Ethereum Classic (ETC) awaits Thanos Upgrade- A Step Closer to Mining Decentralization and Green FootprintNovember 21, 2020
Ethereum Classic developers and community members have been in various discussions over the past few months on how to improve the blockchain to become more resistant to reorganization attacks. This year alone, there have been up to three 51% attacks on the chain. This called for ideas from the developers and members of the community on the way forward to stop the attacks.
Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum and founder of Cardano, had previously proposed that the block rewards be slashed. He suggested that the slashed part be directed to a treasury account which will be used to fund research and development of the chain. This was quickly dismissed as many other developers opined that it might lead to the discouragement of miners. Others opined that the treasury protocol should be layer 2 where all miners can voluntarily donate to the course instead of being slashed.
Luke Williams, a contributor to Ethereum Classic, proposed ECIP 1099, the calibration of the “epoch length used in DAG calculations”, on September 10th to make the chain more GPU friendly and ASIC resistant. DAGs are used to make the chain more ASIC resistant and GPU friendly. But the parameters are making GPUs obsolete quickly.
“The original intent of the DAG was to provide ASIC resistance to the mining protocol in order to prevent centralization of mining distributions and thereby provide for an objectively fair distribution of tokens… However the original parameters are proving too aggressive, resulting in obsoleting support for GPUs still in wide use today by miners.”
The proposal was to calibrate the Epoch duration so that the DAG size will be reduced and its growth rate will support a 4.0GB GPU size for the next three years plus.
“At current epoch (372) the DAG size is 3.91 GB. 4GB GPUs are getting obsoleted while they still make up a significant amount of ethash hashrate. Activating this change at epoch 376 (for example), would reduce the DAG size from 3.94GB to 2.47GB. With the reduced growth rate, 4GB GPUs will remain supported for an additional 3+ years.”
The proposal was accepted and the hard fork named Thanos will be pushed in late November 2020 (~block 11_700_000). The decentralization of mining has been a major advantage against 51% attacks against blockchains today. For Ethereum Classic it means that the chain is gradually opting in for a greener solution as it becomes more ASIC resistant.
Ethereum Classic has proven over and over to be battle-hardened. It has received great support from developers from the blockchain ecosystem. At The Currency Analytics news platform, we believe there is only a very bright future for ETC as it shuts naysayers.