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Controlled Burn: The Ethereum Chain Is Destroying $12,000 of ETH a Minute

Burning Ethereum coin
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Ethereum miners are watching their Ether go up in smoke—just like the network intended. Bitcoin News reported that changes introduced by the London hard fork have resulted in more than $12,000 worth of ETH being destroyed every minute.

The report cited a Dune Analytics dashboard called "Ethereum after 1559" that is tracking the amount of Ether burned after London went live on August 5. Bitcoin News said on August 22 that 73,784 ETH—approximately $230 million at that day's exchange rates—was burned in the 17 days after the hard fork's introduction.

Those numbers have grown in the days since. The dashboard now indicates that 83,873 ETH has been burned to date. Coinbase puts the price of Ether at roughly $3,309 at time of writing, which means about $277,535,757 worth of the cryptocurrency has been destroyed as a result of the London hard fork.

This is all working as planned. One of the changes that debuted with London was Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559. That proposal introduced a base fee that's algorithmically determined for each transaction on the network, and instead of giving that fee to Ethereum miners, the network destroys the associated Ether.

EIP 1559's authors explained that "ensuring the miner of a block does not receive the base fee is important because it removes miner incentive to manipulate the fee in order to extract more fees from users." The proposal was also designed to protect ETH, fight inflation, and reduce the "risks associated with miner extractable value."

Miners still receive the block reward, and transactions can include a supplemental fee that serves as a gratuity, but EIP 1559's changes mean the Ethereum network is effectively burning more than $12,000 worth of ETH every single minute just to prevent miners from profiting so much off transactions conducted on the platform.

Other changes introduced with the London hard fork also served as a stark reminder that Ethereum plans to shift from its proof-of-work model to proof-of-stake, which would effectively obviate miners. The market responded favorably to that shift; Coinbase data shows Ether's price has rebounded from $2,153 on July 24.