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The upcoming hard fork will be the first step towards fixing Ether’s heavy transaction fees.
Ether (ETH) reached a new all-time high on Tuesday, with the next big update in its ongoing growth, called “Berlin,” set for Wednesday, April 14.
On Tuesday, the price of Ether hit $2,228. This is the highest dollar value the coin has received since its inception. For the first time, the coin’s market capitalisation surpassed $250 billion. To put this in perspective, Bitcoin’s (BTC) market cap was at the same amount just six months before, in late October 2020.
Despite serious worries about the Ethereum network’s transaction costs, Ether’s year-on-year growth rate has remained at 1,328 percent. According to Bitinfocharts records, the average Ethereum transaction fee reached an all-time high of $38.21 in February, rendering Ether unsuitable as a transactional currency.
However, investors seem to be hoping for a reprieve from Ethereum’s exorbitant fees, especially in the form of an imminent network update that will drastically alter the way fees are charged. The “London” update, planned for this summer, has enraged Ethereum miners because it includes plans to burn some of the fees usually accrued by mining rig operators.
Wednesday’s Berlin upgrade is expected to be less impactful in the short term but will pave the way for London and will make four major changes to the network as it stands. A full technical breakdown can be found on the official release page, but a variety of changes will be made to the blockchain to reduce costs for certain transaction types. A new transaction envelope will also make it easier to package multiple transactions into a single transfer.
It wasn’t the only coin to set a new all-time high on Tuesday; Bitcoin also reached new highs, with the BTC coin price rising above $63,000. Meanwhile, the coins directly behind Bitcoin and Ether in terms of market capitalisation — Binance Coin (BNB) and XRP — have both reached fresh all-time peaks in the last 24 hours.