It’s a big year for Ethereum (ETH-USD). Since launching in 2015, the network has been chugging along as the largest and most notable layer-1 dapp network in the world. Yet, while it has enjoyed this status, users have been wanting something more. Now, ETH stands to deliver that something — an update bigger than anything the market has seen. This week, developers are delivering on a crucial piece of this upgrade. ETH crypto holders should be excited.
Of course, the big development in question is the Merge upgrade. Teased for years now, the Merge will be a major reconstruction of Ethereum. Most notably, it will rid the network of its proof-of-work consensus mechanism, which has been criticized especially as more people learn how energy-intensive crypto mining practices are.
The Merge upgrade will replace this consensus mechanism with a “greener” proof-of-stake alternative. In doing so, the upgrade will also vastly improve the network’s performance; transaction times will be fractionalized and gas fees will drop in price. Further plans to introduce data sharding technologies will only help the network expand this performance, too.
An upgrade of this size does not come without setbacks, however. Over the last two years, the Merge has experienced several delays. Most recently, developers announced that the rollout of the upgrade will be bumped from June to the end of summer. With this latest delay, ETH developers have to address the “difficulty bomb” one more time.
ETH Crypto Upgrade Slated for June 30
Long-time ETH crypto holders are probably familiar with the difficulty bomb. It’s something that comes up every time the Merge sees another delay. With developers forcing this (hopefully) final delay, they have to address the bomb one more time.
The difficulty bomb is a piece of code in the Ethereum protocol. Developers placed the bomb there when the network first launched. These developers always planned for a pivot to proof-of-stake down the line, so the difficulty bomb is how they ensured they would get it done. Once the Ethereum blockchain reaches a specific block determined by the bomb, it “detonates.” When this happens, mining activity becomes infinitely harder, making it impossible to mine more blocks.
The Gray Glacier upgrade, expected to occur June 30, will see developers delay the detonation of this bomb. This will give them time to finally release the Merge upgrade. It’s a relatively minor update, but it’s still exciting for ETH crypto investors who are getting restless.
As ETH crypto holders await the Gray Glacier upgrade, ETH prices continue to dip. Today, the coin is falling by over 4%.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.