Another Ethereum hard fork is imminent but not all clients are ready for it. New Year lethargy has left many still unprepared for Muir Glacier which may affect Ethereum’s performance.
Ethereum Forks Again
At the time of writing the Muir Glacier upgrade is less than two hours away according to the countdown to block 9200000. The upgrade will use the Ethereum Improvement Proposal 2384 to delay the difficulty bomb.
In essence, this mechanism has been hardcoded to maintain an average block time by adjusting the mining difficulty required to produce new blocks. The difficulty bomb incrementally adds to the mechanism every 100000 blocks until it ‘freezes’ in what is known as an Ice Age.
According to the EIP notes the slowing down was already noticeable in October when block times started to increase. Muir Glacier will delay the difficulty bomb for another 4 million blocks or roughly 600 days until around July 2021 which block times will creep up again.
There will be no issuance reduction during this upgrade as there was with…