What is a Mainnet
The mainnet is the network where cryptocurrency transactions occur on a distributed ledger. Mainnets are separate from testnets, which are networks where programmers troubleshoot all the elements of a blockchain project. Testnets operate as working prototypes for a project, and mainnets are the fully-developed platform for users to send and receive payment.
Important Elements of a Mainnet
Before the mainnet is launched, a project initially has an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), a means of fundraising by selling crypto tokens. When a mainnet launches, those preordered tokens can be exchanged for coins, able to be used for real transactions between users.
Once a mainnet is live, the coin’s value can increase dramatically. Therefore, many investors back a project’s ICO when they foresee the coin’s value increasing after mainnet launch. Without a viable mainnet, though, investment into an early crypto project can be risky.
Where testnets work with prototypes, developing new Dapps and EDCCs, the mainnet of a blockchain project works with real transfer of information between users. Testnet experimentation occurs with valueless test coins, but on the mainnet, coins have economic value and can be used to complete secure transactions between users. Once a mainnet is deployed, it is more difficult to work out bugs, rather than the testing phase on the testnet.
It can be costly to run tests and test features on the mainnet. Thus, it’s important for developers to work out potential bugs before a mainnet launch, since changes are more seamlessly made on the testnet prior to launch.
Mainnet releases reveal the viability of a blockchain project. Many projects stay in the testing phase and their claims for functionality remain in the testnet. However, once a project is launched, its proposed usage is pushed into the public sphere. A fully-developed and stable mainnet is a crucial component for strong cryptocurrency performance.