Ethereum developers have recently launched a new testnet called “Holešky” on September 15. This testnet is primarily intended for staking, infrastructure, and protocol development, as stated in the developer documents. Sepolia, on the other hand, will continue to be the dominant network for application development.
The launch of Holešky comes with an initial supply of 1.6 billion Holešky testnet Ether (HETH). This allocated HETH will be given to validators on the testnet’s launch day to bootstrap the network into operation. Notably, this supply represents ten times the amount of Ether (ETH) present on the mainnet. According to Ethereum developer Tim Beiko, this significant amount was deemed acceptable since “devnets [are] regularly using 10B supply.”
Prior to Holešky’s introduction, the Goerli testnet was the primary platform for testing new staking, infrastructure, and protocol developments. Created in 2018, Goerli is the oldest Ethereum testnet still in operation. However, in October, developers began expressing concerns about Goerli’s low supply of Goerli ETH, which hindered adequate testing. Holešky with its expanded HETH supply is expected to alleviate this problem.
Since Sepolia’s launch in 2021, the Ethereum team has been encouraging application developers to transition from Goerli to Sepolia. Consequently, only protocol developers will remain on the old network until Holešky’s launch. The deprecation of Goerli is scheduled for January 2024, and after deprecation, it will be maintained for an additional year before being entirely shut down.
Holešky is anticipated to experience significant usage, given Ethereum’s ambitious roadmap. The Ethereum team plans to implement various features, such as proto-danksharding, danksharding, and others, that are expected to reduce fees. Additionally, they aim to introduce Verkle trees, which aim to make running a node less expensive. Before these features can be implemented on the mainnet, they need to undergo thorough testing on a testnet, and Holešky is well-positioned to fulfill this role.
In conclusion, the launch of the Holešky testnet by Ethereum developers marks a significant development in the ecosystem. This testnet will cater to staking, infrastructure, and protocol development, while also addressing the limitations faced by the Goerli testnet. With an initial supply of 1.6 billion HETH, Holešky is expected to support the testing of various upcoming features and advancements planned for Ethereum. As the Ethereum team continues its efforts to optimize and enhance the network, testnets like Holešky will play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition to the mainnet for these innovations.