Ethereum Classic ‘Die Hard’ Fork Diffuses the Difficulty Bomb

Largest protocol change of Ethereum Classic further diverging from the Ethereum project

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The hard fork dubbed as ‘Die Hard’ is the largest protocol change of Ethereum Classic which further diverges the cryptocurrency from the Ethereum project. The ETC will fork soon as a bid to diffuse a ‘difficulty bomb’ in the code. All users require a software update which will disable a feature that made mining of rewards on the protocol difficult, and will introduce a shift to a new consensus algorithm.

This fork is set to occur on the 5,900,000 block and will eliminate ETC becoming unprofitable with the old reward system. Developer and director of ETC Cooperative, Anthony Lusardi believes the Ethereum Classic project is trying to differentiate after the split in 2017, by the removal of the design feature code blocking the rewards. During an interview, Lusardi stated about the proof of work;

“Proof-of-work seems to be the most decentralized approach currently to achieving consensus from what the majority of the community feels.”

Lusardi further mentioned the following later;

There’s a lot of new algorithms being proposed like proof-of-stake, delegated proof-of-stake and byzantine fault tolerance, and within our community we’re not convinced that these newer versions of consensus are any more decentralized and we’re somewhat afraid that they may be more centralized than say proof-of-work.

The decision by Ethereum Classic to maintain the proof-of-work system was a long thought idea. In 2016, following the fall of “The DAO” smart contract project initiated the original splitting of Ethereum and Ethereum classic blockchains. Later in January 2017, the Ethereum Classic made a fork to delay the bomb enabling more deliberation time.

The CTO of Ethereum Classic development team, Igor Artamonov stated the following;

“We didn’t know if we were going to move to proof-of-stake or stay with proof-of-work and there were a lot of discussions. We realized we didn’t have enough time.”

Cody Burns, an Ethereum classic developer agrees with this statement;

The entire premise is that you would put normal money into the system to buy a stake in it, and banks and large institutions have unfair amounts of capital compared to normal participants.

Unlikelihood of severe damage to Ethereum Classic

Usually, hard forks have negative impacts within the network to split in the case of miners failing to update the relevant software. In other cases, some users intentionally run with the old code. According to Lusardi, Burns and Artamonov there will be no big controversial factors nor technical issues with this hard fork.

The company launched the software update three months ago and nodes and miners have the updated code by now. There could be a possibility that exchanges are unaware of this fork, but as the developers see it will not be a big issue. However, it will still be a good idea to maintain control of private keys and not store those tokens on exchanges during the hard fork.

The developers point out the fork will result in lower time consumption to create a block. Burns predict the time estimation for creating a block;

Right now, we are on 26 minute block times on average, so this will take us back down to 14.

Unlike other hard forks, the network upgrade will neither create nor air drop any new coins. However, the diffusing of the bomb will probably go unnoticed drawing not much attention. Lusardi believes that they do not have very contentious forks.

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