• Delaying the Ice Age: Ethereum Network Users Prepare for the Upcoming Arrow Glacier Upgrade

  • The Ethereum network will soon undergo a scheduled upgrade called “Arrow Glacier,” which aims to replicate the “Muir Glacier” upgrade. Essentially, Ethereum’s Arrow Glacier modifies the network’s Difficulty Bomb delay to June 2022. This will give the Ethereum network another six months before transitioning to the “Ice Age” proof-of-stake (PoS).

    Arrow Glacier Attempts to Delay Ethereum’s Ice Age

    The Arrow Glacier upgrade will be implemented at Ethereum block height 13,773,000, with the goal of postponing Ethereum’s Difficulty Bomb. The bomb mechanism has been in place since 2015, increasing the network’s mining difficulty over time. The end result will be the Ice Age, a period in time when the blockchain stops producing proof-of-work (PoW) blocks and becomes entirely reliant on proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus.

    The Difficulty Bomb was supposed to occur 4,000,000 blocks or 611 days after the network upgrade at Muir Glacier. Arrow Glacier, on the other hand, will push the bomb back to June 2022. This gives ethereum PoW miners another six months to mine the Ethereum blockchain before the June 2022 change. When the Difficulty Bomb occurs, the mining difficulty will cause PoW miners to be phased out because it will be too difficult.

    Arrow Glacier is expected to occur between now and December 8, 2021. “Like Muir Glacier, the Arrow Glacier network upgrade changes the parameters of the Ice Age/Difficulty Bomb, pushing it back several months,” Ethereum developers explain. “This has also been done in the network upgrades in Byzantium, Constantinople, and London.” Arrow Glacier does not introduce any other changes.” The announcement continues:

    Because the Difficulty Bomb only affects proof-of-work networks, it can only be found on the Ethereum mainnet and the Ropsten test network. With the recent progress towards Ethereum’s proof-of-stake transition, it was decided to only postpone the bomb on mainnet for the time being and to try to run the proof-of-stake transition on Ropsten before the bomb goes off on that network.

    Ethereum Hashrate Reached an All-Time High, Making Ether the Second-Most Profitable Coin to Mine in 2021

    While Ethereum network participants have been waiting for the Ice Age PoS transition for a long time, Ethereum miners have been enjoying the PoW incentives. Ethereum’s hashrate reached 1 petahash per second (PH/s) in the early morning hours of December 7. The recorded hashrate is the highest it has ever been, and Ethereum’s processing power is currently at 900 terahash per second (TH/s).

    Aside from kadena (KDA) mining, ethereum (ETH) mining is the second-most profitable cryptocurrency to mine today. A 1,500 megahash per second (MH/s) machine can earn around $91 per day at $0.12 per kWh and today’s ether exchange rates. Mining ethereum with the most profitable ether mining rig is 68.85% more profitable than mining bitcoin (BTC) with today’s best performing SHA256 bitcoin miner, which earns slightly more than $28 per day.

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