Ethereum’s ‘Arrow Glacier’ Upgrade Goes Live 

Days before the official start of Winter, Ethereum announced it hit a major milestone in its roadmap towards migration from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake model, known as the Ice Age upgrade – the launch of the Arrow Glacier update.

The highly anticipated update is set to give miners a little leeway before Ethereum 2.0 kicks in. And while not a traditional upgrade in the sense of resolving bugs or providing operationss tweaks, Arrow Glacier provides userbase a much needed stopgap prior to the detonation of Ethereum’s impending “difficulty bomb”. When deployed, the “difficulty bomb” will force the PoW network to stop producing blocks, making mining unprofitable and removing all incentive for miners to keep the network alive as it merges to PoS.

Arrow Glacier is one in a series of upgrades launched by Ethereum, the most recent being August’s launch EIP-1559. This upgrade focused on increasing the blockchain’s scalability, lowering costs & corresponding fees, as well as boosting the value of Ethereum’s blockchain and ETH currency. Post-launch, EIP 1559 brought some noticeable changes to the network, primarily in regards to the supply mechanism and the new ETH emissions produced from each block – a feat that has seen a reduction of nearly 36% and subsequently catapulting its price upwards.

For more on EIP-1559, watch our explainer below.

Ethereum’s current proof of work model has faced criticism due to the sheer amount of computing power it requires which comes with a hefty environmental price tag. Proof of stake mechanisms cut down on the amount of energy exhausted thereby creating a “greener” blockchain. Further, PoS mechanisms make the blockchain more immune to centralization, lowering the barriers to entry, increasing scalability and are seen to have superior speeds in execution. These benefits have become attractive choices for developers and investors alike as evidenced by the market share gains Eth’s soon to be PoS peers have seen over the past year, losses which Eth is hoping to win back once its migration – known as “the merge” – is completed in late January or early February 2022.

At the time of publishing, Ether was trading at $4,010, having lost 1% over the past five days.

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