If you are actively involved in the cryptocurrency space, you will have witnessed the excitement that often surrounds a testnet’s release. A testnet launch is when a blockchain project starts to show its teeth. It’s the point when all the research, development, fundraising, and community-building come to fruition and the wider community get to try out a platform for themselves.
What is a Testnet?
A testnet is similar to a “beta” version of a software application. It is an early functioning version of a blockchain platform, made accessible to the public so they can try it out and see what it’s capable of.
A testnet is a safe space where tokens have no real value, so no one has anything to lose, allowing issues to arise without harm to the market. Blockchain companies will release a testnet before they launch their platform to make sure it’s working as intended.
The testnet launch is the key point when a blockchain project can be experienced as a functional prototype of a “final product” — when it crosses over from theory to function.
Testnet launches often generate excitement because investors, developers, reporters, analysts, security experts, and fans can finally experience what they have been reading about in whitepapers and press releases for months or years.
Security is a significant concern during testing periods. It is not uncommon for companies to offer up monetary incentives, known as “bug bounties,” to any hackers who can uncover flaws in a platform.
Facilitating early third-party development is also a key benefit. Testing periods give developers the opportunity to experiment with new code and solutions so they can build apps, contracts, and protocols to run on a platform after its official launch.
Once a testnet has been established as secure and is functioning as intended, a live version of the platform, the mainnet, is released.
The Biggest Cryptocurrency Testnet Launches in June-July 2018
Today, we’re looking at the most promising testnet launches scheduled for June and July 2018. Seasoned investor or new blockchain enthusiast, familiarizing yourself with the most important testnet launches could give you a critical leg up on the “next Ethereum.”
Here are the 3 testnet launches we are most excited about in June and July, 2018.
- The Internet of Services Token (IOST)
Testnet Launched: June 29th, 2018
IOST is an up-and-comer in the race to create a next-generation, decentralized blockchain network capable of scaling to mainstream adoption.
An energy-efficient proof-of-believability (POB) consensus mechanism means the IOST mainnet could have the capacity to host high-volume decentralized applications, something other platforms have struggled to achieve.
Despite being largely under the radar in the West, IOST has a sterling reputation in China, Korea, and Japan. Last week, IOST was named Best Public Blockchain Technology at the 2018 Global Blockchain Conference in Beijing, with founder Jimmy Zhong also receiving the award of Best Blockchain CEO.
With a current marketcap of $229 million (USD), IOST stands to gain immensely from the adoption of its protocol by real-world businesses. The IOST testnet went live on June 29th, 2018. With a fairly smooth launch and a reported 7500 TPS capability, it stands a chance of posing a significant challenge to industry leaders.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on IOST over the next several months to see if this technology can measure up to the hype.
- Enigma (ENG)
Testnet Launched: June 30th, 2018
Enigma uses a privacy-oriented blockchain protocol to protect users’ data in decentralized applications.
The Enigma platform is based on innovative privacy technology first described in an MIT thesis written by co-founder Guy Zyskind. It takes the “smart contract” and makes it “secret” so valuable data can be secured.
Chief product officer Can Kisagun says Enigma was created to address “real-world problems with data sharing, data matching and … complex issues facing global organizations.”
The Enigma marketcap is currently valued at $113 million (USD). Enigma released its testnet on June 30th, 2018. It will be interesting to see the effects of this launch, with privacy a key barrier to the scalability for decentralized applications. We are anxious to see how “secret contracts” match up to their current alternatives.
- Bytecoin (BCN)
Testnet Launch: July 10th, 2018
The Bytecoin project has been around since 2012, making it one of the oldest in the space. It focuses on anonymizing user data in peer-to-peer transactions, promising to become “the best solution for those who want to keep their financial privacy.”
Though the Bytecoin currency (BCN) has been known for its volatility, this testnet launch could help shift focus back to the technological capabilities of the Bytecoin network.
Bytecoin uses CryptoNote technology for untraceable and unlinkable transactions. Each transaction uses a one-off public address, eliminating the privacy issues created by address reuse on networks like Bitcoin.
The project has generated a committed following, and it is reassuring to see the team interacting positively with enthusiasts in preparation for the launch of their mainnet.
The Bytecoin marketcap currently sits at $506 million (USD). The Bytecoin testnet will launch on July 10th, 2018. Bitcoin enthusiasts will be curious to see if the improvements made by Bytecoin could continue the “mining” tradition into the next generation of blockchain technology.
Testnet launches give us the opportunity to get a feel for what a blockchain platform can do. These are just some of the testnets that have launched or are launching in June/July, but we will be keeping a close watch on them as they are subjected to their first public stress tests. There’s a bright future for any of these three coins who can fulfill and exceed the expectations placed upon them.