Ethereum Classic Announces Successful Hard Fork, Defusing the “Difficulty Bomb”

Ethereum Classic Announces Successful Hard Fork, Defusing the “Difficulty Bomb”

In an exciting news for the Ethereum Classic (ETC) holders, the developers behind the digital currency, announced they have eliminated the “difficulty bomb” within its network. It was a feature of the original ethereum blockhain (which went on to split into ethereum classic and ethereum), designed specifically to increase the mining difficulty to a point where it is so slow, it is not even profitable anymore.

The hard fork, removing the “difficulty bomb” was implemented on block 5,900,000. This will not result in a creation of another token, as is the case in most other hard forks. There were no reports of bugs or any faults within the Ethereum Classic blockchain in the hours following the hard fork. Reports also suggest, the time to create an ETC block will be reduced as a result of it.

The point of installing such obstacle was to enforce the need to switch from the current energy-intensive Proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm to the Proof-of-stake (PoS) system. This disagreement was one of the main factors of the original ethereum hard fork back in 2016.

Following the DAO project hack, the ethereum community split into two camps – the majority were in favour of a hard fork in order to return the lost funds to ethereum users. However, another significant group within the ethereum community felt that blockchain should never be tampered with. Both sides could not reach an agreement and eventually hard fork remained as the only viable option, which resulted in the birth of ethereum and ethereum classic.

Ethereum is currently in initial stages of moving to a hybrid PoW/PoS consensus model, dubbed Casper. PoS algorithm determines the creator of a new block by the size of his stake, thus the traditional mining is completely eliminated. However, ethereum classic proponents claim that PoW is the most decentralized way to achieve consensus over block validation and plan to stick with PoW. Additionally, PoW systems require their miners to constantly invest in hardware and thus in the blockchain itself.

However, a significant issue of the PoW algorithm is its security. We have already reported on the Brazilian researcher, who estimated that it would only cost $55 million to conduct a “51% attack” on Ethereum Classic, which would result in profits of over $1 billion. Recently there has been an abundance of attacks on PoW-based virtual currencies, including Bitcoin Gold, Verge and MonaCoin.

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