The Ethereum developers propose delaying the difficulty bomb until May 2022.

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The difficulty bomb in Ethereum is expected to usher in a new era for the digital asset. Tim Beiko and James Hancock, Ethereum developers, proposed delaying the Ethereum Difficulty bomb until May 2022 in EIP-4345.

According to the developers’ proposal, Ethereum is expected to finish the Shanghai upgrade and/or the Merge by May 2022, so the difficulty bomb can be postponed until then.

However, the developers were still questioned on “why not merging and canceling the Ice Age all together” to which Tim Beiko replied,

“Ideally, we never ‘reach’ this difficulty bomb because we’ve merged before. But, if we haven’t, I think it’s better to have to push it back again.”

Although there were alternatives such as:

1] removing the bomb altogether
2] pushing the bomb *way* back

Beiko stated that they were not persuaded to remove the bomb entirely because doing so would make it easier for the proof-of-work chain to continue operating and for scam forks to emerge. As a result, the team opted for the latter option of pushing the bomb back, which “is sort of equivalent to removing it in this context.”

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Congestion and high transaction fees were not new to Ethereum, so the team had to intervene four times before proposing to diffuse and delay the bomb for the fifth time. Why?

Because the difficulty bomb is programmed to cause a network slowdown if its deadline is missed. As a result, the developers were forced to deploy EIP-649, EIP-1234, EIP-2387, and the final EIP-3554 in order to keep the block time in check. Given the current state of the Ethereum network, “even 0.1 sec more delay between blocks would greatly impact the user experience (transaction fees would likely skyrocket),” according to Jerome de Tychey, co-founder and president of Ethereum France.

Meanwhile, the developers have been testing the merge while hacknets have been operational for the past two days. Clients took part in testing the interoperability and eventually announced,

The EIP will not affect the security but could affect the usability of the network.

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