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What Is Mainnet?
What Does Mainnet Mean?
Mainnet refers to the live version of a blockchain protocol, where cryptocurrency transactions are broadcasted, verified, and recorded on a "distributed ledger technology" (blockchain). This indicates that the blockchain protocol has been fully developed and deployed.
Mainnet vs Testnet
The term "testnet" refers to a blockchain protocol or network that is not yet functioning at its full capacity. Testnets are used by developers and programmers to test and debug the various features and aspects of a blockchain network before they are sure that the system is secure and ready for mainnet launch. In short, the testnet serves as a working prototype for a blockchain project, while the mainnet is a fully-developed blockchain platform for users to send and receive cryptocurrency transactions, or any other type of digital data that is stored on a distributed ledger. Before the mainnet of a blockchain project is typically launched, the team will host an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO), or other methods in order to raise funds and build their community. The money that is collected is used to create the prototypes of the blockchain network, which is then put to the test during the testnet phase. After mending any errors and depending on the testnet's performance, the blockchain's mainnet version will be released (ideally, with full deployment and functioning).
Once the ICO crowdfunding has finished and the blockchain has been totally activated, the team may launch their mainnet, which will have its own native coin (on a proprietary blockchain) instead of the testnet token issued before. The mainnet swap process will then occur, in which testnet tokens are swapped for the coins of the new blockchain. Once the mainnet swap has been finished, the leftover tokens are usually destroyed so that only the new coins can be used.
What Happens When a Crypto Reaches Mainnet?
When cryptocurrency reaches the mainnet, it means that the blockchain protocol has been fully developed and deployed, and is now operational for the public to use. This is a significant milestone for any cryptocurrency project, as it represents the transition from a theoretical concept to a functioning network.
After the mainnet launch, users can begin transacting with the native cryptocurrency of the network, and developers can begin building applications on top of blockchain. Here are some of the things that typically happen when a cryptocurrency reaches mainnet:
- Mining or staking: If the cryptocurrency is designed to be mined or staked, users can begin participating in the network's consensus mechanism and earning rewards for securing the network.
- Token swap: If the cryptocurrency was originally issued as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum, or on another blockchain platform, a token swap may take place, where the tokens are exchanged for the new native cryptocurrency of the mainnet.
- Decentralized application development: Developers can begin building decentralized applications (Dapps) on top of the blockchain, using native cryptocurrency as the payment method for transactions within the Dapps.
- Exchange listings: Cryptocurrency exchanges can begin listing the new native cryptocurrency for trading against other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
- Community growth: As more users begin using the network and participating in its development, the community around cryptocurrency can grow, with new users and developers joining and contributing to the ecosystem.
In summary, reaching the mainnet is a significant milestone for any cryptocurrency project, as it represents the transition from a theoretical concept to a functioning network with real-world use cases. It opens up new possibilities for development and innovation, and can help to increase the adoption and growth of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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