Led by Bitcoin’s (BTC) ascent to a new all-time high along with much of the wider cryptocurrency market, Ether (ETH) continues to push new all-time highs on Wednesday as the coin’s price flirted with the $2,400 range for the first time.
The Ethereum network is scheduled to undergo an update in the next day or so when the blockchain reaches block number 12,244,000. The blockchain was at block number 12,237,070 at time of publication. Based on current average block times of 14 seconds, the update is poised to land on Thursday at around 12:00 pm (UTC+1). The update — dubbed “Berlin” — will introduce several technical changes, all aimed at making the network more cost efficient.
The Ether’s price peaked at $2,397 on numerous exchanges on Wednesday, according to aggregator data from CoinMarketCap, following a 10.8% growth surge over 24 hours. Ether’s growth for the week stands at 22.4%, while the coin’s price is now up 110% for the quarter — a figure that would be more notable under less explosive circumstances in the altcoin market of late.
The Berlin update will be rolled out in the form of a hard fork — an irreversible change to the protocol of a blockchain. The hard fork is non-contentious, meaning no ideological differences in the community will lead to the formation of a new coin — as was the case with Ether and Ethereum Classic (ETC) in 2016.
Anyone holding Ether in wallets or on exchanges will be unaffected by the hard fork, however, miners and Ethereum node operators will have to update their software to synchronize with the latest version of the chain. Data from EtherNodes.org shows that 72% of Ethereum software clients have achieved Berlin-ready status in anticipation of the hard fork.
Speculation surrounding Ether’s potential price movements in the short term has ranged from tremendously optimistic (and definitely “not crazy”) to conservative and measured.