Making matters more complex, there’s a hard deadline for the upgrade, currently set for October. Predicted sometime in early 2019, a piece of code known as the difficulty bomb is scheduled enact, thereby making ethereum’s blocks steadily less time efficient to mine.
If no action is taken, the difficulty bomb will push ethereum into what is known as the “ice age,” a period wherein the difficulty is so high that transactions can no longer be processed, making the blockchain unusable.
Because delaying the difficulty bomb also impacts ether inflation (the time it takes to mine blocks is directly correlated to the quantity of ether distributed on the platform), ethereum is under pressure to upgrade its code before the bomb hits.
But, at present, a path forward remains unclear.
With a total of four ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) currently under discussion, many are arguing that in delaying the difficulty bomb, Constantinope should also reduce the amount of ether that is currently paid out to miners, the entities that run specialty computing hardware to secure transactions.
However, miners are warning that too great a decrease in profits will reduce the security of the network, effectively forcing miners to secure other cryptocurrencies. (Concerns are especially great for GPU miners, which are now currently competing with ASICs, machines specialized for cryptocurrency mining and little else).
While an exact timeline for Constantinople has yet to be finalized, developers are pointing to late October or November as the likely timeline for the upgrade (any later could risk intersecting with the difficulty bomb). As such, in an upcoming meeting on Friday, developers are likely to finalize the EIPs to be included in the upcoming hard fork.
Aug-30-2018 12:49:21 PM