The difficulty bomb is aimed at reducing mining profitability to discourage miners ahead of the much-awaited Merge.
Ethereum Difficulty Bomb to Dicentivise Miners on Its Network
Ethereum network developers have made the decision to defer the difficulty time bomb, which is a major step towards the anticipated Merge of the layer-1 blockchain.
The delay was set to two months to help with sanity checking all numbers before picking the perfect time for delay and time deployment, according to a tweet from Tim Beiko, a core developer with Ethereum.
The difficulty bomb will be used as a tool to help disincentivise mining programs on the Ether network as the blockchain shifts from proof of work (POW) to proof of stake (POS) consensus protocol. It will intensify the difficulty for miners to verify the transactions, making it unprofitable for them. Ultimately, miners will be unable to validate blocks. The difficulty bomb feature was added in 2016 when the Ethereum team started planning for the Merge.
Transitioning to POS should cut down Ethereum’s network’s energy use by up to 99.9%. Other common proof of stake networks, such as Fantom and Polygon, already return impressive power use conservation compared to POW networks.
Although Beiko does not mention this, the delay for difficulty time bomb can easily result in the Merge delay, which is expected to happen in August 2022. Recently, the Ropsten testnet was completed successfully, with developers referring to it as the first dress rehearsal for the actual Merge.
Ethereum Adoption Still Growing
Even with the current strongly bearish crypto market, the Ethereum user base is very strong. The daily transaction on the Ethereum network has remained over one million except for one day since 2020. The measurement for daily transactions provides a simple, yet accurate view of what the network handles.
The number of unique addresses on the Ethereum blockchain is increasing steadily every month. Since the spike reported in December 2017, there has not been any slowdown in the number of unique wallets on Ethereum. Now, there are about 198 million unique wallets on the blockchain, which is approximately a 14.5 times increase since 2017.