What is the 'Difficulty Bomb' in Ethereum?
Crypto is unlike any other tech space. Yes, tribalism is inescapable. This is normal since bias is just ingrained in users' DNA. Most can't help it.
All the same, Ethereum is a market leader and one of the most actively developed. It remains a legacy chain with limitations. Presently, the team wants to address scalability troubles and further enhance the network.
To motivate the transition to Proof-of-stake and Eth2 and prevent unnecessary forking during this critical time, Ethereum developers came up with the idea of the difficulty bomb.
During the last upgrade, implementation was postponed until December under EIP-3554. Once it goes live, the difficulty bomb will exponentially increase the Proof-of-Work mining difficulty making it incredibly harder for miners to earn rewards, drastically slowing down confirmation times. This increment in mining difficulty will usher in the so-called 'ice age' where miners' rewards will significantly be slashed unless they deploy more miners to counter rising difficulty.
Aforementioned, this adjustment is also a defense mechanism for agents who try to attack the network. It is tactically injected to ensure that there is space for developers to maintain the network should there be a need or urgently respond to bugs.