2021 has been named a critical year for Ethereum.
It stands its ground as a key player in blockchain when it comes to smart contracts, and is set to complete its transition to Ethereum 2.0 in the summer.
The all-time high streak continues
Ethereum is the second-most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The month of April has already been busy in terms of milestones and smashing old records.
There has been a string of all-time highs over the last two weeks, starting with surpassing the $2,000 mark on April 2. This streak continued on Saturday, where ETH reached $2,195, and then once again on Tuesday.
Finally, a brand-new all-time high was hit earlier Thursday morning, achieving a value of $2,479, a price change of nearly 3%.
Reports and analyses indicate that there could be room for further growth for ETH. After all, this series of all-time highs has been set the same week that Coinbase debuted on the Nasdaq stock market.
Activating the Berlin fork
This latest all-time high record coincides with another event. Namely, Ethereum activating the Berlin fork on its mainnet, the next step on the journey towards Ethereum 2.0.
Now live on block 12,244,000, this upgrade follows the Instabul and Muir Glacier ones. Upgrades that went live in December 2019 and January 2020 respectively.
It is reported that the Berlin fork, which includes four EIPs, will be the final step before the EIP-1559 takes place. This hotly awaited upgrade will occur alongside the London fork in July.
As of Wednesday, the average Ethereum gas prices were up by just over 14% from the day before, at a level of 137.76. However, some of the protocols included in the Berlin upgrade are set to help tackle problems with gas prices.
EIP-2565, for example, will help calculate gas prices, by reducing the cost of the ModExp precompile. Meanwhile, the EIP-2929 protocol will reportedly increase gas prices, but only for the first time it is used in a transaction.