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What is mainnet?

mainnet definition

When people refer to the Bitcoin network, they are generally referring to the mainnet. But, what exactly is the mainnet meaning in crypto? 

A mainnet is an independent blockchain running its own network. Unlike other networks, mainnet coins have monetary value embedded with their own protocol. A mainnet performs the functionality of transferring a digital currency from a sender to a recipient and indicates the main network where actual transactions take place on a distributed ledger.

In short, a mainnet is a completely developed blockchain project which is accessible by the public for use, giving the cryptocurrency a clear value in a real-world implementation.

Mainnets are often confused with testnets. While testnets are used by programmers to troubleshoot and run a trial on decentralised applications (dApps) and EDCC for new features or bugs on a blockchain, a mainnet is used for live blockchain, where native cryptocurrency is used. Testnets generally run on the top of other popular networks such as Ethereum.

How does mainnet work?

Programmers use a testnet to run trials and create a suitable network for a project’s guidelines, which is then followed by a few crucial steps before the mainnet stage.

Token sales generally arrange the funding needed to produce and test features before the blockchain goes live. Once the testnet works as planned and all issues and bugs are fixed and the performance is optimised, the mainnet stage is typically deployed.

Many companies opt to use their own tokens pegged to the Ethereum network. Hence, if the mainnet was deployed with ERC-20 tokens, which are intended to be used solely on Ethereum’s platform, the company has to complete an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) before launching the mainnet. 

After the ICO is complete, the next stage tends to be a mainnet swap that involves exchanging the ERC-20 tokens and the new coins on the blockchain network. Upon completion of the process, old coins are destroyed to ensure that only the new coins are used. Hence, crypto-based mainnet launches will require a wallet system.

However, nothing in the mainnet is permanent. Just like a restnet, a mainnet can be altered whenever there is any change in the project’s deployment or open-source groups determine that the product requires updates or revisions. 

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