Ethereum network has recently introduced the Arrow glacier upgrade. This is going to mimic their previous Muir Glacier upgrade. This upgrade is going to get implemented at an Ethereum block height of 13,773,000. The Muir upgrade, though, happened on the Ethereum block height 9,200,000 in January 2020. The Muir glacier actually delayed the Difficulty bomb for 611 days or approximately 4,000,000 blocks.
Here Difficulty bomb implies a piece of difficulty retargeting mechanism that is incorporated into Ethereum’s Proof of Work. This suspends the performance of the Ethereum network in the following manner:
- This difficulty bomb adds to each difficulty, and after every 100,00 blocks that it does, it increases the value of how much it has been able to add.
- In the beginning, the amount is very small, and there seems to be no effect on the block times, but later, it continually increases for a long time, where this increment becomes exponential in nature.
- The difficulty bomb is also known as the ice age as it shows a slow build-up and then freezes suddenly.
- The difficulty bomb causes an increase in the block times for the network
- This causes a degradation in the usability of Ethereum as it waits for confirmation of the transactions
- This difficulty bomb affects the PoW networks only, and it exists only on the Ethereum mainnet and Ropsten test network.
- The Ropsten test network allows blockchain development before it is deployed on the network
- This bomb has been a part of this network since 2015
- It increases mining difficulty with time
- This will cause the ice age when it would completely stop PoW production. It will also become 100% reliant on PoS or proof of stake consensus
- The Arrow glacier upgrade is going to target all these problems
- It is going to change the parameters of the Difficulty bomb and push it several months back as the Muir glacier
- This new upgrade can push the Ice age by June 2022
- That will give Ethereum network another six months till it completes the ice age Proof of stake change.