An important Ethereum update is delayed and will now probably not go live until August.
Subject to client team approval, EIP-1559 should go live around 4 August. The next update to the Ethereum blockchain (which changes how ETH is paid out to miners) is likely to go live on 4 August with block 12,965,000 - not mid-July as previously suggested.
This block number was officially proposed today on Github by developer Tim Beiko, the Ethereum Foundation's person in charge of network upgrades. If various Ethereum client teams (the groups that programme the various software onramps for the blockchain) agree to the proposal, this target will become official.
The date gives the various test networks enough time to complete the integration and ensure there are no issues with the code. A bug with the previous hard fork in April resulted in about 12% of computers on the blockchain being temporarily unable to sync with the network.
"We wanted to see how the testnet upgrades went before committing to a mainnet date. Now that two thirds of the testnets have successfully upgraded (the last one is tomorrow), we are confident to set a date for the mainnet."
A deflationary future for Ethereum
The so-called London Hard Fork, named after the second annual Ethereum developer conference in 2015, is expected to lead the blockchain network into a deflationary future.
Hard forks like this are essentially software upgrades that include so-called Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). These are changes to the code proposed by everyone in the community and then signed off by stakeholders - including developers and the "miners" who validate and process transactions by running the Ethereum blockchain.
The main component of London is the controversial EIP-1559 upgrade. Proposed by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin among others, it changes the way miners are remunerated. Currently, they receive the newly mined ETH generated with each new transaction - plus the transaction fees people pay to use the network.
However, once EIP-1559 is implemented via the London hard fork, miners can no longer expect to receive revenue from transaction fees. However, users can still "tip" them to ensure their transactions go through quickly. Instead, users pay a base fee that goes directly to the network and is burned or taken out of circulation. This creates "deflationary pressure" that could increase the price of the asset.
Miners are divided on the issue. Some call it "wealth redistribution", while others see the upgrade as a way to increase the value of the mined ETH they receive. Either way, it's coming.
"Assuming no one has a big objection, we are targeting 4 August."