The Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) blockchain is hours away from an upgrade that will address what some users call a “major problem” for the network – record-high gas fees.
What Happened: Gas fees are what users pay to execute a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, and are usually priced in small fractions of Ether referred to as “gwei.”
Currently, the Ethereum network has been severely congested, leaving users no choice but to pay record-high prices as gas fees.
The first step to addressing this will come with the Berlin hard fork, which is scheduled to take place when the blockchain reaches block number 12,440,000.
According to data from Etherscan, the upgrade will take place at around 5:45 AM ET on April 15, based on the current rate of block production.
Why It Matters: The Berlin upgrade will introduce four EIPs or “Ethereum Improvement Proposals” to the network, of which two of them (EIP-2929 and EIP-2930) affect how the gas cost of a transaction is computed.
“Both these EIPs [EIP-2929 and EIP-2718] are prerequisites in getting EIP-1559, the long-awaited transaction fee upgrade, deployed to the network this summer,” said project lead developer at Ethereum to accointing.com.
The upgrade will also take place in the form of a hard fork, which is a permanent and irreversible change to the blockchain. While users holding ETH in wallets or on exchanges will not be affected by the upgrade, deposits and withdrawals of Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens will likely be temporarily suspended on crypto exchanges.
What Else: Ahead of the Berlin upgrade, Ethereum set a new all-time high of $2,398, according to CoinMarketCap.
Market proponents expected the cryptocurrency to continue its rally after the upgrade and fuelled in part by the effects of Coinbase’s direct listing on the Nasdaq.
Imagine selling your ETH right now, one day before Berlin upgrade and improvements. I don’t think people understand that this in combination with L2s and flashbots dealing with MEV on major projects is gonna lower gas fees like crazy. We are already seeing the initial effects.
— Chris.eth (@FFAF_01) April 13, 2021
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