Block times on the ETH network have been increasing due to the difficulty bomb.
There of course is a possibility of another bomb delay, this has happened in the past when the bomb started to take effect, yet merge wasn’t quite ready.
ETH developers will have to decide if the bomb is here to stay, or if they will delay once again.
We believe it is here to stay, with Ropsen test-net being merged to PoS last week. Any further delays would most likely be due to unforeseen issues or bugs found during testing.
Ethereum miners doing their profit calculations have to consider this change in block time, as most calculators use the default block time of about 12-14 seconds.
This means new blocks are being generated about every 14-17 seconds. This is expected to continue increasing. Difficulty will then exponentially increase once the bomb “blows up”.
The post here from Tim Beiko, ETH developer, describes the difficulty bomb targeting June 2022.
Below is a graph showing ETH network difficulty, currently sitting near 15P.
To compare, here is the ETH hashrate over the same timeframe.
Ethereum miners should be preparing for when ETH is no longer a viable cryptocurrency to mine. Smart miners will keep an eye on the block time, and difficulty to know when it is time to make the switch.
Some, of course, may not return to mine other cryptocurrencies.
We have chosen to mine Ethereum Classic to accumulate as many coins as possible. Our goal is to grow the pool large enough to be able to fund things needed within the ETC community, such as decentralized liquidity pools: https://hebeswap.com/ or https://swap.ethereumclassic.com/
The great news is that ETC is virtually reverse compatible with ETH. Meaning the Classic community can build off of and use many tools and services created originally only on the ETH blockchain.
Solidity and the EVM have grown to dominate the smart contract world. Ethereum Classic community has shown to be very supportive of backwards compatibility with ETH in terms of compiler and contract specific gas limit issues, and EVM structural change issues.
This means developers are generally able to switch to ETC without any changes to their code.
What are your thoughts on The Merge? Which coins will you be mining?