Ether held near two-month highs on Thursday ahead of a major adjustment to its underlying Ethereum blockchain that would alter the way transactions are processed.
The revamp is anticipated to go live on Thursday at about 12pm GMT (2pm South African time), according to market players. Technically, the upgrade will occur when the 12 965 000th block on the blockchain has been verified.
Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, fell 0.5% on Thursday, but has risen about 18% this week and is at its highest level since early June, in the aftermath of May’s crypto market plunge.
The Ethereum network underpins a range of projects in the crypto world including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — a crypto asset representing an intangible digital item such as an image, video or in-game item — as well many decentralised finance (DeFi) applications.
The upgrade, known as the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, will alter the way transactions are processed and provide clearer pricing for them. It will also reduce the supply of the ether token and is likely to sharply boost its price.
Several large exchanges including Binance and OKEx have said they will suspend deposits and withdrawals of ether and ether-based assets around the time of the adjustment. They said this was necessary to reduce the trading risks brought about by price volatility and to maintain the safety of user funds. — Reported by Alun John, (c) 2021 Reuters