The ETH core developers delay the hard fork in order to focus on the PoS merge but if left unaddressed, the difficulty bomb will slow down the network there’s still time to handle it later so let’s read more today in our latest ethereum news.
While discussing whether to deal with the hard fork right away that can make the network sluggish, the ETH core developers decided to focus on the Proof-of-stake merge which is a risky thing but they are willing to take it. The Merge is Ethereum’s move from PoW to PoS and whereas the former involves miners using their computing power to validate transactions and in return earn ETH, the POS involves ETH holders locking up a share of their coins and validating transactions but also receive a share of the rewards. There’s even an element written into the ETH code to incentivize the transition and to make sure that the miners don’t refuse to come along after the difficulty bomb.
I personally don’t think this is a strong argument for keeping the bomb schedule as is and hard forking as needed last minute. It’s undue stress imo on devs but the bigger reason I think devs have held off on agreeing about a bomb delay today is optics.
— Christine Kim (@christine_dkim) April 29, 2022
The difficulty bomb works by making it harder to mine blocks on the PoW chain which means it could take miners to crack the cryptography and the foreseen upshot is that the mining becomes time-consuming and can make it unprofitable. The developers created the bomb and they can delay it so by re-setting the clock, they get more time to create the PoS network itself. By delaying it, they risk pulling resources away from the Merge. The developers’ prep work is in the testing phase and so they created a shadow fork of the mainnet where they copied the ETH Blockchain data to a testnet to see how the network could function after the switch.
Tim Beiko argued that the meeting was best to re-evaluate the difficulty bomb and noted that the ETH experience was not being degraded and will be for a few weeks. The current average block time is over 13 seconds and the developers discussed how long it will take for the network users to handle it given that each slowdown creates more congestion. With the Merge in reach, even half a minute may not be a big deal and as the co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin noted:
“We have to evaluate the pain of doing an extra delay hard fork versus the pain of living with 21 or 25-second blocks for a while, which is something we have done and the world didn’t end.”
He added that with the optimisic note for a future where the bomb no longer exists:
“Ultimately this is the last time the block time is going to be anything other than 12 seconds.”
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