Ethereum's Ropsten testnet to fully shut down this month

Quick Take

  • Ethereum will shut down the Ropsten network in the last two weeks of December. 
  • The core developer team plans to wind down the Rinkeby testnet in the middle of next year.

The Ropsten network, a clone of the main Ethereum network that's used for testing and experimental purposes, will shut down by the end of this month. 

Between Dec. 15 and Dec. 31, node and infrastructure providers will halt Ropsten’s maintenance, Ethereum core developers noted.

“The vast majority of remaining validator nodes will be shut down during the December 15-31, 2022 period. After this, Ropsten will no longer be supported by client, testing or infrastructure teams,” an official blog from Ethereum core team said, referring to service providers who maintain Ropsten.

Ethereum core developers will also sunset a second test network called Rinkeby in the middle of 2023. The team advised developers to migrate Rinkeby applications to either Goerli and Sepolia, which are test networks that will continue to be supported.

In the Ethereum ecosystem, multiple testnets exist to allow developers to deploy applications and check for bugs free of cost before those are deployed on the mainnet. But they can be deprecated when they are no longer needed. 

For years, Ropsten and Rinkeby have been used for testing Ethereum upgrades before they are rolled out on the main network. After The Merge, which transitioned Ethereum from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, Ropsten and Rinkeby were said to be inaccurate replica environments for the blockchain.

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