The upgrade is set to bring “breaking” changes to the protocol and support the rapid growth of DeFi activity on Avalanche, the company said in a blog post. Apricot will first activate on the Fuji Testnet on 26 March, to enable validators to adopt the changes, and will then be released on the Avalanche mainnet on 31 March.

Avalanche said that activating Phase One of the Apricot upgrade will enable users to save 50% on transaction fees when engaging with smart contracts on the C-Chain. To prepare for the upcoming release of Avalanche’s dynamic fees functionality, the Phase One update will also include the implementation of EIP-3298, an Ethereum Improvement Proposal enabling protocols to remove gas refunds for SSTORE and SELFDESTRUCT accounting models. According to the company’s blog post, this change will preemptively inhibit the abuse of the upcoming fee mechanism by releasing state slots.

Aside from enabling a significant fee reduction, Phase One of the Apricot update will also lay down the foundation for upcoming phases of the upgrade. Expected to be released throughout Q2 2021, the upgrades will enhance Avalanche Native Token (ANT) support on the C-Chain, introduce single-step transfers between chains, enable governable staking parameters, and introduce dynamic fees on the X, C, and P-Chains.

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