Ethereum Classic (ETC) is planning the implementation of the Thanos hard fork, an upgrade that guarantees graphics cards with 4 gigabytes of RAM for several years of mining functionality.
The update is planned for block 11,700,000 and will be dismantled between November 28th and 29th. inverts the epoch parameter for the Ethereum Classic mining algorithm Ethash.
Ethash presents a pre-computed data set that is used during the mining process and is known as a DAG. The data set grows by roughly one gigabyte every 18 months and is currently almost 4 GB. This poses a problem for many graphics cards and some ASICs that are used for Ethash mining as these devices can no longer mine Ethereum Classic.
This mechanism is an important part of Ethash’s opposition to ASICs. Memory is relatively expensive and the constant growth of the DAG would eventually shut down any ASIC and discourage a large investment.
Thanos’ hard fork aims to cut the size of the DAG in half so that 4GB devices can continue to degrade for another three years.
The main purpose of the hard fork is to attract more hash rate from Ethereum (ETH), which is also expected to completely remove the 4GB miners before the end of 2020.
Due to the various successful cases of 51% attacks on ETC, the community is trying to increase its hash rate and its resistance to further attempts at tampering.
While another proposal attempts to completely change the mining algorithm, it is controversial and may take longer if it ever does. Therefore lThanos’ hard fork is presented as a short term solution for capturing a significant portion of the GPU’s total hash rate and for securing the network.
According to statistics from Hive OS, around 24% of users are still implementing 4GB cards, and only 2% of all devices are mining Ethereum Classic. Ethereum Classic’s hash rate is currently a little over 1% that of Ethereum, so even a small percentage of Ethereum miners migrating to ETC would significantly increase their security.