The Ethereum network is expected to undergo a scheduled network upgrade at block 15,050,000, or around Wednesday, June 29, 2022. This date is speculative, owing to block size, and could arrive sooner or later.
What is Gray Glacier?
The Gray Glacier network upgrade changes the parameters of the difficulty bomb, pushing it back by 700,000 blocks, or roughly 100 days. The difficulty bomb has been pushed back in five different network upgrades: Byzantium, Constantinople, Muir Glacier, London and the most recent Arrow Glacier network upgrade. Aside from that, Gray Glacier introduces no additional changes.
The Ethereum developer, Tim Beiko, is optimistic that the Gray Glacier upgrade could be the final delay to the difficulty bomb.
🧊 Gray Glacier Upgrade Announcement 🧊
At block 15,050,000, the Ethereum network will undergo the Gray Glacier fork to push back the difficulty bomb, *hopefully* for the last time ever 😁
If you run a node or validator, make sure to upgrade 🔜!https://t.co/wmPqzQSgL7
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth 🐼 (@TimBeiko) June 16, 2022
The difficulty bomb only impacts the Ethereum mainnet now that Ropsten has switched to proof of stake. Gray Glacier may not be deployed on any testnet as a result of this. According to Ethereum engineer Tim Beiko, the term “Gray Glacier” was chosen because it ”literally” merges into another glacier.
Ethereum’s difficulty bomb
The difficulty bomb, which has always been a part of Ethereum, rapidly raises the computing difficulty of mining the underlying token until it becomes impossible to do so. When the bomb goes off and is permitted to detonate, it means the days before the Merge—Ethereum’s transition to proof of stake—are numbered.
While developers had not officially set a particular date for the Merge Update, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said it could happen as soon as August if there are no major issues, or at the latest September/October. The decision to delay the difficulty bomb raises concerns that the long-awaited upgrade might take longer than expected.