Ethereum miners and enthusiasts are fighting to diffuse what is commonly known in the industry as the ‘Difficulty Bomb’. The crypto has had its fair share of problems over the past few months, and one of them is that by the end of the year, the level of difficulty of the puzzles miners have to solve will have become increasingly complicated.
The puzzles needed to be rewarded with mining ether on the Ethereum blockchain are getting more and more difficult, to the extent that miners are now finding it difficult to earn ether at all. A lag is growing between the production of blocks on the blockchain.
When Ethereum was first created, the develops had to develop a consensus algorithm, similar to the Bitcoin. From the outset, the plan was to make Ethereum mining impossible at some point. Many would suspect that this would be the end of Ethereum, but experts believe that there are solutions.
The future looks worrying, as there could become a time, looking to be in early 2019, where mining simply becomes unprofitable. To solve this problem, there are 2 options. Either change the proof of stake, or to improve the proof of work for Ethereum. There are several possible routes, and by the end of the year it is likely that a few of them will begin to be implemented.
Due to the fact that no one is sure which is the winning strategy, instability has been brought to the Ethereum industry as a while. The point is, whichever route is taken, the essence of Ethereum is going to change, it just depends how drastic the change will be.
Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, points out that if the Ethereum bomb is not solved, then the Ethereum protocol may fall to zero.