Ethereum’s oldest testnet, Ropsten, deprecated

Ethereum’s oldest testnet, Ropsten, deprecated

Ethereum’s oldest testnet, Ropsten, will be shutdown. Users have been asked to consider greener pastures in Goerli or Sepolia, which have been green-lit by Ethereum itself.

Understanding the Ropsten testnet

Ropsten is Ethereum’s oldest testnet. Launched in 2016, Ropsten was set to enable blockchain development testing before the release of the mainnet.

According to Ethereum, Ropsten boosted uniquely because compared to other testnets and the mainnet in events of technical failure, it put no actual cash to risk. Furthermore, Ropsten was expected to provide early access to the mainnet merge for the developers using it.

Why shutdown Ropsten?

Tim Beiko, an Ethereum developer, has shared information about the Ethereum Kiln, Ropsten, and Rinkeby testnets, which are set to sunset. Ropsten and Rinkeby, according to Beiko, will gradually receive less support from infrastructure providers in the coming months, while Kiln will be the first to close.

According an announcement in the Ethereum blog, testnets are fully functional blockchains, and their history and state evolve. This eventually makes them more challenging to run nodes on and maintain. As a result, some testnets are periodically decommissioned.

Moreover, Goerli and Sepolia both ran their Merge tests (meaning they switched from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake), so they are the most similar to the environment in which the Ethereum blockchain currently operates. As a result, those testnets are expected to remain operational.

The shutdown timeline

Mid this year an announcement was made on a blog post by the Ethereum foundation blog considering Ropsten, Kiln, and Rinkeby obsolete, stating that users and developers still have time to plan their migration before their complete decommission. The blog also posted a schedule giving timelines for the testnets shutdown.

The Ethereum Foundation also announced in a blog post on Wednesday that the blockchain’s Ropsten test network has begun to wind down, with a complete shutdown expected between December 15 and 31.

The shutdown process

The Ropsten shutdown gear commenced when blockchain explorer Etherscan shut down its infrastructure support for Ropsten. Over the last few months, developers have gradually stopped participating on Ropsten, and participation rates have decreased. Consequently, many more developers have gradually moved from Ropsten to other testnets.

Two testnets, Goerli and Sepolia, will be maintained in the future. Goerli is recommended for protocol testers and developers who must interact with a large existing state. Sepolia is advised for users and developers who want a lighter-weight chain to sync and interact with.

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Samuel Mbaki Wanjiku

Samuel is an adventurous person who likes to explore topics in-depth and learn new things each day. His passion lies in gaining knowledge to help transform the world through his writing skills. He also believes in blockchain technology and its potential to usher in a cashless society. Currently, he is pursuing a Computer Science Bachelor’s degree driven by his fascination with emerging technologies. He has writing experience of about three years in different fields and two in blockchain technology.