The long-awaited upgrade to Ethereum is getting closer as London launches on testnet and EIP-1559 starts to burn transaction fees.
Ethereum’s London hard fork launched on the Ropsten testnet on June 24 in preparation for the mainnet rollout in July.
The upgrade will usher in the implementation of the highly anticipated EIP-1559 modification that will adjust the Ethereum transaction fee calculation mechanism.
The next phase in the London hard fork rollout is deployment on the Goerli testnet, which is scheduled for June 30. Following that, it will be launched on the Rinkeby testnet on July 7 and then mainnet later in the month.
Watch The Burn
Part of the EIP-1559 mechanism, aside from changing the fee auction structure, is to burn the “base fee,” which will make the Ethereum economy deflationary over time.
A website called Watch The Burn has been set up to see this in action. At the time of press, 88,483 ETH had been burned on the testnet. This is equivalent to around $177 million at current prices.
Ethereum software solutions firm ConsenSys estimates that the annual supply change will be minus 1.6 million ETH. At current prices, this equates to the burning of $3.2 billion in ETH, which will reduce the annual supply rate by 1.4%.
The deflationary properties of the network will be further compounded when proof-of-stake launches on mainnet for ETH 2.0 in 2022 some time, and the asset is no longer mined.
In February, Predictions Global founder Ryan Berckmans detailed how, in his opinion, Ethereum prices could surge to five figures through these deflationary mechanisms. He argued that this effectively gives ETH back to holders and not miners as the asset increases in scarcity through fee burns.
Unfortunately, hopes of major gas savings from the upgrade have been dashed. ConsenSys confirmed that it was not the intent of the EIP, adding:
“As a side effect of a more predictable base fee, EIP-1559 may lead to some reduction in gas prices if we assume that fee predictability means users will overpay for gas less frequently.”
Ethereum Prices Lackluster
Ethereum prices had regained the psychological $2,000 level at the time of press. The asset has gained 4.2% on the day but remains in a downtrend.
CoinGecko has reported a 20% decline in the price of ETH over the past fortnight. The world’s number two crypto asset is currently 54% down from its all-time high of $4,350 on May 12.
So there may be a bit longer to wait before these properties of scarcity and demand are reflected in its price action.