Ethereum Classic Defuses ‘Difficulty Bomb’ with Hard Fork

The upgrade removed a feature that would have caused a network collapse

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31 May • 2 min
In Coins

Ethereum Classic (ETC) successfully completed a protocol upgrade on Tuesday, disabling a feature that would render mining increasingly unprofitable over time.

According to ETC Block Explorer data, the ECIP-1041 hard fork, in which all users had to update their software, has removed the so-called ‘Difficulty Bomb’ feature from the ETC network at block 5 900 000.

The ‘bomb’ was a component of the original Ethereum codebase, which in 2016 was split into Ethereum Classic and Ethereum (ETH). The feature was designed to exponentially increase the difficulty of mining to the point where it would become impractically slow, triggering the need of transition from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.

Unlike Ethereum, the ETC team has no plans to migrate to PoS and that is why the Difficulty Bomb needed to be removed to avoid a collapse of the network. If the feature had not been removed, mining would have become unprofitable by September 2018, according to developers’ estimates.

The hard fork has not resulted in any airdrop freebies to the community, nor has it led to the creation of new tokens. The update was performed solely with the aim to reduce the block mining time, which was around 26 seconds before the upgrade. The exercise took it down to around 14 seconds, the ETC Cooperative revealed on Twitter.


ETC Price

Deliberation on the ETC hard fork started in 2016, and due to the extensive discussions, the upgrade did not create any noticeable instability or price fluctuation in the currency.

The ETC price has been in a general downward trend since the massive price jump at the end of last year when the currency reached an all-time high of more than USD 45, and another peak of more than USD 42 in February. On Thursday morning (UTC), the token was relatively stable, trading at around USD 15.

Currently, Ethereum Classic holds the number 17 spot on Coins.Online, with a market capitalization of some USD 1.6 billion.