Testnet, Mainnet, and Appnets: Understanding the Differences

Testnet, Mainnet, and Appnets: Understanding the Differences

Monitoring our Telegram and Discord channels over the past few months, we have seen questions about these terms and also some misunderstandings about the topic in general. Today we will take a brief look at the various ‘nets’ and explore the role of each.

What is Testnet?
The Testnet launched in early 2023 is being built out over time, adding features, more providers, etc. When the Testnet achieves the required feature set and is thoroughly tested and audited, that version will go live as mainnet.

It is also important to note that the Testnet is supported by all of the system providers and node providers, and that anyone who stakes Chromia tokens can deploy a dapp. No special arrangements are required.

However, deploying on the testnet carries some drawbacks, mostly regarding data permanence. At various points along the way to mainnet, there will be Testnet Upgrades which will result in the network data being reset.

What is Mainnet?
The Testnet Expansion Phase that is currently underway is building towards the first Chromia mainnet. The mainnet will also be public, meaning that anyone will be able to build and deploy dapps in a permissionless fashion.

Mainnet will also utilize all of our system and node providers - a list that will continue to grow throughout the testnet expansion in order to achieve sufficient decentralization. The processes for assigning providers to dapps will be automated.

The work that we are doing on the Testnet is geared towards delivering a feature set that will allow a vibrant ecosystem to emerge. These features include:

  • Seamless communication and asset transfer between dapps
  • Readily available token standards for fungible (FT4) and non fungible (Originals) assets
  • Native Chroma (CHR) tokens
  • General purpose bridging from EVM chains to and from Chromia
  • End user utilities like Block explorer, wallet solutions, etc.

Our roadmap and monthly updates are tracking progress towards this goal.

What is an Appnet?
Appnets are custom chain deployments initiated in collaboration between Chromia and specific dapp teams. An Appnet can be thought of as a prototype version of a single mainnet chain, with the capacity to introduce early features. For instance, a specific token from Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain can be bridged to the Appnet, introducing an asset with real world value to a Chromia powered dapp.

The first Appnet was launched for My Neighbor Alice's Alpha Season 3. Currently under maintenance, it is scheduled to be brought back online in late August, and we expect more Appnets to be launched as the year progresses.

Differences Between an Appnet and Testnet/Mainnet:
Custom Deployments: Appnets are tailor-made deployments launched in collaboration between Chromia and individual dapp teams.

Separate Nodes: Unlike Testnet/Mainnet where providers will be assigned automatically, Appnets run on nodes operated by manually chosen providers.

Isolation: Appnets operate in isolation from both the testnet and each other.

Data Permanence: Since Appnets exist separately from the testnet, their data is unaffected by upgrades.

You can delve deeper into this subject by reading this blog post about Appnets.

What will happen to Appnets after Mainnet launch?
There will be methods to migrate assets and data from an Appnet to mainnet. There will likely be a transition period, where some Appnets exist alongside the mainnet. Since new appnet deployments won’t be necessary after mainnet launches, in the long run they will phase out naturally.

Wrapping Up
We hope this article has been informative and helpful in breaking down the concepts of Testnet, Mainnet, and Appnets within Chromia. Feel free to reach out through our community channels with any questions or for further clarification.

About Chromia
Modern society runs on data and every online service you’re using is built upon underlying databases - ranging from your online bank to music streaming and gaming. Chromia is a relational blockchain - a combination of a relational database and a blockchain - making it easy to develop user-friendly decentralized apps for almost any industry, including DeFi, NFTs, gaming, and more.

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