The Ethereum core development team has announced a plan to shut down three of its existing testnets — Ropsten, Kiln and Rinkeby — after the so-called merge.
Testnets are blockchain clones used for experimental purposes. In the Ethereum ecosystem, multiple testnets exist that allow developers to deploy applications and check for bugs free of cost before those are deployed on the mainnet.
However, testnets are deprecated periodically when they are no longer needed. The merge is one such milestone where the Ethereum developers have decided to leave behind three of its testnets.
The merge is a highly anticipated event during which the Ethereum blockchain will swap consensus mechanisms, shifting from from proof of work to proof of stake. The merge is tentatively estimated to occur in September.
Post-merge, the team plans to maintain only two existing testnets, Goerli and Sepolia, an official blog post stated.
Among the deprecated testnet list is Ropsten, the oldest testnet on Ethereum since that was launched in 2016. Notably, Ropsten went through a test merge earlier this month. Still, Ethereum core developers will wind it down in the fourth quarter of 2022, sometime after the merge.
Kiln, a testnet spun in early 2022 for the purpose of providing a post-merge testing environment, and be the first to shut down immediately the merge.
The final name on the list is Rinkeby, a testnet operating since 2017, that is set to close down next year.
According to the announcement, Rinkeby will not be an “accurate staging environment for mainnet” after the merge and therefore the core devs will halt it anywhere between the second and third quarter of 2023.
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