Before the blows of the "bomb": because the race is about to alter the economy of Ethereum


Proposals continue to accumulate.

At the time of the press, a total of six proposals for ethereal improvement (EIP) emerged, each of which hoped to modify the code of the project before an imminent software update (scheduled for October) [19659002] Driving the debate is the so-called "trouble bomb", a piece of code stuck in the $ 45 billion platform that requires an ever-increasing amount of computing power to extract its blocks and unlock its rewards. As expected, the code would eventually push the blockchain into an "ice age", where no other blockage could be formed – that is, if left intact.

Originally added to facilitate a transition where ethereum would change the way participants on its blockchain comes to an agreement – migrating from bitcoin's pioneering proof-of-work algorithm to an alternative called proof-of -stake – the difficulty bomb is set to reactivate at the start of 2019.

Without stake test migration, now we need to take steps to delay the bomb – and reconfigure how prizes are awarded. ether to ensure that the incentives are aligned to adequately protect the blockchain.

But delaying the bomb brings its problems.

For one, it will make the blocks easier for miners to find, which means that the rewards of the ether (currently at 3 ETH) must be decreased along with the delay to ensure that the cryptocurrency is produced at the same speed .

However, because ethereum does not have a formal agreement on its rewards model – unlike bitcoin, whose code limits its creation to 21 million units – there are different perspectives on how much the offer should be reduced , and many ask for a further reduction (and some for an increase) of the amount of ether that is distributed to the miners.

Furthermore, having such a debate in a decentralized network involves further obstacles.

Users, for example, could vote on how many coins they own: a popular reporting method, but that has been criticized as too informal. But miners (individuals who dedicate computing power to software) are not guaranteed to take a vote.

It is worth noting that the debates on the model of indefinite emission of ethereum, as well as the bomb of difficulty, have emerged several times during the three of ethereum. history of the year.

As detailed by CoinDesk, it is a difficult subject because when it comes to monetary policy, miners and investors are opposed to one another, each asking for the opposite result in many cases.

As Lane Rettig, an ethereum developer, told CoinDesk:

"The postponement of the bomb is not particularly controversial, but the issue is controversial, but for this reason the whole thing is controversial. , you can not have one without the other. " [19659015] Together or separated?

Speaking at a central developer meeting on Friday, ethereum's communication officer, Hudson Jameson, suggested that a solution could come from the separation of the two mechanisms.

In a sense, he ws ants to solve each discussion in isolation, facing a problem before the other.

"I think that their decoupling would help us to create priorities, where we have one thing that is an economic and technical change and the other that is a pure technical change is not so controversial," said Jameson

Several developers have opposed this, stating however that the two problems are intrinsically linked to each other and require a combined solution.

However, several EIPs target the application separately – influencing the bomb or reward program – while others bind them together

Currently set up for activation in 2019, two proposals try to completely remove the bomb of difficulty: EIP 1240, which simply removes the bomb and EIP 1276, which tries to remove the bomb and alter the pay structure of ethereum, lowering the current emission of 3 ETHs per block to 2 ETH .

Two proposals want to delay the bomb: EIP 1234 and EIP 1227, tho Each takes a different approach to raise and lower the total emissions.

Two other proposals simply point to the issue rate: EIP 858 does not affect the difficulty bomb but reduces the reward to 1 ETH, and EIP 1276 wants to change the reward to 2 ETH.

Paying for Security

To complicate the discussion are the different opinions on how much users ethereum should pay for security (in fact that's how the developers see the blockchain rewards to begin with).

That's why, while the inflation rate of ether assures its resistance against attacks – preventing malevolent hash power from overwhelming the network – it is essentially a tax that comes directly from ETH holders, since the 39; inflation slowly decreases the value of their ETH over time.

Plans to limit the general issue with the imminent passing of consent to proof-of-stake, an update called Casper, have been under discussion for several years, however, the plan is now under discussion the change of consent is still several years away.

"If you rewind the past two or three years ago, when this bomb of difficulty was installed for the first time, the plan was that we will be on Casper by 2018. If it happened then the bomb would never have been a problem" , Rettig told CoinDesk

Similarly, the supply program has yet to be formalized.

Retting said: "Even with Casper, the issuance program, the prizes, the inflation, everything that has never been worked out, it has never been finalized, this is called the parameterization of Casper and it is much work in progress. "

Concerns from all sides

To complicate matters further, there are completely opposite developers in the debate on the difficulty bomb

For example, several developers claim that the trouble bomb should remain permanent – even if it was originally scheduled to last until Casper came into effect.

"Reduce the default effect of inaction as the most attractive option" Core ethereum developer Nick Johnson said in the meeting.

However, the proposal of Augur Mical Zoltu's developer (EIP 1240) suggests the exact opposite – the removal of the trouble bomb altogether. As for the proposal on a related forum, Zoltu claimed that developers they should fight against so-called "planned obsolescence" – or when software is programmed to become obsolete after some time – of the ethereum chain.

"As a consumer I have been bitten repeatedly by planned obsolescence and is now a commercial strategy that I actively seek to avoid," wrote Zoltu.

The dispute surrounding the difficulty bomb and the issue of ETH also led a group of miners to also speak

Miners using GPUs, a class of mining hardware that risks to be rendered obsolete because of the emergence of ASIC, they ask developers to take advantage of this opportunity to modify the underlying mining algorithm of ethereum. According to the miners of the GPU, in the absence of Casper, such a change would bring the blockchain to a more decentralized state.

As Casper developer Danny Ryan said in the developers' meeting on Friday:

"They have to be discussed at the same time, many people in the community want them to be discussed at the same time."

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