in order to establish a model for Shanghai’s modernized metaverse tourism.

On 15 June, Shanghai also announced its ambitious “Three-Year Action Plan for Promoting High-Quality Development of Manufacturing (2023-2025)”, which also highlights the metaverse as a crucial aspect of its vision.


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China’s Shanghai Prioritizes Blockchain, Web3.0, and Metaverse in Three-Year Manufacturing Development Plan

Shanghai, a front-runner in the deployment of emerging technologies in China, has recently announced its ambitious “Three-Year Action Plan for Promoting High-Quality Development of Manufacturing (2023-2025).” This strategic initiative was revealed by the Shanghai Municipal Government Office, highlighting the city’s commitment to accelerating the development of its digital economy with a focus on Blockchain, Web3.0, and the Metaverse.

The plan underscores the role of these three key technologies in shaping the future of the city’s manufacturing industry. Blockchain and Web3.0, both pillars of the next generation digital economy, are spotlighted as integral parts of the city’s digital transformation strategy. By prioritizing these technologies, Shanghai aims to position itself at the forefront of digital innovation and economic growth.

The development of the Metaverse, a term used to describe a virtual-reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, is another pivotal aspect of the plan. This follows the release of the “Shanghai Metaverse Key Technology R&D Plan (2023-2025)” by the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission on 13 June. The Metaverse initiative integrates local and international industrial development trends, focusing on key technology dimensions such as content, computation, transmission, and terminal technology.

Furthermore, the action plan also outlines the city’s effort to foster the creation of future industries, including the construction of advanced industrial areas like Zhangjiang, Lingang, and the Bay of Large Zero. These locations will serve as the leading areas for future industrial development, marking another step towards Shanghai’s goal of becoming a global tech hub.

With its comprehensive and forward-looking approach, the “Three-Year Action Plan for Promoting High-Quality Development of Manufacturing” is poised to solidify Shanghai’s position as a global leader in manufacturing and digital innovation. This move reaffirms the city’s commitment to embracing advanced technology and digital solutions as key drivers for future economic growth and sustainability.


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Ethereum developers chose eight updates for Shanghai

The Ethereum Foundation made the announcement on November 24 that the developers working on the platform had reached a consensus on eight Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) to investigate as part of the Shanghai update. This update is the next major upgrade following the Merge and the transition to proof-of-stake consensus.

Beacon Chain staked Ether (ETH) is scheduled to be unlocked as one of the primary features that are anticipated to be included in the Shanghai hard fork. This will make it possible for the assets to be withdrawn along with the upgrade, which means that users who had staked Ethereum prior to the Merge will be able to access those tokens in addition to any other rewards that may be available.

According to a prior roadmap, unlocked ETH was supposed to become available between 6 and 12 months following the Merge.

One of the ideas that was accepted is known as EIP 4844. This proposal focuses on using proto-danksharding technology, and it is anticipated that it would increase network throughput while simultaneously reducing transaction costs, which will be a big gain for scalability.

Other EIPs, such as EIP 3540, EIP 3670, EIP 4200, EIP 4570, and EIP 5450, deal with the modernization of Ethereum Virtual Machines.

One of the most-anticipated updates for the community is the Shanghai testnet version, which was given the name Shandong and went live on October 18. This version enables developers to work on implementations such as the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) object format. This update is one of the most-anticipated updates because it separates coding from data, which may be beneficial for on-chain validators.


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Shanghai includes Metaverse in its development plan

Shanghai, China’s most crowded city, is looking for ways to use metaverse in public services over the next five years.

Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology’s five-year development plan for the electronic information industry listed four frontiers for exploration, and one of them is metaverse.

According to a CNBC report, the paper called for promoting the metaverse’s use in public services, business offices, social leisure, industrial manufacturing, production safety, and electronic games. The commission plans to encourage further study and development of underlying technologies, such as sensors, real-time interactions and blockchain technology.

China’s interest in new technology has been unwavering in recent years. China’s efforts to establish a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and its use of digital biometric hardware wallets for the virtual yuan have cemented it as a leader in the issuance of a CBDC.

In March, China’s State Council released its 5-year development plan that included many of these same fronts for exploration. As reported by Cointelegraph, the term “blockchain” was used for the first time in China’s 14th five-year plan, a document that outlines the country’s economic goals for the next five years, which runs from 2021 through 2025.

Related: Chinese companies embark on a metaverse trademark race

The metaverse has become an area of interest for many major companies in recent months. In October, Facebook changed its name to Meta in order to bank on the popularity of the term metaverse.

Despite the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) warning on metaverse and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in November, over 1,000 Chinese businesses have filed tens of thousands of trademark applications that reference the term. More than 1,360 Chinese businesses have applied for 8,534 trademarks, according to the South China Morning Post.

Chinese companies are in the process of developing metaverse technologies, with Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba among those aggressively working on related projects. Last week, Baidu debuted its XiRang metaverse app, which will fully launch in six years.