Ethereum Classic (ETC) has executed the Thanos hard fork, an upgrade to ensure several more years of mining functionality for graphics cards with 4 gigabytes of RAM.
It has been reported that the upgrade, which was scheduled for block 11,700,000, was supposed to be rolled back the epoch parameter for Ethereum Classic’s mining algorithm, Ethash.
However, Ethash features a set of precomputed data used during the mining process, called DAG. The data set grows at a rate of about one gigabyte every 18 months and is very close to reaching 4 GB.
This poses a problem for many graphics cards and some ASICs used for Ethash mining, as these devices will no longer be able to mine Ethereum Classic.
The report said that this mechanism is an important component of Ethash’s resistance to ASICs. Memory is relatively expensive and the constant growth of the DAG would eventually deprecate any ASIC and discourage heavy investment.
Likewise, the Thanos hard fork aims to halve the size of the DAG by allowing 4 GB devices to keep mining for another three years. The purpose of the hard fork is largely to attract more hash rates originating from Ethereum (ETH), which is also expected to completely throw 4 GB miners off before the end of 2020.
Due to the several successful instances of 51% attacks on ETC, the community is looking to boost its hash rate and resistance to further manipulation attempts.
Also, the Thanos hard fork is thus presented as a short-term fix to capture a significant portion of the total GPU hash rate and secure the network.
About 24% of its users are still deploying 4 GB cards, and only 2% of all devices mine Ethereum Classic.
Thus, Ethereum Classic’s hash rate is just above 1% of that of Ethereum, so even a small percentage of Ethereum miners migrating to ETC would significantly boost its security.