Binance will suspend Ether deposits and withdrawals to support the Ethereum network Muir Glacier upgrade that is expected to be executed on Jan. 1, 2020.
Ether trading will not be affected
While ETH trading will not be affected during the upgrade, deposits and withdrawals will be reopened once Binance deems the upgraded network to be stable. Binance noted that it will not make a separate announcement about the resumption of deposits and withdrawals. The exchange recommended to make deposits in full prior to the upgrade:
“Please leave sufficient time for deposits to be processed in full prior to the above ETH network block height. We will handle all technical requirements involved for all users holding ETH in their Binance accounts.”
Muir Glacier upgrade comes less than a month after Istanbul hard fork
Described in a Nov. 22 proposal by Ethereum developer James Hancock, the Muir Glacier upgrade is expected to be activated on the mainnet on Jan. 1, 2020 at block 9,200,000. The exact date is subject to change due to variable block times and timezones and real-time block statistics are available on the website Ethernodes.org.
According to a blog post by the Ethereum Cat Herders — a community dedicated to the network’s development — Muir Glacier has only one improvement proposal, EIP 2384. The proposal is designed to delay the so-called “difficulty bomb,” also referred to as Ethereum’s Ice Age, for another 4,000,000 blocks, or approximately 611 days.
Ethereum’s difficulty bomb is a mechanism that is supposed to gradually make the process of generating new blocks more complicated and would eventually lead the network to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm.
The Ethereum Cat Herders explained that Muir Glacier upgrade is necessary following the Dec. 7 Instanbul upgrade because of problems predicting the timing of the difficulty bomb. The blog post reads:
“The timing of when the difficulty bomb begins to kick-in is difficult to estimate. While planning Istanbul, it was first estimated that the bomb would not be noticeable until mid-2020. This implied that it could safely be delayed in the follow-up upgrade to Istanbul. However, those estimates were wrong.”
The Muir Glacier upgrade will only be activated on the Ropsten testnet network, according to the Ethereum Cat Herders. Node operators and miners who have missed the Istanbul upgrade and are not a part of the current Ethereum chain are recommended to upgrade their client to Muir Glacier as soon as possible. According to an official announcement by the Ethereum Foundation, nodes should have been upgraded before Dec. 30. 2019.
On Dec. 16, Binance announced a similar action to support a 2.0.2 network upgrade of Algorand, a decentralized blockchain network developed by the eponymous American blockchain firm.