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0/ There has been a lot of misinformation spread surrounding Ethereum's upcoming issuance reduction - codenamed the #Thirdening

In this thread, I’ll explain the process that Ethereum issuance reductions go through before they can be considered “consensus”.

1/ The issuance rate for Ethereum has been a constant talking point for years now. We can track discussions about a block reward reduction back to the 22nd of December 2016 when EIP-186 (github.com/ethereum/EIPs/…) outlined 3 possible issuance reductions and related schedules.
2/ This initial thread spurred lots of discussion in the community & many people joined in to offer substantive research on how a reduction in issuance would affect the security of the network. Discussions on this thread dropped off around August 2017 & continued in other areas.
3/ On April 1st 2018, @VitalikButerin opened EIP-960 (github.com/ethereum/EIPs/…) which was meant as a not-April fools April fools joke. This EIP outlined a proposal for a hard cap on the amount of Ether that will ever exist.
4/ The hard cap debate has since tapered off with the community instead rallying around a low issuance rate (<1%) once Ethereum fully transitions to Proof of Stake. You can read more about what the issuance rate might look like below.

5/ Before getting into the latest issuance change (EIP-1234), it’s worth noting the precedent that was set by the previous reduction - EIP-649 (github.com/ethereum/EIPs/…). This went into Byzantium, reduced the issuance from 5 ETH per block to 3 ETH & delayed the difficulty bomb.
6/ It’s also worth noting that there were 3 competing EIPs for the issuance reduction & difficulty bomb delay in Constantinople - EIP 858, 1234 & 1295. Check out the Core Devs Call #45 meeting agenda for additional information.

7/ Now, focusing on EIP-1234. This EIP was first formalized on Github (github.com/ethereum/EIPs/…) on July 19th 2018 by @5chdn - an Ethereum core developer working on the Parity client.
7a/ It was then cross-posted to the Ethereum Magicians forum (ethereum-magicians.org/t/eip-1234-con…) and Reddit (old.reddit.com/r/ethereum/com…) in order to get the discussion started.
8/ @econoar also published ‘A Case for Ethereum Block Reward Reduction to 2 ETH’ (medium.com/@eric.conner/a…) and ‘A Case Against Ethereum Block Reward Reduction to 1 ETH’ (medium.com/@eric.conner/a…) that discussed 2 of these EIPs and their benefits and tradeoffs.
9/ As you can see from the Reddit comments the community was aligned on reducing the issuance in Constantinople. Of course, this is not a substantive view of all stakeholders but it does get us “rough consensus” & we are able to gauge some community sentiment from it.
10/ The planned reduction was also posted to /r/EtherMining (old.reddit.com/r/EtherMining/…) and as you’d expect, they weren’t happy with the change.

The main concerns revolved around a heated debate over “forking out the ASICs” on Ethereum and mining profitability.
11/ Due to these concerns, ProgPoW was put forth as a possible solution to “fork” ASICs out of the network.

It’s worth noting that Ethereum has been anti-ASIC from the beginning but whether this is now the optimal path forward is under heavy debate.
12/ The important Core Dev Call where the majority of the discussions around the issuance reduction & ProgPoW took place was #45 and you can find the notes below. It’s worth noting that this Core Dev Call was one of the largest in Ethereum's history.

13/ Finally, when all is said and done, everyone still has a choice in which software they run & what chain they want to follow. No one is forcing people to run the Constantinople software just as no one was forced to follow the BCH chain when it split off of Bitcoin in 2017.
14/ So, as you can see, the issuance rate decisions are not made by a “central bank of Ethereum” but rather by many groups of stakeholders.

I hope that this thread serves as an educational piece for curious community members and sceptics alike.
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