Ethereum Developers Figured Out How To Defuse The So-Called “Difficulty Bomb”

Ethereum core developers must defuse a dangerous “difficulty bomb” this summer. If left uncontrolled, it may significantly slow down the network.

The difficulty bomb is an old piece of code that slows down mining on Ethereum, thus rendering it less profitable by significantly increasing the lag between the production of each block.

The so-called bomb was planted six years ago to determine devs to implement Ethereum 2.0.

Ethereum 2.0 moves the network from proof-of-work (PoW), a means of validating transactions via powerful mining computers, to a proof-of-stake method.

The proof-of-stake (PoS) method rewards users who pledge coins to the network, according to

At the moment, it takes thirteen seconds to mine a block on Ethereum at the moment.

However, if the bomb doesn’t get defused or at least delayed, estimates suggest that validating a block would take over twenty seconds by the end of the year.

Ethereum devs agreed on Friday on how many blocks are required to delay the bomb until December.

The estimate was introduced by James Hancock, an Ethereum core developer.

“The bomb’s always there, and we defuse it by turning the block time back just for the bomb,” he stated.

His proposal would delay the bomb by 9,700,000 blocks.

Tim Beiko, another Ethereum core dev, stated that developers dismissed a suggestion to delay the bomb to spring 2022, as he believes that it wouldn’t be necessary.

Devs hope that by December, the network will step up and grant Ethereum 1.0 communication with Ethereum 2.0. The process is known as the Merge.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.