As the long-awaited Istanbul update is being integrated, the Ethereum team has a new problem to solvewhich network will undergo another emergency hard fork.
Recall, the Istanbul update aims to solve problems such as lower gas costs, increasing privacy and compatibility with cryptocurrencies such as Zcash.
While Istanbul provided the communitynew features, before implementing the latest updates, Ethereum developers made a mistake by not taking into account the very important function of the network called Bomb of complexity. This led to the need for an unplanned hard fork.
What is the complexity bomb?
Ethereum Difficulty Bomb – this is a functionwhich regulates the difficulty of mining on the network. The difficulty increases every 100,000 blocks, which increases the time spent searching for blocks on the network, to the point of stopping the process of generating new units in the future.
The Difficulty Bomb was originally introduced to ensure consensus in the ecosystem during the transition from the Proof of Work (PoW) mining algorithm to Proof of Stake (PoS).
With every Ethereum hard fork, a difficulty bombcontinues to work at the same pace, but unfortunately none of the developers remembered this during the implementation of Istanbul. Thus, the block generation process may stop faster than the transition to a new mining model is made.
Unplanned hard fork: Muir Glacier
To save the situation and preventthe unpredictable impact of Bomb complexity on the entire network, from the end of December 2019 until the beginning of January 2020, an emergency hard fork called Muir Glacier will be held.
The only purpose of this hard fork isto make changes to the code, and thus not only speed up block mining time, but also give Ethereum developers additional time to integrate the updates.
Implementation of changes in blockchains, especially suchlarge ones like Ethereum, – the task is not simple and usually takes several months to plan. However, due to limited time and the increasing difficulty of mining blocks, ETH developers have less than three weeks to bring the Muir Glacier hard fork online.
The community reacted indignantly to the news. For example, a user with the nickname Udi Wertheimer expressed his disappointment with the Ethereum project.
When your “decentralized” network moves to anon-emergency schedule of one hard fork every 3 weeks, you’ve reached the absurd. You jumped the shark. There’s really no excuse to this and people should be talking about it.
— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) December 16, 2019
Proof of Stake: Ponzi scheme?
While the Ethereum ecosystem is in the final stages of transition from PoW to PoS, not everyone is happy with the idea of moving to Proof of Stake.
According to Ethereum developers, consensus PoSaims to address issues such as the environmental unsuitability of PoW mining, as well as the unbalanced distribution of wealth and production power in the Proof of Work system.
At the same time, many believe that PoS will increasenumber of participants in the mining environment, making the Ethereum ecosystem more decentralized. In turn, Tuur Demeester, founding partner of Adamant Capital, believes that PoS is similar to a multi-level marketing Ponzi scheme, in which new entrants usually suffer and only those at the top benefit.