According to Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko, the Ethereum network is scheduled to undergo another upgrade in December that would further delay its difficulty bomb.
The Arrow Glacier upgrade is expected to go live at block 13,773,000 on Dec 8. The exact date may vary slightly due to block times and time zones.
Beiko stated that the only change effected in the upgrade is the rescheduling of the difficulty bomb, “hopefully for the last time.”
According to ETH Hub, the “Difficulty Bomb refers to a mechanism that, at a predefined block number, increases the difficulty level of puzzles in the proof-of-work mining algorithm resulting in longer than normal block times (and thus less ETH rewards for miners).”
The only proposal incorporated in the upgrade is the EIP-4345. It will delay the difficulty bomb until June 2022. Most developers hope that by then “the merge” to Ethereum 2.0 would have happened. Consequently, the developers have decided not to delay the bomb on Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet. Beiko further said:
With the recent progress towards Ethereum’s transition to Proof of Stake, it was decided to only delay the bomb on mainnet for now and to try and run the Proof of Stake transition on Ropsten before the bomb goes off on that network.
The London upgrade launched in early August was infused with EIP-3554 to delay the difficulty bomb until December.
Meanwhile, The Arrow Glacier network upgrade is identical with Muir Glacier that was deployed in January. The only changes were with the parameters of the Ethereum “Ice Age,” an algorithm designed to increase the difficulty to mine Ethereum blocks over time.
Discreet upgrades such as the Arrow Glacier rarely have any impact on Ethereum prices. According to CoinGecko, ETH was trading down 1.7% on the day at $4,642.
ETH hit a new all-time high of $4,878 on Nov 10 and is now retracing slightly from that peak. The largest altcoin by market cap has gained 31% over the past 30 days but may continue to decline if Bitcoin doesn’t continue to push higher.