The Ethereum Foundation has announced that upgrading your nodes for the Muir Glacier upgrade happens on January 1

A few hours ago, the Ethereum team, announced that Muir Glacier, the next update of the blockchain network, will be scheduled to upgrade on block 9,200,000. This upgrade, according to Istanbul, is expected to be activated on the mainnet around January 1, 2020.


This update will not require users to do anything, be it on wallets or various services like exchange.

Muir Glacier primarily involves people with blockchain nodes who will have to download and update versions of their customers.

Ethereum Foundation’s tweet read,

This new upgrade comes after Istanbul, successfully activated in early December. Muir Glacier will focus and integrate EIP 2384 to improve the difficulty bomb, which is the mechanism to adjust the difficulty of the PoW ( Proof of Work) system.

Currently, this difficulty has increased after reaching 100,000 new blocks (on the Bitcoin blockchain, it occurs every 2016 blocks, i.e. every 2 weeks), while this update brings it to 4 million blocks, i.e. every 611 days.

This means that the next upgrade to Istanbul may be delayed. However, those estimates are wrong, according to the background, when the difficulty bomb began to become noticeable again on October 5, 2019 at block 8.6 million. As a result, the average block time has increased and since the block is 8,900,000, it now stands at about 14.3 seconds.

Node operators or mining tools are required to upgrade to the latest version of the Ethereum client. The official blog post stated,

“If you use an exchange (such as Coinbase, Kraken or Binance), web wallet services (such as Metamask, MyCrypto or MyEtherWallet), mobile wallet services (such as Coinbase, Status.im or Trust Wallet) or hardware wallets (like Ledger, Trezor or KeepKey) you don’t need to do anything unless you are told to take additional steps with your exchange service or wallet”.

When the community predicted the Berlin hard fork in January, the Ethereum Foundation announced a scheduled upgrade for Muir Glacier, scheduled for Wednesday, January 1, 2020. The exact date of the upgrade may vary due to block time and time zone change.

Muir Glacier is expected to take place around January 6, 2020. Previously, Ethereum Cat Herder revealed the reason behind its own upgrade, right after Istanbul.

EIP 2384: Muir Glacier difficulty bomb delay

Muir Glacier has only one improvement proposal, EIP 2384. This EIP will only delay the hard bomb for another 4,000,000 blocks, or about 611 days. This is the same approach we have taken in the past on Ethereum. There was a discussion about changing or removing a difficult bomb, but due to the short time frame, a decision was needed to preserve a short block time. Core Devs has decided to move forward with this simple change as we did before and is committed to resolving the ice age in the future.

What is an Ice Age or difficult bomb in the Ethereum blockchain?

The difficulty bomb refers to the part of the difficult re-targeting mechanism built into Ethreum’s Proof-of-Work algorithm. The retargeting mechanism maintains the average block time through the difficult mining operation needed to mine a new block. If the blocking time is too short (less than 10 seconds) or too long (greater than 20 seconds), it will increase the difficulty accordingly.

The difficulty bomb, in particular, increases the difficulty and for every 100,000 blocks, it increases the value of the amount it adds. At first, the number is too small with no obvious effect on the block time and its increase is very slow for a very long time until the increase is exponentially close. This slow construction process and then suddenly “freeze” is why it is also known as the Ice Age.

Once the difficulty of increasing the difficulty bomb is too great for the block time re-targeting mechanism, it will lead to an increase in blocking time for the network. This led to a degradation in the usability of Ethereum due to waiting for transaction confirmations and Dapps because everything took more time online.

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