Ethereum network’s most recent hard fork Muir Glacier commenced on 1st January, and the network statistics suggest the hard fork resulted in reducing the block time by 25%. The network’s analytical data revealed that prior to the Muir Glacier which was targetted at increasing the network’s time bomb period by few more years has also reduced the block time from 17 seconds to 12.69 seconds.
Ethereum is currently undergoing a series of hard-forks in order to achieve its long-term goal of changing the mining consensus from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. The official change in mining consensus is scheduled to take place by 2021, however, prior to that, the network is going through a series of minor and major upgrades to improve upon scalability issues, transaction fee and the decentralized ecosystem. In 2019 alone the network went under two hard-forks which improved upon a number of aspects on the platform.
The Impact of Block Time Reduction
The current reduction in block time would ensure that the supply of Ethereum would increase by 25% which is a direct result of postponing the time bomb delay in the network. The second-largest network by market capitalization and the pioneer of creating a decentralized ecosystem was struggling due to network congestion and scalability issues. The network which was once pegged to become a decentralized supercomputer was struggling to scale its decentralized ecosystem.
The Ethereum core dev has decided to conduct a series of these upgrades spread over a period of couple of years in order to address most of these concerns. The last prominent hard-fork called Istanbul made changes to 6 Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) which addressed scalability, mining and sharding.
Although many were also not in favour of such frequent hard forks as it requires a lot of network resources and needs a majority of exchanges and wallets and other service providers dealing in the cryptocurrency to make major changes into their system.