Ethereum has announced what will be its fork for the year 2020, called Muir Glacier, which was activated on January 2. This update is given when block 9,200,000 is completed as planned (it can be verified through Ethernodes that Muir Glacier is active). When a Blockchain like Ethereum decides to make a critical change in its code, it causes the chain to split in two, this is called Hard Fork.

This update includes a single modification, which was proposed, EIP 2384 or the delay of the Ethereum mining difficulty pump of about 4 million blocks. This difficulty consists of a mechanism integrated in the Ethereum mining algorithm, in the proof of work (PoW). Through this mechanism, the difficulty of mining in the Ethereum blocks increases to 100,000 each block. And since December 29, 2019, it was already announced that Ethernodes had 64% of its nodes ready to synchronize its customers with the new update, announced on December 23 of that year.

What is the ice age of Ethereum?

The “ice age” (also known as “difficulty bomb”), is nothing more than the increasing difficulty of the mining algorithm that is used to reward miners with Ether (ETH) in their blockchain. This coding element slows in an artificial way, so to speak, the production of blocks in the Ethereum Blockchain, and for that reason, it will work as a deterrent for those miners who wish to continue the work test (POW), after Ethereum has made the transition to proof of participation or stake (POS).

However, according to an expert, the execution of the “ice age” of Ethereum was unnecessary, complex and confusing to communicate with the community. He adds that any update to the design must be able to model the effect on the network in a flat and easy way to predict when it occurs. The expert also points out that the next hard fork of Ethereum will cause the mechanism to go back to where it is reasonable, in order to give developers enough time to decide whether or not to update the “ice age”, so that its behavior can be predicted or proceed to eliminate it completely.

When does the difficulty pump start to run?

The difficulty bomb is expected to begin in mid-2020, although the warning was activated several months ago. The delay in approximately two years will give developers the necessary time to fix the difficulty pump or eliminate it completely, as we announced earlier. In short, the idea of the Glacier Muir developers is to update the network in a week, since the production times of Ethereum blocks have increased from 13 to 17 seconds every week, and will continue to increase exponentially every two weeks if the fork does not occur. This would result in the reduction of Ethereum mining revenues and, consequently, transaction fees increase. Instead, the emergency fork will give two years of relative stability in the Ethereum network.

What do you think about this topic? Did you know this new fork of Ethereum?

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