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Ethereum’s ‘Difficulty Bomb’ Delay Is Bad News for Revamp

  • Code feature is designed to help with Ethereum upgrade
  • Delaying it raises fears that the upgrade could take more time
Bitcoin ATM In Hong Kong
Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg
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Ethereum’s big transition to a more energy efficient system that developers have been promising for years could be kicked down the road yet again as they plan to delay a so-called difficulty bomb that’s designed to slowly boot miners off the blockchain.

The difficulty bomb, which is a special code that’s always been a part of Ethereum, swiftly increases the computing difficulty of mining the underlying token, eventually making it impossible to do so. When the bomb goes off and is allowed to run its course, it’s an indication that the days until the so-called Merge -- Ethereum’s switch to the proof-of-stake system for ordering transactions -- are numbered. In proof of stake, people stake coins to order the transaction, a process which is supposed to consume 99% less power.