Ethereum’s Eco-Redesign ‘Merge’ Could Go Live in August Unless a ‘Difficulty Bomb’ Detonates


Ethereum, the popular and widely traded blockchain, is currently undergoing a software overhaul, after which it would operate more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Preston Van Loon, a developer working on Ether 2.0, said that if everything goes according to their current plans, the “Merge” would be ready to launch in August this year. Developers are recoding Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mining protocol from its current Proof-of-Work (PoW) model. The Merge upgrade is expected to reduce Ethereum power consumption by 99%.

Speaking at a public event, Van Loon said Merge is almost ready. There are only a few trials left before entering the industry.

There are, however, fears of a “difficulty bomb” explosion that could further delay the launch of the Merge, which was originally scheduled to go live in June.

The “difficulty bomb” refers to the program encoded in the Ethereum blockchain that intentionally slows down the network, explained a CoinTelegraph report.

This feature was designed to encourage the transition from Ethereum to PoS by increasing the difficulty levels for miners so that they waste time mining on the previous PoW chain after using Merge.

If triggered, this difficulty bomb should introduce another update to delay its trigger. This will further extend Merge’s launch time.

“As far as we know, if all goes according to plan, August – that makes sense. If we don’t have to move [the difficulty bomb]let’s do it as soon as possible, ”added Van Loon.

In April, the Merge developers successfully tested the network using a phantom fork of the mainnet.

At the time, another Ethereum developer, Marius Van Der Wijden, called it a “huge success.”

Despite the positive test results, the launch of Merge suffered repeated delays.

Developers conduct extensive testing on Ethereum revamp as decentralized finance (DeFi) applications worth over $100 billion (roughly Rs. 7,61,110 crore) are supported on the blockchain and cannot be endangered.

While PoS mining operations use randomly selected miners to validate transactions, PoW mining needs a competitive validation method to confirm transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain. Therefore, PoW mining operations are more expensive to maintain.

Like Ethereum, Bitcoin also operates on the PoW mining model.

Recently, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried dismissed Bitcoin as a viable payment network option, blaming its energy-intensive PoW mining model.


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