- The upgrade has lowered block time from 21 seconds to 12 seconds
- Miners will now earn lower fees but developers will enjoy more efficiency
The average block time on the Ethereum blockchain has reduced to a lower level of 12.5 seconds down from 21 seconds per block following last week’s Constantinople upgrade, as the difficulty bomb was delayed for at least 12 months. The hash rate, which has been relatively stable in the last few weeks, has now fallen, meaning it’s more difficult for miners to locate blocks resulting in reduced mining.
Delay Caused By Discovery of a Bug
The long-awaited Ethereum hard Fork Constantinople aka St. Petersburg finally happened at approximately 19:52 UTC on February 28, 2019, at block number 7,280,000. The hard fork was originally slated for January 16, 2019, at block 7,080,000 but was postponed at the last minute following the discovery of a vulnerability that would have allowed re-entry in the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1283.
The Zurich-based blockchain security company ChainSecurity unearthed the critical bug on one of the components of the upgrade EIP 1283, which was meant to introduce a better way to monetize data storage changes would have left smart contracts open to attacks.
The upgrade dubbed Ethereum 2.0 is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that is designed to allow a more significant number of Transactions per Second (TPS) on lower energy consumption.
Miners Rewards Will Become 2 ETH Instead Of 3ETH
One of the changes, which have been christened is going to result in the third reduction in the mining rewards and, as a result, the Block Reward Adjustment will reduce the rewards that miners receive from 3ETH to 2 ETH.
The change has led to high volatility in mining difficulty, and the crypto community can expect a sharp drop in difficulty, similar to what happened during the last reduction in block reward that took place in October 2017, since miners are likely to start exploring with other cryptocurrencies that offer better rewards. By putting a positive spin on the change in block reward, the Ethereum Foundation anticipates a significant reduction in sell pressure on Ethereum.
EIP 1243 will cause a delay to the Ethereum difficulty bomb, a situation where it becomes challenging to mine blocks. This has been introduced to ensure that all users migrate to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mining algorithm. However, since it is expected that the implementation of PoS will take a slightly more extended period, the difficulty bomb will be delayed by at least 12 months.
This is also supposed to assist in the reduction of ETH issuance to 2ETH per blocks with the resultant effect being an overall reduction of Ethereum inflation to a low of 4.24 percent.
The Ethereum hard fork to Constantinople went on smoothly without any significant challenges and miners, node operators and businesses have successfully upgraded to the new chain.
The upgrade marks the end of a two-year journey that will see miners receive slightly less per day and developers enjoy more efficient techniques per second layer setups.