Ethereum Devs Reconsider 'Difficulty Bomb' Timing as Hard Forks Loom

gepubliceerd op by Coindesk | gepubliceerd op

A newly proposed ethereum hard fork may punt a key network feature two years down the road to avoid complicating ethereum's transition to proof-of-stake.

Ethereum improvement proposal 2387, created in mid-November, would tentatively schedule a Jan. 6 hard fork to delay the "Difficulty bomb" or "Ice Age" from going off for another 4,000,000 blocks or about 611 days.

A piece of code embedded in 2015, the difficulty bomb is one of two components which gradually increases the hashing difficulty on the ethereum blockchain, meant to force the network towards PoS with the Serenity network overhaul, currently slated for 2021.Similar to bitcoin, ethereum features a mining difficulty adjustment scheme to control the output of ether rewards for mining on the network, of which the bomb is a part of.

Unlike bitcoin, ethereum's difficulty bomb increases the time it takes to mine a block - typically between 10 and 20 seconds - every 100,000 blocks.

Since the difficulty bomb is based on when blocks are mined, knowing when the network will feel the effects is more art than science.

EIP 2387 would be the third time since 2015 the bomb's fuse has been extended, first by 3 million blocks in the 2018 Byzantium hard fork and then by another 2 million blocks in the February 2019 Constantinople hard fork.

In light of the earlier-than-expected uptick, Conner drafted EIP 2384, the Istanbul/Berlin Difficulty Bomb Delay, included in EIP 2387.

As the difficulty bomb is an exponential feature of ethereum, a one-second change has large implications down the road. Keeping up with the network.

Although an original feature of ethereum, some developers have called for getting rid of the difficulty bomb altogether.

"I'm on the fence between cutting out the bomb entirely, and just changing the way the bomb works," Zoltu said.