Six Ethereum Upgrades Proposed Before System Update

Currently, six new upgrades to Ethereum have been revealed as improvements to its code and systems prior to a scheduled upgrade later this year. Fueling the constant discussion of a part of Ethereum’s code embedded into the platform worth $45B managing the system through requiring increased CPU power on a regular basis to continue mining blocks on the chain and reaping rewards. This would eventually bring the blockchain to a complete frozen state in which no additional blocks can be generated.


What is known as the ETH difficulty bomb, a system initially implemented as a means of easily facilitating any transitions in regards to the forming of an agreed consensus, shifting from a PoW to a PoS and will resume operations in 2019. While forsaking a proof of stake, additional precautions are in order to take protective measures in postponing the difficulty bomb as a means of securing the blockchain.

In light of this, delaying the inevitable bomb will enhance locating blocks for miners which means that ETH profits from mining them must be cut down next to the delay as a means of guaranteeing that the digital coin is generated just as fast. As opposed to the BTC cap of coding set at $21M, several opinions regarding even further slashing off supply have been made on ETH distributed to cryptocurrency miners.

This also results in several head-to-head discussions within a decentralized framework. User voting based on the number of coins possessed, while a very common method, has received heavy down talk due to the unreliable measurements and any miner contributing CPU to the program has no way of ensuring any supporting votes. Ethereum’s UIM and the bomb have been constant topics of controversy over the last three years.

As explained, the situation is complicated due to financial policies, cryptocurrency miners and several other invested individuals clash in a matter of outcomes and usually demand the opposite in any given situation. A developer from ETH, Lane Rettig has stated that delaying the inevitable bomb is not a matter of controversy but its issuance is.

One or Alone

Hudson Jameson, CO of Ethereum stated that a split between both mechanisms would provide the best approach to a proper solution, speaking during a meeting on the 3rd of August. According to his plan, he intends on handling each situation one issue at a time. Jameson added that separating both would open several new paths to new economic changes and a strict technical shift avoiding any controversy. Many have opposed this proposal, claiming that both situations were connected to each other regardless and a joint solution is required. However, several improvement protocols for Ethereum continue operating individually, leaving their effect on the difficulty bomb and profit schedule either separately or together.

Planned to launch next year, both proposals are actively looking to completely remove the bomb from the system. One of the EIP solutions, numbered 1240, as we as number 1276 can either remove the bomb itself or completely revamp the platforms reward system and granting two Ether per block instead of three. Two of these EIPs are looking to simply postpone the bomb although both conflict in terms of increasing and decreasing total rewards. Another two of the six proposed improvements, while not affecting the bomb itself but cuts down mined ETH per block to one instead of three Ether.

Security Fees

Another factor affecting the discussion and its development is the amount that ETH users should be paying for efficient protection and is due to the rising climb in inflation of ETH guarantees its sturdiness and efficiency in protecting itself from any further harmful actions like a spike in illegal hashing on the network.

In light of the upcoming Casper upgrade, initiatives to set a limit on total issuance has been a center of debate for a few years now. On the other side, the current initiative is underway despite the transfer of the consensus set for a few years down the line. Rettig stated that in going back a few years when the company implemented the difficulty bomb, Casper was planned to be installed this year and operate fully and would’ve prevented any current issues with the bomb itself.

Rising Concerns

With even further complexities, many developers completely support the other side on the ongoing argument surrounding the bomb. Many of them stress the importance of the bomb maintaining a permanent status. According to Nick Johnson, a core developer at Ethereum, has stated that this was a settled impact on a delay in action as the most appealing solution.

Despite this, Mical Zoltu, a developer at Augur proposed the total opposite of what Johnson stated, completely eliminating the difficulty bomb. He states that all involved members should completely oppose the scheduled plan to render the bomb obsolete or when it occurs after a planned timing. He comments on multiple exposures to such incidents and the measures he takes to completely avoid them at all costs.

2 years ago

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