The developers of Ethereum Classic will hold a hard fork Thanos to extend participation in the mining of video cards with 4 GB of RAM for several years.
The update is due to take place on block 11,700,000, which will be mined between November 28 and 29. It will reduce the epoch parameter for Ethash, the mining algorithm used in Ethereum Classic. Ethash uses a set of pre-calculated data-a directed acyclic graph (DAG). The size of this dataset increases by about 1 GB every 18 months, and will soon reach 4 GB. This can cause problems with some models of video cards and ASIC miners, they will no longer be able to mine ETC.
The DAG mechanism increases the resistance of Ethash to ASIC miners, the constant growth of DAG prevents large investments in highly specialized equipment. The goal of the Thanos hard fork is to reduce the size of the DAG by half, which will allow devices with 4 GB of memory to work for another three years.
In August, the Ethereum Classic network was attacked by 51% three times, so increasing the hashrate and preventing further manipulation are among the main tasks of the community. The developers are also considering a complete change to the mining algorithm, which has caused controversy, because it will take too much time. Therefore, developers consider the Thanos hard fork as a short-term solution that allows you to protect the network and “absorb” a significant part of the total hashrate of the graphics processor (GPU).
According to Hive OS statistics, about 24% of users of this service still use 4 GB video cards, but only 2% of devices are used for mining ETC. To date, the hashrate of Ethereum Classic is significantly lower than the hashrate Ethereum. Therefore, even a small number of ETH miners who are ready to switch to ETC will significantly increase the security of Ethereum Classic.
Recall that last month, Ethereum Classic specialists implemented the MESS system to prevent 51% attacks. However, later researchers at IOHK and ETC Cooperative found that MESS would not provide sufficient network protection against such attacks.