Ethereum Gray Glacier
The Ethereum developers recently announced there would be a delay in the “difficulty bomb.” The difficulty bomb is a mechanism that increases the difficulty level in the proof-of-work algorithm, triggering longer-than-normal block times.

The delay in the difficulty bomb has created concern that the Merge could also be delayed. The Merge is a process that will transition Ethereum to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network, and Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, had hinted that the Merge would happen in August this year.

Ethereum difficulty bomb delayed

Earlier this month, Ethereum developers noticed that the difficulty bomb slowed block issuance to noticeable levels. These developers decided to delay the bomb by 700,000 blocks, around 100 days, to give more time to conduct tests and be fully prepared for the Merge.

Ethereum’s core developer, Tim Beiko, opined that the difficulty bomb was a crucial process. It allowed people to make an informed decision about participating in the network. He added that the difficulty bomb was underrated and made it hard to fork the Ethereum.

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However, contrary to community concerns, Beiko does not believe that a delay in the difficulty bomb will have any major effect on the Merge timeline. Ethereum’s transition to PoS is a critical process as there is no real precedence about what could go right or wrong.

The Merge was slated for August, according to Buterin. However, it could not happen as expected, and predictions now have it that the process could be completed before the Ethereum DevCon conference in October. According to Beiko, only something “catastrophic” would prevent the Merge from happening before the end of the year.

The wait continues

The transition to a PoS has been on Ethereum’s roadmap since the network was launched in 2015. The Merge has been delayed severally, which could be attributed to the size of the Ethereum network, and the catastrophe it could cause if anything went wrong. Ethereum has a $140B market cap, and the network is home to some of the top Web 3.0 and crypto projects.

The Ethereum transition to PoS had been slated for 2019, but each time the Merge is around the corner, the developers push it ahead for several months. However, despite the issues, Ethereum recently completed the Ropsten testnet Merge. This was one of the crucial processes in facilitating the Merge.

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