Ethereum, like every other cryptocurrency, has suffered a great deal during the extended cryptocurrency winter. The price of the ETH token wasn’t the only thing affected as some developers on the Ethereum blockchain moved away from Ethereum to other new generation blockchains like EOS and Tron. Everything that has happened so far has been discouraging to the Ethereum community.
Ethereum Mining Rewards Reach Lowest Low
On another end of the continuum, the Ethereum developer mining community members are facing challenges as well. The report from Etherscan that was published on the 11th of February shows that Ether that is being generated during the mining process is at its lowest rate ever. The report stated that on the 10th of February, only 13,370 new tokens were mined. This shows that there is a sharp drop in the number of tokens that have been mined between December 2018 and February 2019. It is also significantly lower than its all-time high of 39 thousand which was reported in 2015.
Ethereum (ETH) Price Today – BTC / USD
While the decrease is discouraging to miners, it is not unexpected or unexplainable. Etherscan revealed that the Ethereum mining difficulty was increased and this led to a reduction in mining rewards which translates to a drop in the number of new Ether created. The decision to increase the difficulty bomb was made by the core developers of the Ethereum blockchain on the 31st of August 2018. They all agreed to include a code change in the Constantinople fork.
Dubbed the Ethereum ice age, the difficulty bomb is a mechanism that makes mining Ether using the popular proof-of-work consensus algorithm more difficult each time it is activated. The core developers dropped the difficulty bomb to discourage miners from mining using the PoW as they slowly transition into using the long-awaited proof-of-stake. The plan to move from PoW to PoS has been on for some time now. However, the core developers, on multiple occasions, delayed the implementation of the Constantinople upgrade which is meant to be part of the migration from PoW to PoS.
The Constantinople was rescheduled twice last year and once this year. By delaying the difficulty bomb, the mining difficulty reduces. This is why Constantinople has a feature known as thirdening. The thirdening feature will reduce the block rewards to 2 from 3 ETH. When this happens, the quantity of new Ether that will be created on a daily basis will increase again because creating blocks will become easier. The new date for the Constantinople upgrade is Feb 27 when the blockchain gets to block 7,080,000. As reported by smarttest.wpmudev.host, the last upgrade was delayed because a data security team discovered a vulnerability on the blockchain that would have allowed hackers to steal Ether during the upgrade.
A while ago, media outlets reported that the Ethereum Foundation was making plans to spend $15 million to develop Verifiable Delay Functions that would be used during the transition. However, last week, Ethereum’s the Foundation denied these allegations stating that it had no intentions to do that.
Do you think the Constantinople upgrade will be delayed again or it will finally happen on the 27th of February? Share your thoughts in the comment section.