Difficulty Bomb Delay: The Reason for Ethereum’s Crash?

This is additional bad news for Ethereum supporters anticipating the Ethereum 2.0 merging to be completed in August. While ConsenSys researcher Mikhail Kalinin started work on the Ethereum upgrade in July of last year, several developers have subsequently updated the broader community on Ethereum’s energy-intensive proof-of-work progress algorithm’s move to a PoS method.

While no official launch date has been declared, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently stated that the upgrade might be available by August, barring any major obstacles.

‘Difficulty Bomb’ has already been delayed.

The most recent development update came on Friday, explaining possible delays in deploying the ‘Difficulty Bomb,’ a piece of code that, if activated, gradually kicks miners off the blockchain by raising mining difficulty until mining Ethereum becomes impossible.

Developers have already detonated the ‘Difficulty Bomb,’ previously postponed.

 

What are the developers saying

After evaluating the merging for flaws on the Ropsten testnet, one of Ethereum’s oldest testnets, developers decided to put Ethereum 2.0’s release date back to Friday due to issues. According to one developer, Danny Ryan, 14% of network validators, including those responsible for network security, were brought offline when the new code was installed.

Regardless, Ryan stated that if the code were put on the main Ethereum blockchain in its current condition, he would be “jumping for joy.” He described the Ropsten test as a case in which 9% of validators have a configuration issue, and some stakers are affected by two small issues “two small bugs affecting a minority of stakers that can be fixed locally (no new code deployed).”

Other developers, on the other hand, are more cautious, recommending a hold until all of the issues are resolved.

“Delaying it gives you time,” Thomas Jay Rush remarked on The Call, which Tim Beiko, the main developer, moderated.

“The community thinks it’s horrible, but there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Restarting the ‘Difficulty Bomb,’ Beiko believes, will give the developers some breathing room and help them avoid burnout.

“If we postpone it, I believe there should be a reasonable delay to preserve a sense of urgency.” However, too much pressure might lead to team burnout, a situation we don’t want to be in.”

Alexey Sharp, another engineer, said they are already working nonstop and don’t need the “sense of urgency.”

“Please, no lobbying is required. We are already working more hours per day than most people. And also trying to innovate at the same, all with very limited pool of people. I don’t think we need these corporate psy-ops like “sense of urgency” here 😉 We know what we are doing”

 

Beiko is optimistic that the release will take place this year.

Beiko confirmed that they are still working on the mainnet code, which means it is not yet ready to be integrated into the Ethereum blockchain.

Buterin did indicate that if developers need more time, the integration could be postponed, with a release date set for September or October. According to Bloomberg, Beiko believes the merger will take place this year, with a 90-99 percent possibility.

 

What can happen if ‘Difficulty Bomb’ is delayed?

The ‘Difficulty bomb’ delay is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, a network failure after deployment would be disastrous.

The longer developers delay, the more time alternative proof-of-stake blockchains have to eat into Ethereum’s market share.

ETHUSD Chart: TradingView.com
ETHUSD Chart: TradingView.com

By market share, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency slumped 26.5 percent last week, down 73 percent from its all-time high in November last year.