Ethereum’s Muir Glacier Upgrade Happening on Jan. 1, 2020
- Starting 2020 with a bang with the scheduled upgrade at block number 9,200,000
- The upgrade includes only one EIP 2384 – the difficulty bomb delay
- Nodes to upgrade before Dec. 30
Ethereum is ready to start 2020 with a bang as the team announced the scheduled upgrade at block number 9,200,000. It is currently predicted to occur on Wednesday 1, 2020.
Ethereum network nodes are meanwhile asked to upgrade before, Dec. 30, 2019 to account for the variable block times.
[IMPORTANT] Upgrade your nodes for the Muir Glacier upgrade happening on Jan. 1, 2020! See more here: https://t.co/hJRTHY9Gj1
— Ethereum (@ethereum) December 23, 2019
Exchanges, web wallet service, mobile wallet services or hardware wallets aren’t required to do anything. But the node operators and miners need to download the latest version of Ethereum client, Latest geth client (v1.9.9), Latest Parity client (v2.5.12-stable), Latest Besu client (v1.3.7), Latest Nethermind client (v1.2.6), Latest ethereumJS client (v4.1.2), and Latest Aleth Client (v1.8.0).
Just this month, Istanbul upgrade occurred and now within a month another one. Reportedly, the bomb was estimated to be unnoticeable until mid-2020 but it turned out to be wrong.
This upgrade has only one Ethereum Investment proposal (EIP) 2384, which is the difficulty bomb delay.
This will delay the difficulty bomb for another 4,000,000 block or about 611 days, which is the same approach like the one taken in the past.
There have been discussions about removing the difficulty bomb altogether from the network but due to a short frame of time, the core developers decided to move forward with this change.
As for the difficulty bomb, it is one piece of the difficulty retargeting mechanisms built into Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work algorithm. This mechanism maintains an average block time by manipulating mining difficulty required to mine a new block. If a block is too long or too short, it increases the difficulty accordingly.
The difficulty bomb itself separately adds to the difficulty and every 100,000 block the value of how much it adds is increased as well. But the amount is so small, it doesn't have any visible effect and because it is increasing very slowly it is known as “Ice Age”. But over time, “this will start making the chain bloated and more costly to use.”
Muir Glacier upgrade will be activated only on the Ropsten network and will be deployed on the testent and mainnet both on the same day.