The Ethereum network, one of the biggest blockchain networks in the world, is set to take another step toward the much-anticipated Ethereum 2.0 today at epoch 74240, with the Altair upgrade to Beacon Chain.
Ethereum 2.0 is the network’s move from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism.
This means the Ethereum network will be entirely a PoS network, an upgrade in which the community has been gearing up for over a year now.
What you should know
According to an Ethereum Foundation blogpost, the Altair upgrade is an update to the Beacon Chain that brings support for light clients, pre-validator inactivity leak accounting, a rise in slashing severity, and clean-ups to validator rewards allowing for simplified stated management. This is the first scheduled upgrade to the Beacon Chain.
The blog post states that this update represents a “warm-up upgrade” for the Beacon Chain and its associated clients. Essentially, the update will bring several main features to the Ethereum 2.0 network.
“In addition to these various features, Altair also represents a “warm-up upgrade” for the beacon chain and beacon chain clients. Ethereum’s proof-of-stake system has run quite smoothly since genesis, but before performing the high-stakes merge, client teams want to go through the process of a live upgrade to further test and ready their codebases and the live system,” it stated.
The Altair upgrade is the next major update to the network, following the London hard fork that took place earlier this year in August. The hard fork mainly brought in EIP-1559, which changed the transaction pricing mechanism so that a certain portion of the gas fees are burned, adding a deflationary function to the Ethereum blockchain.
According to data from Ultrasound.money, the current burn rate of Ether is 5.34 ETH/min, and to date, over 636,000 ETH, worth over $2.7 billion, has been burned. The rate of supply growth currently stands at 2.2% a year. OpenSea still leads the charge, accounting for 88,544 ETH of the total burn, representing 13.91%.
Ether currently trades at $4,278, up over 2% as of the time of this writing and is on the pathway to breaking new all-time highs which currently stands at $4,366.09, which was created just 6 days ago, according to Coinmarketcap.