Bitcoin Cash adjusts difficulty for a 3rd time

Brand new cryptocurrency adjusts mining difficulty for a third time
09 August

Bitcoin Cash, the hard-forked version of Bitcoin, adjusted its mining difficulty after a week of its creation.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash price is about $323 and the new cryptocurrency remains the forth-one in the list of market capitalization:

 Bitcoin Cash price chart on coinmarketcap.com  Bitcoin Cash price chart on coinmarketcap.com

Bitcoin Cash has a very particular rule about when difficulty can adjust downward. Rules for this are as follows:

  • Median Time Past of the current block and the Median Time Past of 6 blocks before has to be greater than 12 hours.
  • If so, it gets 20% easier to create proof of work. In other words, miners can find blocks 20% easier.

*Median Time Past (MTP) is just the median of the last 11 blocks. That is, put the last 11 blocks in time order and pick the middle one. This is used because sometimes blocks mined later have earlier time stamps (some technical reasons related to different clocks).

Thus, according to Coindesk, as a result of both blocks (478,647 and 478,648) having a Median Time Past (MTP) that was 12 hours greater than the six blocks prior, each block adjusted difficulty down by 20%. 

Now, the Bitcoin Cash chain has triggered a third difficulty adjustment, which resulted in lowering it to 13% of the hash-power required to find a block on August 1st.

The current mining profitability of Bitcoin Cash on cash.coin.dance The current mining profitability of Bitcoin Cash on cash.coin.dance

The chain is now operating at normal levels, with blocks being found within the usual 10 minutes, but occasional 20-30 minutes gaps still remain. The reason for this may be that the Bitcoin core chain is still more profitable to mine, standing at around 30% higher, although it has significantly fallen since yesterday.

Ethereum network is still unstable

Byzantium had executed on Monday, but developers aren't ready to call the software transition complete
18 October

Organizations and developers are better off refraining from launching large projects until the Ethereum network is fully stable after the recent Byzantium update. This is said by the Gavin Wood, Parity Technologies head and reported by the Coindesk.

Since new versions of the software were released just days before the fork, much of the network has not yet been updated. So, at the time of press, slightly more than 25% of Parity customers updated, in Geth this indicator is slightly higher - about 59%. So, in total, the update was made about 45% of the network.

Another aspect that should also be taken into account is the short time for testing. In particular, the developers recalled previous versions of the software, discovering critical errors that could make the network vulnerable to DoS attacks or lead to incompatibility between nodes and, as a consequence, network sharing.

Therefore, the question of how safe the network is at the moment is fully justified and, taking into account what has been said above, remains open. This is exactly what Gavin Wood warned, recommending at this stage to refrain from launching large-scale projects.

In addition to the nodes that have yet to update, there is also a possibility that in the current Byzantium software there may be bugs that endanger the security of the Ethereum network. The most dangerous among them is a bug of consensus, in which nodes can not communicate. Its result can be the separation of the block-man into several incompatible chains.

As far as is known, at the moment developers are conducting extensive tests, trying to detect such bugs before they are active. As Gavin Wood says, if the network does contain such a bug, it will take several days to prove itself.

I don't think anyone believed the network was going to self-combust on block 4,370,000.
 

Gavin Wood
Head, Parity Technologies

The head of Parity Technologies is also convinced that if problems are discovered, the Ethereum development team will quickly release new updates designed to prevent any harm to the platform.