The difficulty bomb is intended to reduce the profitability of mining in order to scare off miners before the long-awaited merger.
The developers of the Ethereum network have decided to delay the difficulty bomb, a key step ahead of the long-awaited Merge update for the Tier 1 blockchain.
They set a delay of two months to “be sure to check all the numbers for sanity before choosing an exact delay and rollout time,” said lead developer Tim Beiko in a Sunday tweet.
The difficulty bomb will be a measure that will prevent Ether (ETH) miners from keeping their physical mining rigs running while the network transitions from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) transformation.
This makes it much more difficult for miners to verify transactions on the network, reducing the profitability of PoW miners. At some point, physical miners will not be able to verify the block. The complexity bomb is a feature of the network that was added to the code in 2016 when plans for a merger were formulated as a consensus layer (formerly known as Eth2).
According to some estimates, the transition to PoS should reduce the power consumption of the Ethereum network by up to 99.9%. Other PoS networks such as Polygon and Fantom Opera have negligible power consumption compared to other PoW networks.
While Beiko doesn’t mention it, the delay with the complexity bomb could lead to further delays to the merger itself, which is expected to happen in August 2022.
The Ropsten testnet on Ethereum recently completed its own successful PoS merger on Friday, which the developers described as the “first dress rehearsal” for the real merger.
Ethereum adoption continues to grow
Despite the ongoing bearish sentiment in the cryptocurrency markets, the Ethereum user base remains strong. Since December 2020, the number of daily transactions on the network, except for one day, has exceeded one million. Measuring daily transactions provides a simple and concise view of the total load the network is handling.
Daily transactions on Ethereum since 2015
The number of unique addresses is still increasing dramatically every month. The number of new unique wallets has not decreased since it first skyrocketed in December 2017. Currently, there are about 198 million unique wallets on Ethereum, which is 14.5 times more than on December 7, 2017.
Related: Ethereum price enters ‘oversold’ zone for the first time since November 2018
The price of ETH is down 6.8% along with most other cryptocurrencies in the last 24 hours and is trading at $1360 according to CoinGecko.