Arrow Glacier Upgrade Announcement | Ethereum Foundation Blog

The Ethereum network will undergo a scheduled upgrade at block number 13 773 000, which is expected to take place on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. The exact date is subject to change due to variable block times and time zones. Please upgrade your node before Sunday 5 December 2021 to take into account the variable block times.

What is Arrow Glacier?

The Arrow Glacier network upgrade, similar to Muir Glacier, changes the Ice Age / Difficulty Bomb parameters, pushing them back several months. This was also done in the Byzantium, Constantinople and London network upgrades. No other changes are made as part of Arrow Glacier.

The trouble bomb only affects Proof of Work networks, and therefore exists only on the Ethereum main network and the Ropsten test network. With the recent progress towards Ethereum’s transition to Proof of Stake, it was decided to delay the bomb only on mainnet for the time being and to try to execute the Proof of Stake transition on Ropsten before the bomb goes off on that network.

To learn more about Arrow Glacier and the history of the trouble bomb, see the Ethereum Cat Shepherds’ explanatory blog post.

Customer versions

To be compatible with the Arrow Glacier upgrade, node operators will need to update the client version they are using to one of the ones listed below:

Note: OpenEthereum, which was announced earlier this year as rejected, has released support for Arrow Glacier under version number 3.3.0-rc.14, which you can download here.

For now, we still recommend following the previous abolition alerts and choosing an alternative client software. If you choose to use OE for the Arrow Glacir upgrade, please be careful and review revisions to the code base independently before using it in production.

Upgrade specification and EIPs

The complete specification for the upgrade can be found in the execution-specs repository here.

A single EIP was included in the upgrade: EIP-4345: Trouble bomb delay until June 2022.

As an Ethereum user or ether container is there anything I need to do?

If you use a wallet, a web wallet service, a mobile wallet service or a hardware wallet, you do not need to do anything unless you are informed to take additional steps through your wallet or wallet service.

As a node operator or miner, what should I do?

Download the latest version of your Ethereum client, as listed in the table above.

What happens if I’m a miner or node operator and I’m not participating in the upgrade?

If you are using an Ethereum client that has not been updated to the latest version (listed above), your client will sync with the front fork blockchain as soon as the upgrade takes place. You will be stuck on an incompatible chain according to the old rules and you will not be able to send Ether or work on the post-upgrade Ethereum network.

What is a network upgrade in Ethereum country?

A network upgrade is a change to the underlying Ethereum protocol, which creates new rules to improve the system. The decentralized nature of blockchain systems makes a network upgrade more difficult. Network upgrades in a blockchain require collaboration and communication with the community, as well as with the developers of the various Ethereum customers so that the transition can go smoothly.

What happens during a network upgrade?

After the community has reached an agreement on what changes to include in the upgrade, changes are written to the protocol in the various Ethereum clients, such as geth, Erigon, Besu, and Nethermind. The protocol changes are activated at a specific block number. Any nodes that have not been upgraded to the new rule set will be dropped on the old chain where the previous rules still exist.

Why “Arrow Glacier”?

While we recently used Devcon names for network upgrades, when we previously had an upgrade that just pushed the bomb back, we decided to change nomenclature. To highlight the nature of the upgrade (to push back the “Ice Age”), we used a glacier name, hence Muir Glacier.

This upgrade follows a similar pattern. Because the transition to Proof of Stake is imminent, a retreating glacier was chosen, hence Arrow Glacier 🏔!

Thank you!

A big thank you to the Ethereum community and to all Ethereum developers for all the customers and platforms that come together to provide input, thoughts and contributions. This may be the last network upgrade on Ethereum before the transition to Proof of Stake. Let’s go!

Also many thanks to Harshil Gudka for the cover image.

This is an emerging and evolving highly technical space. If you choose to implement the recommendations in this post and continue to participate, make sure you understand how it affects you. You must understand that there are risks involved, including but not limited to risks such as unexpected errors. By choosing to implement these recommendations, you only accept the risks of the consequences. This post and recommendations are not a sale of any kind, and do not create any warranties of any kind, including but not limited to anything related to the Ethereum network, or the Ethereum customers referred to herein.


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