The long-awaited London upgrade for the Ethereum network is edging closer as the code was deployed to the final testnet this week.
Ethereum’s London hard fork, which will usher in the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559 upgrade, has now been scheduled for Aug. 4, following the launch on the Rinkeby testnet on Thursday.
Ethereum developer Tim Beiko posted the testnet update confirming that the code has now been successfully deployed to all three testnets.
The mainnet launch will occur at block 12,965,000, which puts the estimated date at Aug. 4. The first block was produced on the Ropsten testnet on June 24, and the Goerli testnet deployed the hard fork on June 30. Rinkeby is the final testing phase before the mainnet goes live.
The London upgrade has been named after the second-annual Ethereum developer’s conference in 2015. It may take the network into a deflationary state through the adjustment of the current auction mechanism for network fees. The EIP will introduce a “base fee” instead of the existing first-price auction fee. According to Ethereum software solutions firm ConsenSys, in theory, the more transactions that occur, the more deflationary pressure that the burning of the base fee will have on the overall Ether (ETH) supply.
It will not necessarily reduce gas fees through the EIP-1559 update, however, as many had hoped. ConsenSys confirmed this in a guide to the upgrade posed last month, though it did suggest fees may ease slightly:
“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.”
The upgrade will see some of the transaction fees burned, which will have an effect on the supply of ETH over time. A website has been set up to see this mechanism in action on the various testnets. At the time of writing, more than 89,000 ETH had been burnt on the testnets, nominally valued at approximately $185 million at current prices.
The deflationary properties of the system may be amplified when the network switches from proof-of-wor mining to a proof-of-stake consensus in the latter half of 2022.