In line with recent data from ‘Etherscan‘, on 10th Feb., 13,370 new Ethereum [ETH] were mined, down from over twenty thousand in Dec. last year and an all-time-high of over thirty-nine thousand reported on 30th July in 2015. The recent sharp decline within the amount of newly mined Ethereum [ETH] was caused by a sudden hike in Ethereum’s mining difficulty level, that Etherscan ‘data‘ discovered on 10th Feb.
As reported earlier in Sept. last year, Ethereum’s core developers decided their regular meeting on 31st Aug. last year to delay the so-supposed “difficulty bomb,” by agreeing to incorporate the code for such a change within the upcoming Ethereum’s Constantinople ‘hard fork‘.
The difficulty bomb, also called Ethereum’s “ice age,” is a mechanism enforced on the Ethereum chain that makes PoW [Proof of Work] mining ETH increasingly harder thereby increasing its difficulty level.
The reason for the implementation of this feature is to forestall miners from continuing their activity on the chain once Ethereum’s [ETH] switch to a PoS [Proof-of-Stake] consensus algorithmic program. Still, PoS implementation has been delayed multiple times, which is why Ethereum developers have delayed this issue of difficulty issue bomb though updates as they plan to do with the upcoming hard fork.
Moreover, retarding the ice age also lowers mining difficulty. To make amendments for the better and easier mining process, Constantinople would also feature the supposed “thirdening” – a reduction of the reward for each miner block from 3 to 2 Ethereum [ETH].
Such an update would raise the amount of daily minted Ethereum [ETH] again, by making the creation of new blocks easier. This upgrade is presently scheduled at the block 7,080,000, that is forecasted to be mined on 27th Feb., in line with a Consensys ‘web-blog post‘.
Just last week, the Ethereum [ETH] Foundation refuted alleged ‘plans‘ to pay a prospective $15 Mln on the event of development of VDFs [Verifiable Delay Functions] to be used in its transition to a PoS [Proof-of-Stake] network.