Cryptocurrency enthusiasts of Bitcoin have been concerned lately over the halvening of the mining rewards, even though this milestone is not expected to be reached for over a year. However, this focus has left everyone’s backs turned to Ethereum. Recent information collected from Etherscan reveals that the mining rewards have reached an all-time low for Ethereum, which is bad news for their own minders.
On February 10th, the recording of new ETH created was almost 7,000 less than the month before. The platform reached its highest level in July 2015 at over 39,000. However, data from Etherscan shows that the sudden drop in newly mined ETH has much to do with the increased difficulty that miners must sustain in order to mine Ethereum now.
In September, it was revealed that Ethereum core developers decided to delay a “difficulty bomb,” as they caused it. To do so, the platform chose to include a code for that change in the Constantinople hard fork, which was delayed several times. This difficulty bomb, also referred to as an “ice age” for Ethereum, makes it harder to mine through Proof-of-Work protocols.
The point of this implementation was to keep miners from continuing to work on the chain after Ethereum chose to use a Proof-of-Stake algorithm in its place. The difficulty bomb was delayed as the PoS implementation was delayed, as developers decided to keep it connected to the Constantinople hard fork. However, the delay makes it easier for miners to mine in the meantime.
Unfortunately, miners have to prepare for a “thirdening” that will happen with Constantinople. Not only will miners have a harder time with mining overall, but their rewards will be cut down from 3 ETH to 2 ETH. Considering that the current price of ETH is about $122, this is a loss of over $100. However, creating more blocks each day will become easier.
The upgrade will not happen until block 7,080,000 posts. Based on the predictions on the ConsenSys blog post, it should be mined by February 27th.