Ethereum may go ahead with The Merge in September as the Grey Glacier hard fork successfully went live on Thursday at 6:54 am ET. So far, there have been no problems. This fork has been implemented to postpone the so-called “difficulty bomb” by about three months. A difficulty bomb is a mechanism to push the network to move away from proof-of-work (PoW) mining. It would have created havoc on the network’s ability to process transactions.
The Grey Glacier update aims to delay the difficulty bomb by about 100 days to September. This is around the time Ethereum developers anticipate The Merge upgrade will happen. The Merge will see Ethereum’s consensus mechanism shift to proof-of-stake – the largest protocol change in history. The PoS consensus mechanism is regarded as much more eco-friendly. It involves miners completing complex puzzles to validate transactions. This is a process that requires a lot of computer power and energy. In other words, PoS relies on a network of participants who are willing to stake a portion of Ethereum tokens.
The shift to PoS will tremendously decrease the amount of energy used on Ethereum. This is not the first time that Ethereum developers have pushed away from the difficulty bomb. Experts say that if it’s introduced abruptly or too quickly, the bomb can become problematic for Ethereum as it will dramatically slow block time on the network. Ethereum developers can take advantage of the delay as it gives them more time to run tests. They can ensure the merge runs smoothly.
Andrew Ashikhmin, the Ethereum core developer, had earlier shared that the decision to delay the bomb was looked at in early June during an Ethereum developers call. He said that it was the best option at that time.