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Ethereum Core Devs delays crucial “difficulty bomb” for two months

Ethereum’s core developers met on Friday and decided to postpone the handling of the “difficulty bomb”, a crucial catalyst in Ethereum’s long-awaited “Merge”Which will migrate the network from a consensus on evidence of work to proof of effort.

The difficulty bomb was planted in Ethereum̵[ads1]7;s code in 2015 as a measure to force validators to accept the merger. An implementation of the merger called went directly to Ropsten’s test network earlier this past week.

Following the test network merger and after discussing a number of errors revealed by the test merger, the developers propose EIP-5133 to postpone the difficulty bomb until August 2022. It has been delayed five times before.

In short, we agreed on the bomb delay,twitret main developer Tim Beiko after the conversation on Friday. “We aim for a ~ 2 months delay and that the upgrade will go live at the end of June. ”

Although Ethereum developers have not committed to a date for the Ethereum merger, both Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and core developer Preston Van Loon have said in August— “if everything goes according to plan“Van Loon said at a conference last month.

So we want to push back the Ethereum difficulty bomb, » twitret Ben Edgington, another core developer, after Friday’s talk. “We say it will not delay the merger. I sincerely hope not.”

The new EIP-5133 proposal still states that the goal is for the merger to take place “before mid-August 2022”.

Decrypt has contacted Beiko for further comment on the difficulty bomb.

What is the difficulty bomb?

Ethereum, the largest smart contract platform, is migrating from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus model to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model that will make the blockchain far more efficient and less energy-intensive.

Ethereum is currently supported by validators (or miners) who use remote computers to solve complex math problems to record and verify transactions – just like the Bitcoin blockchain. According to The Merge, validators will instead bet coins to confirm transactions, and there is concern that some validators may reject proof-of-bet.

To prevent that scenario, the difficulty bomb increases the blocking difficulty (the time it takes validators to verify and add a transaction to the blockchain) exponentially over time. Over a long period of time, it becomes impossible for the validators to extract new transactions due to almost infinite blocking difficulties, which forces an end to proof-of-work on Ethereum.

On the other hand, the “difficulty bomb” carried out at the wrong time can stop Ethereum before the merger is complete, leading to catastrophic economic outcomes.

Ethereum price action

Ethereum (ETH), cryptocurrency # 2 by market value, fell in double digits in the last 24 hours, has fallen 19% in the last seven days due to a combination of macroeconomic factors (technology stocks also fell; CPI showed a worse than expected increase in inflation), but the Ropsten test network merger earlier this week apparently did not help.

ETH is now down as much as 69% from its record high of $ 4,891.70 in November 2021, according to CoinMarketCap.

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