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Ethereum launches new testnet ‘Holešky,’ allocates 1.6B ETH for devs

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Ethereum developers launched a new testnet on Sept. 15. Called “ Holešky,” the network is expected to be used for staking, infrastructure and protocol-development, according to its developer documents. Sepolia will remain the dominant network for application development.

An initial supply of 1.6 billion Holesky testnet Ether (HETH) will be allocated to validators on Holešky’s launch day to bootstrap the network into operation, according to Ethereum developer Tim Beiko. This represents ten times the amount of ETH present on mainnet. Beiko stated that developers were comfortable with producing this amount because “devnets [are] regularly using 10B supply.”

Previously, Goerli testnet was used to test new staking, infrastructure, and protocol developments. Goerli is the oldest Ethereum testnet in operation, having been launched in 2018. In October, protocol developers began complaining that Goerli had too low of a supply of ETH to adequately handle testing needs. Given its large initial supply of ETH, Holešky is expected to help alleviate this problem.

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Since Sepolia was launched in 2021, the Ethereum team has been urging application developers to move from Goerli to Sepolia, leaving only protocol developers remaining on the old network prior to the launch of Holešky. They plan to deprecate Goerli in January, 2024. After deprecation, Goerli will be maintained for another year, then shut down entirely, according to its documentation.

Holešky could see a lot of use, as Ethereum devs have an ambitious roadmap ahead of them. They intend to implement proto-danksharding, danksharding, and other features they believe will reduce fees, as well as features like Verkle trees that are intended to make running a node less expensive. Each of these features will need to be trialed on a testnet before being implemented on mainnet.