The Ethereum network (ETH) is getting ready to move to Proof of Stake in the coming months. In the meantime, several updates are necessary to prepare this major evolution.
Arrow Glacier: the update to close 2021
Ethereum is an ever-evolving blockchain. Since the beginning of the year, it has witnessed 2 hard forks. After the Berlin update in April, London was deployed in August. These hard forks brought many changes, including the addition of EIP 1559 to modify the fee system on Ethereum and destroy a part of the fees in each transaction.
Now, developers are working on the next update, dubbed “Arrow Glacier”. This update is scheduled for December 8, according to information published by Pooja Ranjan on Medium. Unlike its predecessors, which had several EIPs, this Arrow Glacier hard fork will introduce only one.
The EIP 4345: a new postponement of the difficulty bomb
Arrow Glacier’s deployment of EIP 4345 will postpone the difficulty bomb until June 2022. In practice, this will be postponed until block 10,700,000.
As a reminder, the difficulty bomb is a mechanism that increases the difficulty of mining on Ethereum, in order to lower the profitability of mining and push miners to abandon the old chain, once the transition to Ethereum 2.0 is completed.
“The block time will be increased and will lead to a freezing of the blockchain. It’s a very ‘steep’ exponential curve; it’s flat for a very long time, then goes off very quickly when the bomb ‘goes off’.”Ethereum announcement
This mechanism was introduced in 2015 via EIP 2, dreamed up by Vitalik Buterin. Since then, as Ethereum 2.0 has evolved and fallen behind, the EIP has been modified numerous times.
Ethereum’s PIEs have been used to postpone the difficulty bomb
In May 2021, the developers decided to postpone the difficulty bomb until December 2021, which turned out to be the potential date for the rollout of “The Merge” and the switch to proof of stake (PoS). However, the bomb had to be pushed back again, as the switch to PoS is now scheduled for Q1 2022.
“The reasonable confidence of the core developers in upgrading The Merge before the summer of next year was certainly a factor to consider.”Ethereum announcement
At the same time, ETH’s share price continues to break records. The latter recently achieved another ATH, passing the $4,800 mark on November 9.