Ethereum (ETH) Pushes Back Mining Freeze Once Again
The Berlin hard fork will probably be used to code another delay for the mining ice age.
Ethereum (ETH) may delay further its shift to proof-of-stake, as the Berlin hard fork will most probably be used to delay the “ice age” for miners. The decision arrives once again, despite promises that ETH would not be minable very soon.
Delays to the ice age have been taken up several times since 2016, as Ethereum’s network continued to exist with only slightly tweaked conditions. Now. the intended ETH 2.0 starts looking like a promise that may not materialize any time soon.
The Berlin hard fork, scheduled for June 2020, means there is at least a year and a half until the ice age - or a new decision to delay.
As Ethereum has established itself in the crypto ecosystem, and has added important and highly active contracts and tokens, the shift may be problematic. Vitalik Buterin, the project’s co-founder, has stated that ETH 2.0 should arrive seamlessly and not affect user experience.
However, the decision to upgrade to PoS may face a backlash from miners, and there is a chance that a double blockchain would be created. This would create immense problems for DeFi apps and the DAI dollar-pegged tokens, as two chains would give vastly different data and liquidity.
Already, the promises to usher in an ice age have affected miners. Hashing activity fell to a temporary low at the start of 2019, expecting the freeze to start coming into force. But the decision was delayed again. Now, there is a bit more certainty for miners that mining will be possible for around 18 months.
For now, there is no way to determine if ASIC miners would be powerful enough to create a split or sway the decision in any way.
But supporters of Ethereum ASIC-based mining have also spoken against the prolonged delay of PoS. Over the past three years, Ethereum developers have signalled that PoS is coming up very soon, hence the relatively low investment in ASIC or other specialized mining tools.
At the same time, Bitcoin (BTC) mining has boomed exponentially, based on a schedule of certainty. Ethereum, on the other hand, has seen its hashrate grow only gradually and tentatively, not going through another boom.
ETH traded at $182.62, on its usual volumes of $8.8 billion in 24 hours. The coin remains a basis for multiple pairs, and keeps its spot among the top 3 most actively traded assets.