After continuous delays, Ethereum, at last, went through the long-awaited Constantinople Hard Fork which apart from increasing the energy efficiency of Ethereum mining, also reduced the Ethereum mining reward from 3 ETH to 2 ETH.
Ethereum Difficulty Bomb:
Ethereum network currently runs by Ethereum mining which involves a lot of miners approving the transactions on the blockchain. However, the future motive of Ethereum is to shift from the current Proof-of-work model to a Proof-of-stake model which does not involve mining. In order to stop the miners from backing out in case of a fork, Ethereum has included a ‘difficulty bomb’ which is a tool that will allow the ethereum mining difficulty to rise massively and discourage the miners so that they automatically shift over to the new Proof-of-stake model.
Are Miners interested in Proof-of-stake model?
It is quite obvious that ethereum miners are not interested in the proof-of-stake. However, the investors have been patiently waiting for ethereum to turn into a Proof-of-stake model from a long time as this would lead to the reduction in the inflation rate of Ethereum and eventually the price might rise.
Let’s look at the charts and see how the difficulty, block time and hashrate has been affected by Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork:
Average Ethereum Mining Difficulty:
The average Ethereum mining difficulty chart shows that due to the hardfork that happened on the 1st of March, the difficulty has tremendously decreased which indicates that the decrease in ethereum mining rewards is in relation to the ethereum mining difficulty.
Average Block Time of the Ethereum Network:
After the Constantinople hard fork, the block time of the ethereum network was also reduced from more than 19 seconds before the hard fork to around 13 seconds after the hard fork which is around 30% decrease. The chart shows that the reduction in the ethereum mining rewards also lowered down the block time apart from lowering the ethereum mining difficulty. As both the ethereum mining rewards as well as the block time has decreased, the Constantinople hard fork has not affected the ethereum miners much because as the ethereum mining rewards have decreased so the miners are paid less per block, however, the block time has also decreased which means that the miners can now mine more blocks in less time which compensates their mining rewards.
Average Hashrate of the Ethereum Network:
The chart shows that after the Constantinople hard fork, The Ethereum Network hashrate hasn’t changed. However, this is not what was being expected by everyone. As the mining difficulty and block time would drop after the hard fork, it was expected that the hashrate would increase drastically as because the performance should be more in case the ethereum mining difficulty is less.
Why the Hashrate remained unchanged?
One of the reasons for the unchanged hashrate could be the increase in the price of Ethereum after the Constantinople hard fork. This led to the miners having bullish predictions about the price of ethereum although the mining rewards decreased.