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Ethereum Difficulty Adjustment

Ethereum Mining Difficulty Increased Significantly

Ethereum Mining Difficulty Increased Significantly

Ethereum mining difficulty increased significantly What is the reason of Ethereum's abnormal difficultyincrease? Open-source blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality, which facilitates online contractual agreements For the last 24 hours, Ethereum mining difficulty increased by20%. ETC mining difficulty is now almost 1208234552666986.0, this is all-time record. This situation can be caused by so called "Difficulty bomb impact". Distributed databasethat is used to maintain a continuously growing list ofrecords, calledblocks. How this will affect the price of ETC in the medium and long term we cannot know. Today, 10 of July, Ethereum lost about 6% in last 24 hours. Now it's $229. The Ethereum Ice Age is a difficulty adjustment scheme that was put in place to ensure that everyone has an incentive to move to the new blockchain once the hard-fork is implemented. It was introduced on the 7th of September (2015-09-07), about 11 months ago and it's programmed to raise difficulty exponentially. It's impossible for miners to keep up with the increase of difficulty which would raise block time and it would make the blockchain freeze, hencethe name Ice Age. Continue reading >>

The Mystery Behind Blocktime

The Mystery Behind Blocktime

Identity Evangelist, Author, Blogger, Developer, Blockchain Enthusiast, Senior Director of Security Architecture at WSO2, Apache WS Committer, Axis PMC Member Block time defines the time it takes to mine a block. Both in bitcoin blockchain and ethereum blockchain, there is an expected block time, and an average block time. In bitcoin, the expected block time is 10 minutes, while in ethereum it is between 10 to 19 seconds. Both bitcoin and ethereum, at the time of this writing use a proof of work based distributed consensus algorithm (ethereum is planned to move to a proof of stake based algorithm with its serenity release). The expected block time is set at a constant value to make sure, miners cannot impact the security of the network by adding more computational power. The average block time of the network is evaluated after n number of blocks, and if it is great than the expected block time, then the difficulty level of the proof of work algorithm will be reduced, and if it is less than the expected block time then the difficulty level will be increased. Thats the core design principle behind block time, but you will see as we proceed, how bitcoin and ethereum differentiate themselves from each other. The level of difficulty varies with the time, as per the following formula. It tries to evaluate the speed of the mining network and find out how much it deviates from the expected level. The expectation is to mine a block in 10 minutes. For example, if the average speed of mining the last 2016 blocks is 8 minutes then the new difficulty factor will be greater than one, so the current difficulty level will be increased. In case the average is above 10 minutes, then the factor will be less than 1 and the difficulty level will be decreased for the next 2016 blocks. The d Continue reading >>

Ethereum Ice Age - An Overview On The Upcoming Difficulty Adjustment

Ethereum Ice Age - An Overview On The Upcoming Difficulty Adjustment

The ethereum ice age is a codified difficulty adjustment, that was implemented as a failsafe, so as to ensure that the entire ethereum community, would be incentivized to accept new code modifications, that would allow for the functioning of a proof of stake consensus based algorithmic system. A hard-fork would need to be implemented for this purpose, in order for ethereum to move away from the currently in use, proof of work protocol. It was introduced on the 7th of September in 2015, almost 24 months ago, and was programmed to exponentially raise mining difficulty. There have been numerous proposals and suggestions since then, aimed at reducing the risk of a potential freeze of the entire network. However, due to the consistency and ease at which ethereum hard-forks are implemented, it may not end up proving that much of a problem in the long run. The metropolis hard fork might resolve the whole issue, by delaying the difficulty bomb . Ethereum classic has already solved the same conundrum, the ice age function was paused after the 3 millionth block. Although, it is a relatively simple concept, the present ice age/eth bomb confusion may be used by larger market participants for price manipulation, only time will tell whether this ends up being the case. A blockchain that is propelled by proof of work relies primarily on miners, who are often tasked with solving complex computations. These problems have to be moderately difficult, for the added security of the whole network and all of the accompanying chain transactions, but need not be overly difficult, so that the actual work can be verified by all of the participating network stakeholders. Proof of stake on the other hand, allows for the network to function by having blocks chosen in a deterministic (pseudo-random) Continue reading >>

What Is The Ethereum Difficulty Bomb?

What Is The Ethereum Difficulty Bomb?

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of speculation regarding Ethereums mining difficulty. This problem is known as the Difficult Bomb, and it poses a significant threat to the ecosystem. Or that is what most people think will happen if things ever come to such a point. Switching to proof-of-stake should make this a non-issue, though. Now is a good time to look at Ethereums difficulty bomb and what it could potentially mean for the network if left unchallenged. The Ethereum Difficulty Bomb Makes Mining Impossible It is important to understand the problem of the Ethereum difficulty bomb first and foremost. When Ethereum was first created, the developers had to create a consensus algorithm. Similar to Bitcoin, this consensus is achieved through mining in a proof-of-work environment. However, with the mining difficult going up over time, it could potentially create a problematic scenario. After all, it does not appear there will be ASIC-like mining hardware for Ethereum anytime soon. However, the Ethereum developers have come up with a different plan. From the outset, the plan was to make Ethereum mining impossible at some point in the future. This change will be introduced through an arbitrarily difficult block to mine, which will effectively create the difficulty bomb in question. As this difficulty bomb is activated on the network, the mining difficulty will skyrocket and eventually make Ethereum mining unfeasible and extremely unprofitable. Some people would expect this to be the end of Ethereum, but there is no reason to panic just yet. The goal is to switch over to a proof-of-stake algorithm before the Ethereum difficulty bomb can even become a problem. Right now, that PoS algorithm is still in development, albeit its completion appears to be imminent. Do Continue reading >>

Byzantium Hf Announcement

Byzantium Hf Announcement

The Ethereum network will be undergoing a planned hard fork atblock number 4.37mil (4,370,000), which will likely occur between 12:00 UTC and 13:00 UTC onMonday, October 16, 2017. The Ropsten test network underwent a hard fork on September 19th (UTC) at block number 1.7mil (1,700,000). A countdown timer can be seen at . Download the latest version of your Ethereum client: What if I am using a web or mobile Ethereum wallet like MyEtherWallet or Jaxx? Ethereum websites and mobile applications that allow you to store ether and/or make transactions are running their own Ethereum client infrastructure to facilitate their services. If you use a third-party web-based or mobile Ethereum wallet, your wallet provider may need to update for the hard fork. It is recommended that you check with them to see what actions they are taking to update for the hard fork and if they are asking their users to take other steps. A hard fork is a change to the underlying Ethereum protocol, creating new rules to improve the system. The protocol changes are activated at a specific block number. All Ethereum clients need to upgrade, otherwise they will be stuck on an incompatible chain following the old rules. What happens if I do not participate in the hard fork? If you are using an Ethereum client that is not updated for the upcoming hard fork, your client will sync to the pre-fork blockchain once the fork occurs. You will be stuck on an incompatible chain following the old rules, without replay protection against the main network. Old clients will be able to construct transactions, but will not be able to see the effects of those transactions. What is Metropolis, Byzantium, and Constantinople? Metropolis is a planned Ethereum development phase that includes two hard forks: Byzantium and Constan Continue reading >>

Ethereum 'difficulty Bomb' May Not Happen For Another Year Or Two - Bitsonline

Ethereum 'difficulty Bomb' May Not Happen For Another Year Or Two - Bitsonline

Ethereum Difficulty Bomb May Not Happen for Another Year or Two There will be another delay for Ethereum minings difficulty bomb and switch to a proof-of-stake (POS) network, developers say. The decision could affect miners economic decisions in the near future, such as how much to invest in equipment and how much hashing power to devote to ETH. Also read: Shanghai Authorities Halt Blockchain Event, but No Fears of Wider Crackdown Increased Difficulty Means Leaner Times for ETH Miners There will likely be a squeeze on Ethereum blocks and block rewards from now until a new update arrives in late September. Reports from an Ethereum developers conference call last week said the long-proposed POS implementation, called Casper, will still not be ready soon. Originally planned for late 2017, the roadmap could push Casper back to the end of 2018 or later. Moving to POS has long been part of Ethereums roadmap, though the exact timing is unknown. It would fundamentally change the network, removing all ETH mining activity as it currently exists. Ethereum currently mines using proof-of-work (POW) like Bitcoin, where powerful machines race to solve a complex math problem and receive block rewards. Ethereum blocks are mined roughly every 12 seconds (depending on difficulty) and the block reward is 5 ETH. The rapid rise in ETH value from around $8 USD at the start of 2017 to around $400 in June has seen a rush to mine the token . It has also created a worldwide shortage of GPU cards. Under a POS model, Ethereum would require no GPUs at all. The difficulty bomb is code inserted into Ethereum that increases POW mining difficulty exponentially in preparation for POS introduction. The period where it gets too difficult to mine at all is called the Ice Age and its already beginning. The Continue reading >>

Ethereum Developers Contemplate Delaying Difficulty Bomb By Another 1.4 Years

Ethereum Developers Contemplate Delaying Difficulty Bomb By Another 1.4 Years

Ethereum users and minersare well aware of how the mining difficulty is going up at an alarming rate. Mining Ether will eventually become virtually impossible due to the difficulty bomb. One way to counter this problem would be by switching over to proof-of-stake, which is what itsdevelopers are currently working on. However, a new EIP proposes to delay the difficulty bomb for another 18 months. This is aninteresting concept, but how does it work? On paper, it makes a lot of sense for the Ethereum developers to address the difficulty bomb soon. As the development for turning ETH into a PoS ecosystem is still underway, a temporary solution may be more than warranted. This is why there is a new Ethereum Improvement Proposal, or EIP, to address this situation before it becomes an insurmountable problem. This does not mean the switch to proof-of-stake will not happen, however. Ethereums developers have been working on the Metropolis hard fork for some time now. One of the main selling points of this hard fork is how it will transition Ethereum from a proof-of-work ecosystem similar to Bitcoin into a proof-of-stake ecosystem like many altcoins today. That is a lot easier said than done, and it will requirea significant rewriting of the code. This new PoS environment will also have to be properly tested before it is introduced on the live network. Development of the proof-of-stake environment is roughly 80% done, but it might not be readyin time for the difficulty bomb. That outcome seems highly unlikely, but it never hurts to have a contingency plan in place. This is why Vitalik Buterin and Afri Schoedon have come up with an alternative solution which pushes the difficulty bomb back an additional 18 months. This extension would allow miners to continue mining Ethereum, albe Continue reading >>

What Is The Ethereum Ice Age?

What Is The Ethereum Ice Age?

Ethereum is currently a Proof of Work cryptocurrency, meaning that computational power is needed, not only to produce new coinsbut to process transactions and to keep the entire ecosystem moving. In order to ensure the system is scalable and decentralized, Ethereum plans to move to a Proof of Stake protocol where a lot lesscomputational power is required and miners can earn rewards according to their balance. The Ethereum Foundation is still working on the Proof of Stake protocol, Casper. Since Casper is not finished and it's not contained in the release version of Ethereum a hard-fork might be required to implement this change. An hard-fork creates an incompatibility between the previous version and the latest, there is always the possibility to create a "split" that result in two blockchains, like Ethereum Classic , did on the 1920000th block, after the hard-fork to refund The DAO token holders took place . In order to ensure such event doesn't take place (although it did already) and to give themselves a time-frame to finish Casper (making the community aware of the introduction of a hard fork within that time-frame), a Difficulty Time Bomb, is also known as Ice Age was implemented in Ethereum. The Ethereum Ice Age is a difficulty adjustment scheme that was put in place to ensure that everyone has an incentive to move to the new blockchain once the hard-fork is implemented. It was introduced on the 7th of September (2015-09-07), about 11 months ago and it's programmed to raise difficulty exponentially. It's impossible for miners to keep up with the increase of difficulty which would raise block time and it would make the blockchain freeze, hencethe name Ice Age. The key part is the calculation for the increase in difficulty is Math.pow(2,Math.floor(block.number / 10 Continue reading >>

Ethereum Difficulty Historical Chart

Ethereum Difficulty Historical Chart

btc eth bch ltc dash btg xmr etc zec doge vtc ppc ftc nmc rdd blk aur nvc qrk mec bat btg bcc emc2 sc dgb nav sys pot vrc via kore wc dope cloak xwc icn unb ptc grc bela xst slr enrg efl trust btcd net rby uno btcs air sxc moon trc mint pxc bost grn hbn wdc cat super zet qtl utc plc xpy bits top cc nyan arg fire uro con hal Continue reading >>

Ethereum's Difficulty Bomb: All Smoke, No Fire? - Coindesk

Ethereum's Difficulty Bomb: All Smoke, No Fire? - Coindesk

Ethereum's Difficulty Bomb: All Smoke, No Fire? Sometimeinthe future(we can't be certain when), ethereum will likely switch from its proof-of-work consensus algorithm to Casper, a proof-of-stake system its developers are now in the throes of completing. While this may sound like a slight change to those who are unfamiliar, altering this one parameter will have an outsized effect.When the protocol change happens, the ethereum blockchain will hard fork, meaning that, for a short period of time, two networks the old and new will exist simultaneously. At that point, the goal for ethereum will be to persuade the majority of its users to upgrade to thenew proof-of-stake-powered blockchain. Otherwise, ethereum risks winding up creating another blockchain, as it did when a past technical update created ethereum classic . On the surface of things, getting the companies that use the ethereum network to switch should not be a problem. After all, proof of stake promises to be faster and more scalable, and to consume far less energy than proof of work. To most of the ethereum community, Casper sounds like a great deal. Unless, of course, you are a miner. That's because proof of stake doesnt rely on mining. Rather, it gives the job of creating the next block to those who own tokens on a blockchain a move that essentially puts miners out of a job . But, two things could go wrong with ethereum's big switch. One would be if Casper does not work as planned. In this case, ethereum could simply delay the switchover. The second is if miners continue mining the old chain. But ethereum has always had a plan for that something called the 'difficulty bomb'. Baked into ethereum shortly after the network launched, the difficulty bomb was created to make mining a block increasingly difficult over Continue reading >>

Mining - How Does The Ethereum Homestead Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Work? - Ethereum Stack Exchange

Mining - How Does The Ethereum Homestead Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Work? - Ethereum Stack Exchange

How does the Ethereum Homestead difficulty adjustment algorithm work? From From EIP 2 , the Homestead difficulty adjustment algorithm is: block_diff = parent_diff + parent_diff // 2048 * max(1 - (block_timestamp - parent_timestamp) // 10, -99) + int(2**((block.number // 100000) - 2)) where // is the integer division operator, eg. 6 // 2 = 3, 7 // 2 = 3, 8 // 2 = 4. (This question was prompted by the question What was the first block mined with Homestead? ) If the timestamp difference (block_timestamp - parent_timestamp) is: < 10 seconds, the difficulty is adjusted upwards by parent_diff // 2048 * 1 10 to 19 seconds, the difficulty is left unchanged >= 20 seconds, the difficulty is adjust downwards proportional to the timestamp difference, from parent_diff // 2048 * -1 to a max downward adjustment of parent_diff // 2048 * -99 This is consistent with the statement from ethdocs.org - Ethereum Homestead - The Homestead Release : EIP-2/4 eliminates the excess incentive to set the timestamp difference to exactly 1 in order to create a block that has slightly higher difficulty and that will thus be guaranteed to beat out any possible forks. This guarantees to keep block time in the 10-20 range and according to simulations restores the target 15 second blocktime (instead of the current effective 17s). And from Ethereum Network Status , the average block time currently is 13.86 seconds. block_diff = parent_diff + parent_diff // 2048 * max(1 - (block_timestamp - parent_timestamp) // 10, -99) + int(2**((block.number // 100000) - 2)) where // is the integer division operator, eg. 6 // 2 = 3, 7 // 2 = 3, 8 // 2 = 4. can be broken down into the following parts: Sub-formula B - The difficulty bomb part, which increases the difficulty exponentially every 100,000 blocks. The difficulty Continue reading >>

Metropolis: Byzantine, The First Part Of Ethereums Planned Hard Fork, Activates October 17

Metropolis: Byzantine, The First Part Of Ethereums Planned Hard Fork, Activates October 17

Recently the first part of the Metropolis hard fork launched on Ethereums Ropsten testnet. On October 17, the hard fork is scheduled to go live on main net. To stay part of the network, every user has to update their client. But what does Metropolis actually change? Is the hard fork a big hit or does it disappoint against the high expectations? On October 17, Ethereum will reach the third stage of its life cycle. After passing Frontier and Homestead, another hard fork will ring in the Metropolis era. The first part of the hard fork will activate some changes, which are not as fundamental as expected, but will significantly change Ethereum nevertheless. On the Ropsten testnet, the hard fork already happened on September 25. On main net, the upgrade is scheduled to activate at block 4,370,000. When this happens anticipated during the morning of October 17 every client must have upgraded. Those which havent will be cut off from the network. The original plan was to transform Ethereum from proof of work to proof of stake. Such a transition would have fired the miners with their graphic cards and replaced them with investors, which stake with their coins. A radical transformation of the basic design of Ethereum will not happen with Metropolis. The developers postponed it to the fourth and last phase of Ethereum, Serenity, to keep the Metropolis hard fork closer to the ground. To coordinate the fork better, it was split in two parts; Byzantine and Constantinople. The first part, Byzantine, is what is in line. But what will it have inside? We will take a look at the changes, one by one, and try to decrypt them. Currently the Ice Age algorithm still increases the mining difficulty exponentially. This can be seen in the statistics of the network; the minting of new ether decrea Continue reading >>

Update On Ethereum Metropolis From Core Dev Meeting

Update On Ethereum Metropolis From Core Dev Meeting

Update On Ethereum Metropolis from Core Dev Meeting The Ethereum core dev team has issued updates on the Metropolis hard fork including updates to Ice Age. The block time increase will be rolled out in increments. The recent announcement of the Metropolis upgrade to Ethereum has driven the Ethereum price up over $325 again. However, a multitude of questions surfaced regarding the nature of the fork, if it would create a new cryptocurrency, and the Ethereum Ice Age. A statement from the core dev team has clarified some of those questions for users and laid out a more specific roadmap for the Metropolis hard fork. The first announcement of the hard fork included the expectation that the fork would occur by the end of September. However, the latest release indicates that the hard fork will actually be split into two hard forks - Byzantium and Constantinople. The Byzantium portion of Metropolis is being prepared. The benchmarks for gas costs will be completed in the next 7-10 days, and once clients have completed the implementation of the Byzantium EIPs, the fork will be installed on the Ropsten Testnet that will run for two to four weeks. The block number for the fork will occur after block 4.3 mln on Sept. 22nd and prior to block 4.4 mln on Oct. 27th. The block time increase (often termed the Ethereum Ice Age) will be rolled out in increments. These will follow the pattern: Vitalik Buterin posted the following graph on Twitter to give clarity to the progress: Ethereum difficulty adjustment, and how it reacts to various network stresses. pic.twitter.com/RRqrj2FexC Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) August 26, 2017 More on the Difficulty Bomb can be found here . The Metropolis testing team has been increased from three to seven in order to speed up the testing process. The Continue reading >>

How Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Works In Ethereum

How Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Works In Ethereum

How Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Works in Ethereum In order to explain the logic of difficulty adjustment, we will use the go implementation of Ethereum which is generally called Geth. Source code of Geth can be found here. Difficulty adjustment algorithm is coded inin block_validator.go file, which can be found here. By difficulty adjustment we mean the logic in Ethereum using which Ethereum tries to keep mining time of the blocks between 10 to 19 sec. If difference in mining time is between 0 to 9 sec. then Geth tries to increase the difficulty to mine the block and if difference is 20 sec. or more, then Geth tries to reduce the mining difficulty of the system. In block_validator.go file, function CalcDifficulty is called to adjust the difficulty of the system and it returns the difficulty of the next block when it will be created. This function, in return, calls calcDifficultyHomestead or calcDifficultyFrontier depending on the configuration parameters. Latest version of Ethereum uses calcDifficultyHomestead function, therefore we will be reviewing calcDifficultyHomestead function. In order to calculate the difficulty of the new block, this function needs following input parameters: time Proposed time of formation of new block parentTime Time of formation of parent Block parentNumber Parent block, block number. Below is step by step process how difficulty of new block gets created. 1. First, difference between time of formation of parent block and new block is calculated. 2. Output of step 1 is then divided by 10 and integer of it is stored. This is done to create ranges. If output of step 1 is between 1 9 then output of this step will be 0. If output of step 1 is between 10 19 then output of this step will be 1. If output of step 1 is between 20 29 then output o Continue reading >>

Change Difficulty Adjustment To Target Mean Block Time Including Uncles #100

Change Difficulty Adjustment To Target Mean Block Time Including Uncles #100

Currently, the formula to compute the difficulty of a block includes the following logic: adj_factor = max(1 - ((timestamp - parent.timestamp) // 10), -99)child_diff = int(max(parent.difficulty + (parent.difficulty // BLOCK_DIFF_FACTOR) * adj_factor, min(parent.difficulty, MIN_DIFF)))... If block.number >= METROPOLIS_FORK_BLKNUM, we change the first line to the following: adj_factor = max(1 + len(parent.uncles) - ((timestamp - parent.timestamp) // 9), -99) adj_factor = max((2 if len(parent.uncles) else 1) - ((timestamp - parent.timestamp) // 9), -99) This new formula ensures that the difficulty adjustment algorithm targets a constant average rate of blocks produced including uncles, and so ensures a highly predictable issuance rate that cannot be manipulated upward by manipulating the uncle rate. The formula can be fairly easily seen to be (to within a tolerance of ~3/4194304) mathematically equivalent to assuming that a block with k uncles is equivalent to a sequence of k+1 blocks that all appear with the exact same timestamp, and this is likely the simplest possible way to accomplish the desired effect. Changing the denominator from 10 to 9 ensures that the block time remains roughly the same (in fact, it should decrease by ~3% given the current uncle rate of 7%). (1b) accomplishes almost the same effect but has the benefit that it depends only on the block header (as you can check the uncle hash against the blank hash) and not the entire block. Continue reading >>

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