Ethereum Classic, or ETC, is reportedly eying the possibility of executing the Thanos hard fork, a particular upgrade that allows older graphics cards (minimum of 4GB) to still be usable for mining operations for a few more years at the very least. The particular upgrade, which is scheduled to be mined between November 28 and 29 as block 11,700,000, aims to downscale the epoch parameter for Ethash – the mining algorithm of ETC.
The root of the issue, Ethash, notably utilizes a multitude of pre-computed data for mining operations, called DAG. Notably, the data set is growing at a rate of approximately one gigabyte per 18 months and is now on the verge of reaching and eventually surpassing 4 GB. This is where the problem begins, as many graphics cards today, even some ASICs, only has a 4GB capacity – sometimes even shorter. This means that these devices will no longer be capable of mining ETC tokens in 18 months’ time or earlier.
ETC’s proposed Thanos hard fork can purportedly cut down the size of the DAG in half, restoring the mining capabilities of the less powerful hardware for about three more years. That said, the main purpose for the hard fork is to entice even more hash rate initially belonging to the Ethereum network, which is currently in the process of boosting its hash rate in the hopes of minimizing 51% attack instances.
While many propose for ETC to overhaul its mining algorithm completely, the network seemingly has high hopes for the Thanos hard fork, despite it being an admittedly short-term fix.