EIP-1234 vs EIP-1227: Constantinople Difficulty Bomb & Block reward


If the block reward is intended to be stable by time (not blocks) then the algorithm should be changed to not have difficulty as an independent variable and instead use time as the independent variable. That could be an EIP just as easily as this one. By conflating these two issues, you are conflating discussion about them. As an economic participant, I am an advocate of removing the difficulty bombs entirely and also of reducing the block reward. Rather than having 4 EIPs with all 4 combinations of such, we can have two EIPs that are isolated from each other and can be evaluated and discussed separately.

We have seen discussions around block reward/difficulty bomb EIPs degrade in the past and this is partly because they keep getting proposed as two-in-ones like this.


Well that document wasn’t released on April fools, so I’m taking it seriously :joy: However, the Casper/Sharding specs in general are in constant flux, so I wouldn’t accept it as written in stone.


The strongest reason I can think for removing the threat of mutual annihilation(the bomb) is it cannot ever be used as intended. In its current state, any contentious issue could become a bomb issue. For instance, “approve eip-999(or something similar) or we dont agree to delay the bomb”. Is this a less valid situation? Is their anything other than a gentleman’s agreement in place that dictates the bomb must only be used for casper. Delaying it begs the question who gets to decide what a good ‘difficulty bomb-able’ topic is? Is it only moving to PoS or could another hill be chosen to die on. The cold war needs to end.


I think the bomb makes sense in terms of PoS migration since the whole point of the change is to scare a portion of the community away (the miners). It would be harder to get passed the gentleman’s agreement unless it’s another decision where cutting a portion of the community is seen as beneficial to the others. Ultimately, sticking to any chain is a gentleman’s agreement.

The PoS change’s been on the roadmap since the beginning, so consensus was established before the community was so robust and it’s still accepted as widely-approved. I can’t identify the portion of the community that consensus could be built on cutting for the sake of pushing 999 (for example) through.


A coinvote has been added to etherchain.org which should also be included in the conversation.



As has been argued elsewhere, coin votes are not an effective way to get sentiment analysis. They have historically had incredibly low turnout (thus not representative) and they are subject to heavy influence from marketing and vote buying.

That vote also doesn’t even include all of the options. For example, remove the difficulty bomb and reduce the per-block issuance rate.


not my poll, capturing for reference. people can signal as they please


I listened to the conference call today and would like to provide the input that you solicited during the call as a large Ethereum miner (+500 GPUs). I know you are trying to strike a balance to ensure the miner community accepts the mining reward changes and difficulty bomb. I have a solution that I think would make this a lot easier.

To be quite honest most GPU miners are now barely breaking even after electricity costs due to the current state of the market and increased ASIC mining pushing up difficulty. Any reduction in rewards without a likewise reduction in difficulty would leave only ASICs on your network. I think I can speak for the mining community by saying we would be extremely open to outright reductions in rewards with the difficulty bomb reward removal if you were to include an anti ASIC POW mining algorithm change simultaneously. We know once ASICs are off the network we will again be on equal footing with other fellow GPU miners and profits should resume to where we are not mining for a loss.

I realize Anti ASIC POW change was part of an EIP a few months back but you never finished the work but did agree it would need to be part of a fork with other EIPs. It seems this would be the best time to implement a POW algorithm change along side the reward reduction and difficulty bomb removal. I know you would hands down win over the mining community if you finally took serious the amount of profits ASICs are costing the community and forked them off.