Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin explains why the London hard fork is so important for the future of ethers

Vitalik Buterin John Phillips / Getty Images

The London hard fork upgrade from Ethereum, which went into effect last week, equips the cryptocurrency well for important upgrades in the future, its founder Vitalik Buterin told Bloomberg in an interview on Thursday.

The London hard fork upgrade to Ethereum’s blockchain included EIP-1599, a fee-cutting feature that has been burning $ 8,900 worth of ether every minute since it went into effect. This ongoing reduction in ether supply likely contributes to recent price gains, as the cryptocurrency has risen 18% since the London fork came into effect.

“1599 is definitely the most important part of London,” Buterin told Bloomberg, adding that the upgrade “is proof that the Ethereum ecosystem is capable of making significant changes.” This is in stark contrast to Bitcoin, which is so decentralized that making changes to its blockchain network is incredibly difficult.

The Ethereum blockchain is still facing major changes, in particular the transition from a proof-of-work system to a proof-of-stake system. This change, which is expected to take effect when the ETH 2.0 network is overhauled, will reduce CO2 emissions related to the mining of ether by 99%, according to Buterin.

A proof-of-work system is based on a network of computers around the world that is constantly running to solve complex problems in order to support and validate the blockchain. A proof-of-stake platform that does not encourage high energy consumption allows users to set up their own tokens as collateral in support of the blockchain network.

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Buterin expects “the merger” to form ETH 2.0 to take place at the beginning of 2022, but according to the interview it could already take place at the end of 2021.

The London hard fork “definitely makes me more confident about the merger,” Buterin told Bloomberg, adding that moving to a proof-of-stake system would eventually change the economics of ether, such as capping the total amount of the ether offering, similar to Bitcoin’s 21 million coin limit.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, there are a total of 116,996,930 Ether Coins in circulation.

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