Here’s why Ethereum is shutting down its oldest testnet Ropsten

Here’s why Ethereum is shutting down its oldest testnet in December

TL;DR Breakdown

  • The oldest-running Ethereum testnet Ropsten is slated to sunset later in December.
  • Ethereum developers said running and maintaining testnets is difficult.
  • In Mid-2023, another testnet dubbed Rinkeby is also scheduled to be shut down.

Ethereum developers have commenced a countdown to the closure of the blockchain‘s oldest testing grounds for native applications, known as Ropsten. In an announcement dated November 30th, Ethereum Foundation said the testnet has been deprecated and will be fully sunsetted between December 15th and 31st.

Why is Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet shutting down?

Ropsten is the oldest-running Ethereum replica network that allows both protocol and infrastructure developers to test applications before shipping them to the mainnet. Ropsten was originally based on Ethereum’s proof-of-work algorithm but later migrated to the recently-launched proof-of-stake beacon chain, in preparation for Ethereum 2.0.

But since the migration months ago, Ethereum Foundation said that support on Ropsten has steadily declined, likewise activities and participation on the network. The remaining developers and “validator nodes will be shut down during the December 15-31, 2022 period,” which eventually puts the oldest testnet to rest.

After Ropsten shuts down this month, another testnet dubbed Rinkeby will be slated to also stop working in mid-2023. Unlike the former, Rinkeby is not compatible with the merge to proof-of-stake, which even justifies the deprecation. 

The developers previously said running nodes and maintaining testnets is difficult, because these networks are full-featured blockchains themselves that grow in state and history over time. Shutting down the testnets allows them more time and resources to focus on maintaining two other post-merge approved testnets, Goerli and Sepolia, in the long term. 

What is Goerli and Sepolia?

Goerli is the recommended testnet for developers looking test staking protocols before deploying to the mainnet, and it’s also useful for testing smart contract interactions. Sepolia is reportedly a fairly-new testnet for developers looking to test applications in a lighter-weight chain. 

Until Ropsten and Rinkeby shut down, developers on the testnets can still move their applications to either Goerli or Sepolia for continued support, according to Ethereum Foundation. 

Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam is an optimistic crypto journalist. Five years from now, he sees himself establishing a unique crypto media outlet that will breach the gap between the crypto world and the general public. He loves to associate with like-minded individuals and collaborate with them on similar projects. He spends much of his time honing his writing and critical thinking skills.

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