Ethereum Classic Hashrate Rises Following Successful Thanos Hardfork

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In Brief
  • Following the Thanos hard fork on ethereum classic, the chain's hash rate has risen past 5.2 TH/S.

  • The hard fork was intended to help GPU miners regain an adequate share of the blockchain's hash rate.

  • So far, it appears to have worked by reducing the growth rate of the Directed Acyclic Graph.

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The ethereum classic (ETC) blockchain’s hashrate has risen to 5.21 TH/S following the successful implementation of the Thanos hard fork in the early hours of Nov 29.

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The hard fork, which was primarily intended to increase the chain‘s security by boosting its hashrate, appears to have succeeded.

The hashrate rose from 3.3TH/S pre-fork to 5TH/S in the hours following the fork.

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Ethereum Classic: Thanos Hard Fork Background

The Ethereum Classic blockchain uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) whose main purpose is to prevent hash power centralization in the hands of ASIC miners by providing ASIC resistance that favors GPU miners.

According to ETC devs, this strategy was a success, evidenced later by the development of ASIC miners that could compete favorably with GPUs.

The problem, however, was that the DAG parameters were too aggressive, eventually rendering GPU miners obsolete on the ETC blockchain.

To fix this, the Thanos hard fork planned to reduce the size of the DAG file from 3.95GB to 2.47GB. This would bring GPU miners (rendered obsolete by the large file size) back into the game.

The fork also proposed to double the ETC mining period (epoch) from 30,000 blocks to 60,000 blocks, which would buy existing GPU miners at least another three years.

Ethereum Classic Thanos Hard Fork | Source: ETC Cooperative

An excerpt from the Thanos proposal extract reads:

“Calibrating these parameters to better reflect today’s hardware markets and mining ecosystem will bring the DAG growth back in sync with commonly used GPUs. Allowing the DAG system to continue to serve it’s purpose far into the future.”

Thanos Hard Fork Succeeds

In the early hours of Nov 29, the ETC blockchain attained the 11,700,000 block height required to trigger the hard fork.

According to reports, over 90% of existing ETC miners made the migration. Perhaps more importantly, though, data from 2miners.com shows that the ETC blockchain’s hashrate has climbed from just over 3TH/S to 5.21TH/S in the hours following the upgrade.

The data suggests that the move to give incumbent GPU miners a greater share of the blockchain’s hash power has achieved some success.

The market was largely unmoved by the hard fork, with ETC rising slightly from $6.40 to just over $6.70 at press time.

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David is a journalist, writer and broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, The Africa Report, The New Yorker Magazine and The Washington Post. His work as a satirist on 'The Other News,' Nigeria's answer to The Daily Show has featured in the New Yorker Magazine and in the Netflix documentary 'Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy.' In 2018, he was nominated by the US State Department for the 2019 Edward Murrow program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). He tweets at @DavidHundeyin

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