As we reported earlier this week, Ethereum Classic developers have sought to disable a ‘difficulty bomb’ that would render mining increasingly unprofitable over time. Now, as the result of a successful network upgrade, the popular altcoin has committed itself to Proof of Work mining.
The fork in question – ECIP-1041 – occurred at block 5,900,000. The update effectively removes the network’s ‘Difficulty Bomb’, which would have increased mining difficulty ahead of a planned transition to Proof of Stake protocols.
The decision has been mulled for several months, as discussions as to whether Ethereum Classic would maintain its proof-of-work system began in 2016. Accordingly, the Ethereum Classic community elected to postpone the bomb in late 2017.
While Ethereum plans to usher in its planned ‘Casper’ consensus change and adopt proof-of-stake, the news effectively means that Ethereum Classic will commit to proof-of-work mechanics for the foreseeable future.
Ethereum Classic proponents have issued their belief that proof-of-work systems resist centralization (and hence, censorship) thanks to the fact that miners must continually invest in new hardware. Conversely, it is believed that nothing could prevent – nor change – a participant attaining economic majority in a proof-of-stake system.
The upgrade, which has now concluded, will not result in the creation of a new cryptocurrency. Miners, however, may stand to benefit from the move – once Ethereum has transitioned to a proof-of-stake system, Ethereum Classic could stand to benefit from the hashpower presently mining ETH.
Ethereum Classic has depreciated by 0.05% day-on-day. At press time, the altcoin trades at $15.36 USD.