Ethereum Developers Unanimously Agree to Delay the Difficulty Bomb
Ethereum developers have agreed to an emergency hard-fork just weeks after the Istanbul Gas Upgrade goes live next Saturday.
In a public discussion of ethereum developers and other non-dev participants, like marketers or miners, all attending were of the view the difficulty bomb is to be delayed.
There was discussion on whether to remove it completely or just delay it, with Alexey Akhunov, an eth dev who is meant to work on rent fees, stating “the risk/reward ratio from the usage of the difficulty bomb is not great so far.”
Eric Conner, a marketing employee at the Augur like betting dapp Gnosis, argued against removing it completely because he said there would be “community” pushback.
No one argued against a delay, with a discussion on inflationary issuance leading Tim Beiko of PegaSys, an offshoot of ConsenSys developing eth clients, to state:
“Just wanted to point out that this would be the first push back of the bomb without an issuance change.”
James Hancock, who describes himself as HardFork Coordinator, stated: “in my opinion we should not touch issuance again. With hashrate already decreasing, I am not confident we want to reduce paying for security any further.”
There was no discussion on why the hashrate has decreased exactly, with the answer being because price has fallen and price is subject to supply and demand.
As in ethereum’s supply keeps increasing, so demand has to increase at the same rate for price to remain stable. If demand remains stable, then price falls, and thus hashrate falls. If demand falls, then price falls probably to the square of two.
In ethereum’s case price has fallen some 90% since its peak, while the hashrate has not even halved.
That means ethereum was paying far too much for its security, and since where price is concerned hash still has room to fall 40%, it is arguably still paying far too much.
The “consensus” among the devs, marketers and miners participating in this discussion, however, was seemingly that of quickly removing the algorithmic difficulty increase while not touching issuance.
Wei Tang of Parity said: “for parity, bomb delay, bomb defuse or reward change will all just be simple json config change, so I think it should be alright for us to deploy it in a short period of time.”
While Hudson Jameson, an Ethereum Foundation employee in charge of eth devs public relations, said: “I like the mid-January idea. Gives us a lot of time to get nodes to update no matter their current state.”
Last time this year this same Hudson Jameson said the whole month of December had to be taken off, because holidays, so the then issuance reduction fork had to be pushed off to the very end of February as it happened.
Now that the protocol itself is reducing inflation , the holidays are off, any testnet requirement can be discarded, no need for audits, who cares if nodes upgrade or not, just go, go, go because “emergency” as devs now actually have to work to get the Proof of Stake out.
They had a dev call to discuss all this with it unclear what exactly was discussed because apparently there were some “technical problems” with sound and there have been no minutes out.
But it seems they’re rushing to get rid of any time pressure and to get rid of any reduction in inflation prior to bitcoin’s halvening in May.
Unlike in eth, that May halvening will almost for certain happen and miners or dapps/businesses will just have to take it because the protocol and the nodes set it, not some PR guys on some chatroom setting monetary policy without inviting public discussion because Gnosis users – people actually use that? – can’t wait ten seconds for their super important transaction even though bitcoiners are happy to wait ten minutes while enjoying a 10x market cap.
It’s not like those Gnosis devs should be working on second layers and the like so that people don’t have to wait one second, instead of splitting hair over 20 seconds or 30 seconds, but when they can pay marketers to hide their laziness, then why should they bother.
They. Obviously it’s ethereum holders that are paying these marketers and these miners and even these devs. Those ethereum holders made a pretty big point last time when they were snubbed in their demand to reduce issuance to 1 eth, instead of 2 as miners wanted and devs decided.
At the end those holders did reduce issuance to 1 eth and even less where the dollar price is concerned, hence this time miners are not really saying anything but now we have dapp marketers who think people actually use their dapp and those users can’t wait a mere ten seconds despite the ethereum network already being pretty congested and so demanding, fairly often, they wait quite a few minutes not seconds.