Are Ethereum miners stopping their “show of force” for more block rewards?
The Ethereum community has shown much disdain for a new enhancement proposal – which aims to quell miners’ revolt against EIP 1559.
Last week, Michael D. Carter of the YouTube channel “Bits Be Trippin'” wrote Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 3368. This Bitcoin Up presents the idea of increasing block rewards from 2 to 3 Ether – with a gradual decrease to 1 ETH over two years.
“Change the Block Reward paid to Proof-of-Work (POW) miners from the existing 2 ETH to 3 ETH and start a sunset plan for the next two years to 1 ETH Block Reward.”
Carter is a prominent figurehead among opponents of EIP 1559, and the fee-saving upgrade aims to reform the miners’ fee structure by burning a large portion of the fees. It is feared that the result will be a decline in miners’ revenues.
Regardless of the opposition, however, EIP 1559 is set to be introduced with the London hard fork in July.
Ethereum improvement proposal 1599
In protest of EIP 1559, several miners have come out in favour of a coordinated action on 1 April. They intend to concentrate their hash power with the Ethermine mining pool for 51 hours. This symbolises their intention to use more than 51% of the network’s hash rate.
Other stakeholders have reacted strongly to this move. But miners supporting the move say the “show of force” is purely for educational purposes. They want to demonstrate what can happen under certain circumstances when hash power is concentrated, they say.
According to Carter, this live experiment on the Ethereum network (to buy Ethereum at eToro instructions) could tempt an attacker to take over the chain. He added that the purpose is to show what an intervention in the PoW fee structure can result in.
“A show of force like this is not an attack on the network. But what it does show is that miners can coordinate, and every tick up for Ethermine, which has less than 40% of the Ethereum network right now, every tick up towards 51% shows that hash power aggregation can happen.”
With EIP 3368, Carter hopes to find a compromise. He writes that increasing the block reward, with decay over time, will avoid long-term inflation while giving miners “time to reallocate/sell their hardware decently.”
The community responds
A vote on the r/Ethereum sub-reddit currently shows a slim majority in favour of implementing EIP 3368.
However, the most upvoted comments show a different story. One user called the new proposal a move motivated by greed. Especially considering the recent increase of the block reward to two ether.
“Six months ago the reward in fees was about .75 ether. Now it’s 2-2.5. You expect me to believe that in 6 months miners will be completely addicted to a 300% increase in fees per block, and that after EIP-1559 it won’t make sense to mine?”