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As the integration of the long-awaited Istanbul update, the Ethereum team faced a new problem, to solve which 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.
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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 bomb of difficulty in the Ethereum blockchain?
Ethereum difficulty bomb is a feature thatregulates the complexity of mining on the network. The complexity increases every 100,000 blocks, which contributes to an increase in the time spent searching for blocks in the network, until the process of generating new units in the future stops.
The complexity bomb was originally introduced to provide consensus in the ecosystem when moving from the Proof of Work (PoW) mining algorithm to the Proof of Stake (PoS).
With every hard fork of Ethereum, a bomb of difficultycontinues to work at the same pace, but, unfortunately, none of the developers remembered this during the implementation of Istanbul. Thus, the process of generating blocks can stop faster than the transition to a new mining model.
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 is toto make changes to the code, and thus not only speed up block mining time, but also give Ethereum developers extra time to integrate updates.
Implementation of changes in blockchains, especially suchlarge, like Ethereum, is not an easy task, and its planning usually takes several months. However, due to the limited time and increasing difficulty of mining blocks, ETH developers have less than three weeks to conduct a hard fork of Muir Glacier on the network.
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 increasethe number of participants in the mining environment, making the Ethereum ecosystem more decentralized. In turn, Tuur Demeester, the founding partner of Adamant Capital, believes that PoS is similar to Ponzi's multi-level marketing scheme, in which new entrants usually suffer, and only those who are at the top get the benefits.