Nearly US$50 million worth of Ethereum has been destroyed since an upgrade to the platform’s mainnet went live on Thursday night.

EIP-1559 (Ethereum Improvement Protocol No. 1559) went into effect when block 12,965,000 was mined around 10pm AEST on Thursday.

Under the upgrade, a fraction of the Ether from gas (transaction) fees are sent to an inaccessible address, rather than being paid to miners.

As of block 12,989,861 at 6.35pm AEST yesterday, 16,622.40 in Ether had been “burned” by being sent to an inaccessible address.

That’s US$48.9 million worth at yesterday’s prices.

So roughly US$500,000 an hour or US$8,700 a minute in Ether had been destroyed on average in the 93 hours since the upgrade took effect.

A third less inflation

In those 24,861 blocks, 49,722 Ether (US$146.5 million) would have been mined.

Ethereum rewards its miners with 2 Eth per block, which are produced roughly every 13 seconds.

In other words, Ethereum has become roughly a third less inflationary.

Ethereum fans are hoping the “burning” of Ether will lead to a supply shock that will increase its price.