Mainnet and testnet

Gepubliceerd op 11 september 2022 om 08:00

If you have been reading about crypto and blockchain, you will regularly see the terms 'mainnet' and 'testnet'. But what do these terms actually mean? What is the purpose of a mainnet and testnet and what do these terms say about a crypto project?

What is a testnet?

A testnet can be seen as a prototype of the final project. The word "testnet" says it all: it is a platform that is still in the testing phase. The developers are testing the platform and adjusting components of the code if they do not yet work properly. Only when everything has been tested and is working properly, the testnet can officially be launched through the mainnet. The mainnet is thus the final product. Often years pass by before a testnet is converted to a mainnet. Developing a blockchain/crypto platform is complicated and needs regular testing. If the platform is not tested well enough, then many problems will occur at the mainnet. This causes the trust in this project to decrease.

It is not that when the testnet is switched to the mainnet, the testnet no longer exists. The developers continue to use the testnet in addition to the mainnet to run tests and troubleshoot problems. In addition to creating tests and troubleshooting, developers can also perform updates through the testnet. This allows developers to test first before rolling out an update on the mainnet.

Crypto platforms that are still in the testnet phase often already receive crypto from this project. These crypto do not have any value yet, because they do not yet represent the mainnet. This crypto is separate from the crypto that will eventually work on the mainnet. The crypto on the testnet is used purely for testing the platform.

What is a mainnet?

The mainnet of a crypto project is the official platform on which this project runs. After the crypto project has been extensively and extensively tested, the team may decide to officially go ahead and release the project on the mainnet. This is a very big step because the project is rolled out so that everyone can use this platform. Rolling out a project on the mainnet ensures that the team behind the platform has confidence in the project. But by launching the platform this will also give confidence to the investors of this project. However, the platform still needs to be actively used by users. Often a large marketing operation will be set up.

When will mainnets be launched?

There are many websites where you can see when main nets are launched. One well-known website is On this website you can see when mainnents of certain crypto are launched. This is important information because investors anticipate such events. Often you can see that the value of the crypto increases as the mainnet launch date gets closer and closer. It may happen that the launch date is delayed because certain adjustments still need to be made.

I personally think this is a good decision. As a team of a crypto project, you'd rather have a little more time before the launch than launching a platform that suffers from a lot of problems afterwards. You want to avoid that.

The differences between the testnet and the mainnet

Testnet Mainnet
Uses test crypto without any value Uses crypto that holds actual value
A test has to prove that it works for a wider audience Investors have a lot of trust in the project because the project is launched
The testnet is the first platform. After the testnet comes the main net
A testnet is used to perform tests and address any problems of the project The mainnet is the end product
The crypto is based on the test net. The crypto is based on the blockchain

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