Ethereum Classic Undergoes Thanos Hard Fork Upgrade for Improved GPU Miner Access
After crossing the 11.7 million block height milestone, Ethereum Classic (ETC) has undergone a hard fork to bring about the anticipated Thanos upgrade. The Ethereum fork has suffered numerous security issues with multiple 51% attacks and proponents are hoping the new Thanos upgrade will provide much-needed network fidelity while allowing GPU-based mining to continue.
Ethereum Classic Now More Accessible to GPU Miners
According to data from crypto analytics provider Blockscout, Ethereum classic reached the 11,700,000-block height mark on Sunday (Nov. 29, 2020). This block height milestone automatically triggered the Thanos upgrade (ECP-1099) via a hard fork.
Ethereum classic, like other GPU mining based “coins” regularly have to initiate protocol upgrades that make their chains ASIC-resistant. ASIC refers to application-specific integrated circuits which are the dominant mining chips on the Bitcoin chain that provides massive hashing abilities.
The major purpose of making chains like ETC ASIC-resistant is to allow for GPU-based mining and preventing ASICs from monopolizing the block discovery scene on these networks. For ETC, this ASIC resistance is achieved using a Directed Acrylic Graph (DAG) consensus which dilutes the potential for ASICs to overrun GPU miners on the Ethereum Classic chain.
In a blog post explaining the rationale for the Thanos upgrade, Ethereum Classic core developer Luke Williams declared that the original parameters of the DAG protocol became too aggressive for GPU miners to cope. Thus, it was necessary to undertake a recalibration of the DAG system to better reflect the current mining ecosystem.
The Thanos upgrade specifically restricts the size of the DAG system below the 4GB threshold allowing 3GB and 4GB GPUs access to the mine ETC coins. Sunday’s hard fork also includes a provision that allows 4GB GPUs continued access at least until 2023.
Following the Thanos upgrade, the ETC hash rate spiked 65% to reach 6.02 TH/s, its highest level since late July. As of press time, the Ethereum Classic network hash rate has dropped slightly to 5.1 TH/s, according to data from 2miners.com.
The Thanos upgrade is the latest ETC improvement plan activated following a rash of 51% attacks against the chain. As previously reported by BTCManager, the Ethereum Classic Labs has taken steps to beef up network security to prevent future blockchain reorg attacks via a modified exponential subjective scoring (MESS0 system. The MESS solution will reportedly make 51% attacks on ETC more expensive thus discouraging future attempts.