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Ethereum update: Berlin hard fork, EIP-1559, ETH 2.0 Beacon Chain and the first ETH ETF

This article provides an update (as of 08:45 UTC on February 27) on some of the currently most popular topics in the Ethereum community.

Berlin hard fork has been scheduled

According to a report by Cryptoreportage, on February 19, at a meeting of Ethereum core developers, it was decided to provisionally schedule the Berlin network upgrade for block height 12,244,000, which means April 14.

According to the specifications for the Berlin Network Upgrade, this hard fork will bring to the current ETH 1.0 blockchain the following Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs):


Ethereum consultant Ryan Berckmans said yesterday (February 26) that EIP-1559, which most people in the Ethereum community believe cannot arrive soon enough, should launch on the ETH 1.0 mainnet in July.

EIP-1559 is a fee market change for the current ETH 1.0 blockchain. More specifically, it introduces a transaction pricing mechanism that “includes fixed-per-block network fee that is burned and dynamically expands/contracts block sizes to deal with transient congestion”.

ETH 2.0 Beacon Chain validators

Bitfly’s ETH 2.0 Beacon Chain explorer tool tell us that as of 08:00 UTC on February 27, there are nearly 100,000 active validators, with around 3.19 million ETH (worth roughly $4.74 billion) staked.

First Ethereum ETF

On Thursday (February 25), CI Global Asset Management (“CI GAM”) announced that it has “filed and obtained a receipt for a preliminary prospectus” in Canada for CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (“ETHX”). Once it has been launched, it should be the first Ether (ETH) ETF in the world.

Kurt MacAlpine, CEO of CI Financial, the parent company of CI GAM, had this to say:

“Cryptocurrencies are transforming the financial world, and we are excited to launch the world’s first ETF investing directly in Ether, one of the most highly valued cryptocurrencies…

CI is quickly establishing a leadership position in this space, having launched CI Galaxy Bitcoin Fund and recently filing a preliminary prospectus for CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF, in partnership with blockchain and cryptocurrency experts Galaxy Digital. With these funds, we are reducing the friction points that investors have traditionally faced in buying and holding cryptocurrencies. CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF is an important addition to that lineup as this emerging asset class gains increasing interest and validation”.

CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF will trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (STX) under the ETHX ticker. It will “invest directly in Ether with its holdings priced using the Bloomberg Galaxy Ethereum Index (‘ETH Index’), which is designed to measure the performance of a single Ether traded in U.S. dollars.” The ETH Index is owned and managed by Bloomberg Index Services Ltd.

NFT mania continues

Two days ago, NFT art marketplace Nifty Gateway, which was acquired by the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange Gemini in late 2019, announced that a “#1/1” (meaning that there is only in existence) artwork by digital artist Mike Winkelmann (aka “BEEPLE“), a graphic designer from Charleston, SC, USA, had just resold on the secondary market for $6.6 million.

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