Ethereum mining would have 2 months to live, according to developers

Tim Beiko on ETH difficulty bomb.

Key facts:
  • Developers want to affect users as little as possible before the merger.

  • It had been delayed, although without an estimated date, for customers to prepare their updates.

The difficulty bomb, which will end Ethereum mining with proof of work (proof of work or PoW), could be activated in the first half of August. This is how the developers of the network project it after a meeting last Friday.

With the Ethereum difficulty bomb, what will be done is to set a total difficulty so high that it will become impossible to mine a new block. This will allow the proof-of-work mining chain to stopwhich will result in all new blocks being created on Ethereum 2.0, which will work with proof of stake (proof of stake or PoS) after the merge (The Merge).

The EIP-5133 (Ethereum improvement proposal) that sets a date for the already announced delay of the difficulty bomb can now be consulted online, although it has not yet been voted on. Its creation date is June 1 and its authors are the developers Tomasz Kajetan Stanczak, Eric Marti Haynes and Josh Klopfenstein.

According to this proposal, the difficulty bomb should be activated “before the first half of August”. The EIP also details that “it is possible that the hashrate [poder de cómputo] of the network drops considerably before The Merge«, and these factors are taken into account when establishing when this phase will be completed.

Tim Beiko on ETH difficulty bomb.
Developer Tim Beiko posted a lengthy thread about the Ethereum Difficulty Bomb Dev Call. Source: @timbeiko / Twitter.

This postponement had already been anticipated but without a definite date, as reported by CriptoNoticias. The argument for this was to give customers, who create the software for the nodes to connect to the network, time to prepare the necessary updates for the merger.

With all this, what developers are looking for is make the merger with Ethereum 2.0 happen without greatly affecting network users. “Honestly, I hope this doesn’t delay the merger,” Ben Edgington, developer of Ethereum 2.0’s Teku client, said in a statement. publication On twitter.

In the opinion of programmer Marius Van Wijdenone of the main in the Ethereum ecosystem, this will not affect the work done so far for the merge.

All of the above was discussed and agreed in the most recent of the so-called Ethereum Dev Calls, which are meetings that the developers of this network have periodically. These sessions discuss issues related to the development of the network. The last one so far is that of Friday, June 10, 2022, and can be found in full at Youtube or in written form github.

Testnets move toward merger

As developers discuss timelines and methodology for the expected transition to Ethereum 2.0, testnets serve as rehearsal arena so that everything goes according to plan.

On June 8, the merger was successfully achieved on the Ropsten testnet. As reported in this paper, the testnet switched from PoW to PoS in the process. The fact was considered a great advance considering the subsequent tests and the final merger, projected to occur sometime in the second half of the year.

For now, the next step will be to create the beaconchain (beacon string) in the Sepolia testnet. This will take place on June 20, as reported by the Crypto Gucci promoter on his Twitter.

The beaconchain it will function as the original shard of the new blockchain. The main network already has its beaconchain since 2020, and the milestone of 400,000 validators was recently reached with funds locked in your smart contract. These validators, key in the proof of participation model, will be the ones that will guarantee the operation of the new network when Ethereum 2.0 begins to operate definitively.

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