Ethereum Devs. Decide Not to Delay ETH's Difficulty Bomb, Merge Could Still Happen this Summer
Ethereum Developers have 4 Weeks to Decide About the Difficulty Bomb
According to the Ethereum developers, if everything goes well with the shadow fork testing, they could be ready for the remaining testnets in the next two weeks. Consequently, they will not need to carry out a hardfork to delay the difficulty bomb.
Furthermore, the effects of the difficulty bomb are yet to be fully felt, as explained by Tim Beiko in the following statement.
[The Ethereum Network] is not being affected today [by the bomb] and it’s not going to be noticeably affected in 2 weeks.
Realistically, we even have like four [weeks] to make that call. I think it’s worth moving forward on testing, seeing how far we feel we are in the process in 2 weeks from now, and looking at it then.
In an earlier analysis, Ethereum’s difficulty bomb was expected to start being felt on the network sometime in June or July in the scenario that the Merge would not be ready.
The World Won’t End with 21 to 25 Second Blocks – Ethereum’s Vitalik
Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin was also present during the core developer call.
According to his analysis, the team ‘has to evaluate the pain of doing an extra delay hard fork versus the pain of living with 21 or 25 second blocks for a while, which is something we have done before and the world didn’t end.’
Further expanding on Vitalik’s comment, the Ethereum difficulty bomb increases the difficulty level of mining ETH. An increase in difficulty means that mining ETH becomes less profitable as block times increase. The difficulty bomb is part of the Ethereum network and is intended to ‘encourage’ developers and miners to transition into the less energy-intensive proof-of-stake algorithm.
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