The Ethereum network underwent an upgrade on December 6 following the release of the Arrow Glacier update. For a long time, Ethereum has been in the news for wanting to change its blockchain model. While the present Ethereum blockchain works on the proof-of-work mechanism, eventually, it will change to the proof-of-stake mechanism.
In recent years, the proof-of-work mechanism has come under fire for being incredibly inefficient in terms of energy consumption. The Arrow Glacier update will play an important role in the mechanism transition, and it’s believed that it will be followed up by the Ice Age update to complete the transition.
The Arrow Glacier update will delay the pace at which the ‘difficulty bomb’ is triggered. A difficulty bomb can be defined as a code set that manipulates the mining difficulty, i.e. the difficulty to mine a block on the blockchain. The block time determines the mining difficulty level. After 100,000 blocks are mined, the ‘difficulty bomb’ makes it more difficult to mine further blocks.
Confused? Let’s make things simple. At a particular block number, the ‘difficulty bomb’ will increase the proof-of-work algorithm’s puzzle difficulty. As a result, block times become longer, and miners are rewarded with fewer ether (ETH).
Ethereum blockchain developers had initially put the ‘difficulty bomb’ in place to buy themselves time for fully transitioning to the proof-of-stake mechanism. Without it, transitioning to the new mechanism would have been impossible.
Once the Arrow Glacier network upgrade is fully implemented, it will result in a more secure, sustainable, and scalable Ethereum 2.0 network. The proof-of-stake model is set to reduce Ethereum’s environmental impact by a whopping 99%.