- Ethereum’s developers have decided not to delay the pending difficulty bomb, as the Merge of its mainnet to the Beacon chain could still happen this summer
- If all goes according to plan, Ethereum developers could be ready to fork testnets in 2 weeks, removing the need for a hardfork to delay the difficulty bomb
- According to senior Ethereum developer Tim Beiko, the team has four weeks to decide on the difficulty bomb
Ethereum’s developers have decided not to delay the pending difficulty bomb, at least now. Additionally, there is still a possibility of the highly anticipated Merge occurring this summer. This is according to the latest Ethereum Core Developers Meeting highlighted by Christine Kim of Galaxy Digital on Twitter.
Devs decided not to delay the difficulty bomb at least for the moment. The thinking is that there’s still hope for the Merge to be activated in the summer.
— Christine Kim (@christine_dkim) April 29, 2022
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.
Ray Schuetz received a Masters Degree in computer science from The University of Texas (Austin). Ray has been working as a full-time blockchain consultant for the past 3 years. In his spare time, Ray enjoys writing for EthereumCryptocurrency.com and other crypto news publications.