Ethereum Classic Freezes 'Difficulty Bomb' With 'Diehard' Fork

Ethereum classic just forked again, putting in place a change that delays a so-called "difficulty bomb" on the network.

AccessTimeIconJan 13, 2017 at 11:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:59 p.m. UTC

Ethereum classic just forked again.

Though hard forking can be a particularly contentious way of upgrading open blockchains (particularly since it can split the network if not all miners decide to update), the developers behind the project are calling the effort a success thus far.

Ethereum classic developer Arvicco noted on social media that the mining hashrate is stable on the network and transactions are being transmitted normally.

Named "Diehard" after the 1980s action film, the fork packages together a few changes, including a tweak to address denial-of-service attacks that slowed down ethereum classic and its sister blockchain, ethereum, last fall.

Yet it's one of the other upgrades included in the release that could further differentiate the blockchain from ethereum, which it split from in August over a difference in direction following the collapse of The DAO.

delays the so-called "difficulty bomb", originally added to ethereum's code in September 2015 in order to exponentially increase the difficulty of mining, or the competitive process by which new transaction blocks are added to the network.

The idea was to encourage the ecosystem to switch from the existing proof of work framework to a different consensus algorithm known as proof of stake. Ethereum classic is delaying the "bomb" by one year in part to give more stakeholders more time to decide which consensus algorithm to pursue.

"The outcome of it was that delaying the bomb leaves the community with [the] most open options towards [a] long-term choice of consensus mechanism," Arvicco said, noting that startup IOHK has been working on a possible proof of stake/proof of work hybrid.

On the other hand, some in the community seem unhappy that they weren't offered a chance to vote on the decision to hard fork.


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