If the bull market of bitcoin and the boom of shib this year made a large number of outsiders recognize and enter this market, then the “519 event” on the eve of 520 taught everyone a lesson and made everyone’s cognition of this market more comprehensive, that in addition to the upsurge, there is also a crash and a return to zero in the cryptocurrency circle. Many people think that the whole crypto market has collapsed, but for the old people in the circle, the plunge and surge are only part of the development of the industry, and after the end of 519, we still have to “sit down” and think about what to do tomorrow.
Excluding those global environmental factors, the fundamental kernel of the future direction of the market still depends on the movement of the underlying sector. This is especially true for the ecological aggregates like Ether, which are rich in more than half of the current market resources.
Recently, the mainstream public chain Ether core developers announced that its mainnet London upgrade will be launched on July 14 as scheduled, one of the most important elements of which is that the difficulty bomb, which was scheduled to be launched at the same time, has been postponed to December again. This one could bring huge changes to the entire ethereum ecology and even the market.
｜Ethiopia Difficulty Bomb
Difficulty Bomb was written in code in 2015, and it still exists and is being continuously promoted as a very important mechanism. From the side, we can see that the official has set the direction of the future route of Ether to PoS consensus long ago, but it has never been able to handle the shift. Difficulty bomb is a mechanism algorithm to adjust the chain difficulty according to the block time, mainly divided into two parts, one part is similar to Bitcoin’s dynamic parameter adjustment, when the block out time is higher than 20 seconds, it will reduce the difficulty, and lower than 10 seconds, it will increase the difficulty. The other part is the real difficulty bomb, which increases the blockchain difficulty artificially, with the ultimate goal of forcing miners to lose development momentum and switch to ETH 2.0’s Pos chain.
Compared with Bitcoin’s dynamic parameter adjustment where the difficulty is set at the rate of 10 minutes, Ether’s difficulty adjustment algorithm is more complicated. In the difficulty design of the difficulty bomb, it is presented in the exponential power of 2, and n is the number of blocks, which means that the difficulty value is doubled for every 100,000 blocks, so as to continuously increase the height of the block chain and push the mining difficulty to increase. After a certain period of time, the difficulty of mining will increase exponentially with the block height until miners are unable to obtain rewards and blocks. As a difficulty bomb to “put pressure” on miners, it is also a feasible way to avoid the coexistence of old and new chains to the greatest extent.
As for the significance of the existence of the difficulty bomb of Ether, some developers believe that the difficulty bomb plays an important role in the development of the network, and one Ether wallet creator once said, “Without the ‘difficulty bomb,’ we could end up in a situation where we would have to launch (system-wide upgrades) becomes difficult because people will stop updating their software because they don’t have to.”
｜Why is it so hard to advance the difficulty bomb?
In February this year, Tim Beiko, an Ether developer, said that the difficulty bomb might happen in July, and three months later, it was announced that the difficulty bomb would be delayed until December for inclusion, and it is still unknown whether it will actually go live. In order to solve such a postponement problem, at the beginning of last year, the developers had proposed to replace the difficulty bomb with a difficulty freeze, but all ended with a strike, and until today the difficulty bomb is still slowly advancing.
It is understood that the Ether difficulty bomb has exploded three times since 2017, and the developers have delayed the outbreak time again and again by using pseudo block numbers to replace the original block numbers. Last year, the extended block-out time led to increasing mining costs for miners, which in turn caused miners to be unprofitable and the system network was clogged. After the experience of the first two times to avoid the early outbreak of the difficulty bomb and to anticipate the same time as the launch of ETH 2.0, the developers returned the pseudo block number to a safe height, but now it seems that the exact outbreak time of the difficulty bomb is still a problem. At first, the amount of difficulty bombs was small and had little impact on the time to block out. However, the growth of difficulty bombs is almost close to exponential, which means that at a certain point, the network difficulty will suddenly increase and the speed of block exit will plummet.
Analytically, while “merging into one” in this way is a matter of necessity, the larger prudential consideration is the risk assessed by the developers. On the one hand, forcing miners to passively abandon the Pow chain will easily cause discontent and rejection among miners, causing a split in the community and a great possibility of forking. On the other hand, the exponential increase in the difficulty of the bomb explosion time mechanism will appear at a time less than intended, which to a certain extent creates technical difficulties that will negatively affect both developers and miners, which is why developers have repeatedly delayed the early arrival of the “explosion”.
And with the expansion of the ethereum ecology to today’s volume, the boat is too big to turn around, and the actual implementation of the difficulty bomb mechanism becomes more and more difficult. If the interests of all parties are not well balanced in this process, the whole network may be frozen or even collapse.
In general, the conversion time from proof of workload to proof of equity for Ether, which is called the world computer, is longer than previously expected. Even though the scale and speed of development of the chain network is very fast, the initial significance of the difficulty bomb is being continuously consumed to a certain extent, and in a long tug-of-war, if miners really want to continue mining in the old chain, they can hard fork a new chain before the difficulty increases, and then the difficulty bomb will no longer exist. But such a hard fork is also extremely technically risky and comes with a lot of resource consumption.
From a more fundamental point of view, the difficulty of the difficulty bomb is not as difficult as the difficulty of ETH’s transition to ETH 2.0. It is an extremely difficult problem to convince the whole ecology to shift a large amount of resources to ETH 2.0 of PoS without forking. It can even be said that the postponement of the difficulty bomb is not that ETH 2.0 is not ready, but that the whole ecology, including the officials, is not ready to deal with the impact and changes that such a shift may bring.
Therefore, some people think that the only way to complete the transition is not to rely on difficulty bombs. James Hancock, an Ether developer, proposed to replace the long-standing difficulty bombs with a difficulty freeze, which is commonly known as a more moderate and controllable “difficulty bomb”.
｜Can the difficulty bomb be “bombed” in place?
We shouldn’t really be overly concerned about such issues, because the development of technology takes time, and we just need to keep an eye on the development of things. More importantly, as a programmable blockchain network, Ether has already established countless derivative tokens, Dapp and the spectacular DeFi ecology, especially after the ETH 2.0 upgrade thread was opened from last December, the market value of Ether has reached record highs and the introduction of more and more diversity. It is certain that with the increasing popularity of blockchain technology, the application extension of Ether will continue to broaden, the consensus will become stronger and its value will naturally be recognized by more and more people.
From the technical side, the Lay2 solution for expansion already has a very rich stack matrix, and the EVM that is compatible with Ether or the innovative solution that is better adapted to the long-term expansion of Ether will become the key weight to solve the current congestion problem of Ether. From the ecological point of view, after so many years of development, Ethernet has combined more and more elements of innovation and become the preferred “potential” position for developers, taking distributed finance as an example, 90% of DeFi is now concentrated in the Ethernet network. As for the current migration to smart chain, it can only be used as a backup option, while symbiosis with Ether is still a must, and its status cannot be replaced yet. Therefore, from the perspective of technology, ecology and development trend, Ether has a very good future.
It is not difficult to conclude that the difficulty bomb is no longer the only factor to determine the interests of miners, it is only a means to assist the transformation mechanism of Ether, and as the future development of Ether becomes clearer, the transformation of ETH 2.0 will gradually drive to maturity, and the developers will have more diversified ways to set and handle the difficulty bomb in the interests of all parties.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/could-change-the-difficulty-bomb-of-519-tomorrow/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.