The approach of Ethereum (ETH) to upgrade its system over a series of steps is starting to weigh down on its ecosystem, as projects complained of broken smart contracts. But the general idea of regular hard forks is becoming even more worrying.
The noise around the Istanbul hard fork, which saw nodes update at the very last moment, missed one crucial point. The Ethereum network still sees its difficulty creep up, making miners work much harder.
Social media comments on the omission add to a worsening image for Ethereum:
Following the difficulty creep, the Ethereum network hashrate fell to 165 GH/s, down from above 185 GH/s in October. The sudden decision to run another upgrade following Istanbul brings criticism that Ethereum is too centralized, as most decisions are first made by Ethereum lead developers.
The need for a “mining ice age” is linked to Ethereum’s attempt to evolve into a proof-of-stake coin. However, ETH 2.0 has been criticized for potentially building a pyramid scheme.
The Ethereum Ice Age was diffused several times already, during scheduled hard forks. Along with this, the ETH block reward was lowered. But the project is nowhere close to staking, and miners continue to eke out some of the last rewards. The network also faces criticism for being undecided about inflation levels. So far, the difficulty does not make mining meaningless, but there is some slowing down of blocks.
Ethereum also faces the problem of the HEX token, which attempts to boost its positions based on the ETH coin. At this point, it is uncertain if HEX adds to real ETH demand, or if the buying of HEX is simulated through recycling the coins.
ETH is also facing a price slide, after the latest all-market sell-off. ETH fell to $123.77, further distancing itself from the previous level of stability at $150. ETH faces a rapid sell-off with volumes above $10 billion in the past 24 hours.