The hotly anticipated London upgrade to the ethereum network, which will change how fees work and start to destroy ether coins, is on track to launch on August 4, developers have said.
Named the “London hard fork”, the upgrade has already started to be rolled out on test versions of the ethereum blockchain.
But ethereum developer Tim Beiko confirmed on Wednesday that the upgrade was ready and should hit the main ethereum network, or “mainnet”, on August 4. Beiko said people should expect an official announcement next week.
James Beck, director of content at ethereum development company ConsenSys, told Insider: “Client teams have come to a soft consensus to initiate the London upgrade at block 12,965,000, which is expected around August 4.
He added: “This date is an estimate depending on the number of blocks produced on ethereum between now and then.”
The London hard fork will include a major change to the way transactions fees work on the ethereum blockchain.
Currently, users bid to have their transactions verified by miners. But under the change – technically known as ethereum improvement protocol 1559 – users will pay more predictable fees.
The most exciting part for many ether holders is that some of the so-called gas fee will be “burned” or destroyed after each transaction. It means the burn rate could surpass the rate at which new coins are issued, potentially boosting the price.
Investment bank Saxo said this week that a lower supply of ether could help the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency challenge bitcoin as a store of value.
The ethereum network is also set to undergo an even bigger overhaul, known as ethereum 2.0.
Under ethereum 2.0, the blockchain will operate on a proof-of-stake system, where it is secured by users putting forward an ether “stake” to gain the right to validate transactions and earn coins.