What Is Testnet?
Every day, countless transactions are made and millions of dollars in the form of coins change hands through various blockchain-powered platforms. Many new platforms, applications, and blockchains are being created every day.
Creating a project is a very long process, which usually requires full concentration, responsibility and professionalism from developers. To create high-quality and long-term processes, specialists from various fields of activity are involved, ranging from marketing to technical specialists.
The life cycle of each project can be divided into:
creating an idea;
schematic representation (compilation of technical specifications);
release of a test version (Testnet) and testing;
correction of found errors;
launch of the main network (Mainnet);
This scheme can be called very relative, because between each of these stages there are many operations that require a lot of work.
If the blockchain has errors or vulnerabilities, then this will lead to serious consequences. Therefore, before releasing a project, developers conduct all kinds of tests. As a result, it helps to identify possible shortcomings and errors in the network. This is called Testnet. Releasing such projects without testing is fraught with huge financial losses for both creators and users.
Testnet is a draft project for network analysis.Using the test version of the project, developers check the operation of all functions and, if necessary, correct and update them. Only test coins participate in the tests. In addition, developers can issue any number of these coins. This is a huge advantage, since the creators do not suffer financial losses.
Thus, developers are not financially limited in testing the network. In the test network, transactions are much faster. In some test networks, the addresses are slightly different from the addresses of the main networks. For example, on the Bitcoin testnet network, addresses begin with the letters m or n. Testnets such as Ethereum and EOS provide developers with test platforms to explore new blockchains.
However, not only new projects participate in testing. Already existing and successful projects and applications before introducing new functions necessarily check them for errors and vulnerabilities.
First, the developers themselves check the functionality of the network and, if necessary, correct errors. Then ordinary users who want to help developers enter the process. Programmers watch how the network works under load.
Testnets can be divided into stimulating and non-stimulating. Firstly, users will be rewarded for participation – project tokens, allocation, early access to the beta version, and so on. In non-stimulating ones, accordingly, no reward is promised – however, often active participants still receive some kind of bonuses.
How to Make Money on Testnets?
There are both technical testnets, in which users help write a program or script, and interface testing, where you need to catch bugs, make transactions, or stake test tokens. To check the performance of the interfaces, you do not need any special equipment or special knowledge. You try various features of the platform and, if you encounter any difficulties or errors, describe the problem in detail.
For example, you may be asked to connect your crypto wallet and conduct a transaction of test tokens. ParaSwap rewarded users with real tokens for such actions – this is how testers managed to earn about $5,000 for elementary actions. Yes, that's right – five thousand dollars for one test transaction. UniSwap went even further and sent testers 4,000 tokens each.
Of course, not all testnets are paid this way, but getting even $100 for 15 minutes of work is extremely nice. Especially considering that you do not need any investment.
The situation is a little more complicated with technical testnets. They require the launch of a node – special software that runs on an always-on computer. Some technical knowledge is needed here – from working with Linux to renting a virtual server with installing a set of programs. At its core, a node is an ordinary computer that acts as a blockchain node.
Nodes can be conditionally divided into:
Centralized and decentralized – those that can be launched by a limited circle of users (usually a development team) and those that can be launched by anyone who decides to participate in the testnet;
Full and lightweight – with the storage of the entire history of the network or only those data that relate to transactions.
Does it Make Sense to Participate in Testnets Without Remuneration?
If you have an extra server that you don't rent specifically for this testnet, then why not. In the sense that you are already paying for a server for a node of another project. In this case, you simply add one node to another. In fact, you have nothing to lose – only your time to maintain and test an additional node. If you don’t know anything about rewards, then only put a node if you are super sure that the project is a gem and you noticed it before it started to be talked about in every chat.
But we must remember: rewards in nodes are a sensitive topic. If you came to the nodes only for the sake of rewards, you came in vain. Here you need to feel the whole atmosphere. Indeed, to get the first profit from the nodes, it will take at least 2-3 months, and sometimes more than a year.
Usually there are several stages of testing. Testing starts with a small group of participants. Further, the number of participants, and, consequently, the load on the network increases. If all stages of testing are successful, the project can go free floating.
Often, developers use testnet when conducting an ICO or for personal testing of the network. It is noteworthy that their own wallets, explorers for tracking the state of the blockchain, and even faucets are being developed for the testnet network.
What Is Mainnet?
Mainnet is launched only after full testing of the product and elimination of all identified shortcomings. The main network already has real coins with a certain value, miners who mine cryptocurrency, real transactions, etc. Everything is simple here. If Testnet is a draft, then Mainnet is a clean draft. If Testnet is a driving simulator, then Mainnet is driving on a real road.
Mainnet is the final version of the product, which is ready for use by customers. Mainnet and testnet can exist in parallel. This is to allow developers to test new features and add-ons without forks or disruptions to the mainnet. The main network will be updated only after the final verification of the operability and effectiveness of the idea.
The main tasks assigned to mainnet and testnet include:
The presence of mainnet and testnet allows you to increase user loyalty to a new project, which is often used as part of a marketing strategy to attract investors.
When creating crypto projects, it is impossible to do without the use of these two cycles. Moreover, there are cases when, after the launch of the main network of the project, developers continue to actively look for possible errors in their product. Mistakes not detected in time can cause huge damage to the company. In the world of crypto trading and dapps, we have repeatedly encountered situations where scammers found weaknesses in projects and stole funds.
The presence of these two stages in the project roadmap will help to make sure that the project being developed will be of high quality and safe.
What is the purpose of testnet?
Testnet plays a huge role in the creation of any blockchain. This is the most acceptable way to analyze the functionality of the project and identify possible shortcomings. In addition, it eliminates financial losses for both creators and users.
What is testnet and mainnet?
We can say that the testnet is an alternative blockchain that mimics the real functionality of the platform, but has no real value. If the testnet is considered a draft of the blockchain, then the mainnet of the network is a clean draft.
Is testnet crypto real?
The use of mainnet and testnet in conjunction allows you to test new solutions for performance without risks to the functioning platform. Often, testnet networks are used by newcomers to the crypto industry to explore a new industry without real financial risks. Thus, mainnet and testnet play an important role in cryptocurrencies and any blockchain platforms.
Is testnet Ethereum worth anything?
Ethereum testnet allows novice blockchain developers to run trial networks and gradually learn from mistakes.
How do you get testnet?
In any case, you will need a computer, a virtual server and a little patience. The cost of virtual servers starts from $5, but the costs will depend on the requirements of the project. For example, Solana testers spent up to $150 per month. How long the testnet will last is not known in advance, the process may take a year, although the average time is 1-3 months.