Ether hits new all-time high above $2,200 hours ahead of Berlin hard fork

Ether (ETH) surged to a new all-time high on Tuesday, with the next major update in its ongoing development — dubbed “Berlin” — scheduled for Wednesday, April 14.

Ether’s price reached $2,228 on Tuesday, marking the highest dollar valuation the coin has achieved since its conception. The coin’s market capitalization exceeded $250 billion for the first time. For context, the market cap of Bitcoin (BTC) was at the same level just six months ago, in late October 2020.

Ether’s 1,328% growth over the past year persisted despite major concerns regarding the Ethereum network’s transaction fees. In February, the average Ethereum transaction fee hit an all-time high of $38.21, according to data from Bitinfocharts, making Ether generally unsuitable as a transactional currency.

But investors apparently hold out some hope for a reprieve from Ethereum’s unwieldy fees, particularly in the form of an upcoming network upgrade that will radically alter the way fees are paid. The “London” upgrade, scheduled for this summer, has drawn the ire of Ethereum miners, as it entails plans to burn some of the fees that would normally be 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 reach a new all-time high on Tuesday; Bitcoin also hit new heights as the BTC coin price surged to above $63,000. Meanwhile, the coins immediately behind Bitcoin and Ether in the market cap rankings — Binance Coin (BNB) and XRP — also hit new all-time highs in the past 24 hours.

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