Ether fell about 1 per cent on Wednesday ahead of a technical adjustment to its underlying ethereum blockchain that would alter the way transactions are processed.
The revamp is currently anticipated to go live on Thursday in most time zones, according to market players, a little later than previously expected.
Technically, the upgrade will occur when the 12,965,000th block on the blockchain has been verified.
The ethereum network underpins a range of projects in the crypto world including non fungible tokens (NFTs) – a crypto asset, representing an intangible digital item such as an image, video, or in-game item – as well many decentralised finance (DeFi) applications.
Ether has rallied ahead of the upgrade, rising 40 per cent in the past 15 days from a recent low. The token has more than tripled in value this year, outpacing bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, though both are sharply down from highs hit in May.
The upgrade, known as the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, will alter the way transactions are processed and provide clearer pricing for them.
It will also reduce the supply of the ether token and is likely to sharply boost its price.
Pantera Capital Chief Executive Dan Morehead told the Reuters Global Markets Forum this week that the changes will help ether trade more like a fixed asset and make it more attractive as a store of wealth.
Cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and OKEX said earlier this week that they were expecting the upgrade to occur at about 11:55 GMT on Aug. 5.