- Muir Glacier in the Ethereum blockchain, was activated on January 2, 2020.
- The difficulty bombs refer to a part of Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work algorithm to maintain a fixed block time for mining of a new block.
- To avoid issues with the Istanbul upgrade, the problems of sticky bombs had to addressed through Muir Glacier.
Muir Glacier, the latest up-gradation in the Ethereum blockchain, was activated on January 2, 2020, at block #9,200,000 having only one improvement proposal, EIP 2384. This EIP aims at delaying the difficulty bomb for another 4,000,000 blocks, in other words, for approximately 611 days.
The difficulty bombs became prevalent in the operations on October 5, 2019, at block 8600000 after which they decided to come up with this project.
The difficulty bombs refer to a part of Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work algorithm to maintain a fixed block time for mining of a new block. Although, in the beginning, the increment of difficulty bombs was so small that it did not affect the Ethereum operations. But over time, it gets accumulated, and this slow build-up is also called IceAge.
An increase in difficulty bomb results in a degradation in the networking of Ethereum as every procedure during the transaction takes longer throughout the networking system. EIP 2384 would accelerate exponentially every 100000 blocks.
There was two painful bomb delay that Ethereum network has undergone occurred in 2018 and 2019. The bomb’s fuse has got extended initially by 3 million blocks in the year 2018 Byzantium hard fork and the February 2019 Constantinople hard fork, the bomb’s fuse extended by another 2 million blocks.
To avoid issues with the Istanbul upgrade, the problems of sticky bombs had to addressed through Muir Glacier up-gradation as a separate one. Lately, there was a discussion about completely removing the difficulty bomb. Still, due to restraint in time to preserve short block times, the core developers committed to moving forward with the current up-gradation of EIP 2384.
Ethereum developer Pooja Ranjan said that Muir Glacier was the result of a miscalculation when planning Istanbul that took place after three weeks after the update Istanbul.
Muir Glacier upgrade will only be activated on the Ropsten network and would be deployed on the testnet at block number 7117117 while other testnets are kept unchanged. Since the Difficulty bomb upgrades do not activate poA chains, they will not use on Kovan or Gorli.