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Why can the testnet go down?

TON testnet went down for some time. Since it's the testing network (not the main one) and it was temporary, it's obviously not a critical issue. But what's the technical difference between testnet and mainnet that makes this situation possible? Aren't both those networks decentralized systems that normally don't go down because decentralization means resilience?

This question was imported from Telegram Chat: https://t.me/tondev/124256

Posted 9 months ago
Votes Newest


Both the testnet and the mainnet are indeed decentralized systems, but their underlying purposes and uses are distinct. These differences might contribute to certain issues being more prevalent on the testnet than on the mainnet.

  1. Purpose of network: The mainnet is the primary network where real, live transactions occur, so stability and security are the top priorities.

The testnet, on the other hand, is for testing purposes. It allows developers to experiment and debug without fear of causing serious harm. As such, potential issues or downtime may be more likely on a testnet, since it's a more experimental environment.

  1. Infrastructure and resources: The mainnet typically has more nodes and resources dedicated to its maintenance and uptime because it handles real assets. The testnet, while also decentralized, may have fewer resources dedicated to it, potentially making it less resilient to issues.

  2. Updates and changes: Changes, updates, and experimental features are often implemented first on the testnet before being rolled out on the mainnet. This may introduce instability or potential downtime on the testnet.

  3. Response to issues: Given the stakes, issues on the mainnet are often addressed immediately, whereas issues on the testnet might not be resolved as quickly, potentially leading to longer periods of downtime.

  4. Incentives: Validators or nodes on the mainnet are usually incentivized (through transaction fees or block rewards, for example) to maintain the network's integrity and uptime. Such incentives might not exist on the testnet, potentially affecting the network's resilience.

It's important to note that while decentralization generally increases resilience, it does not guarantee 100% uptime. Network issues can still occur, especially under circumstances like software bugs, consensus issues, or coordinated attacks. In the case of TON testnet, without specific details, it's hard to say exactly why the downtime occurred. It could be due to any number of reasons from routine maintenance to testing of new updates.

Posted 8 months ago
Edited 8 months ago
1 Answer
9 months ago
8 months ago