The term “mainnet” for blockchains likely originated as a way to distinguish the live, production-ready blockchain network from other blockchain networks that are used for testing and development. 

But before a product or project is mainnet-ready, it must go through intensive testing and review to make sure it avoids any unnecessary risks or roadblocks for its users or clients.

Let’s explain… →

Road to Mainnet: Devnets & Testnets

In the early days of blockchain technology, there were typically only two types of networks: the live, production network (now known as the mainnet) and the test network (now known as the testnet).

As the blockchain ecosystem grew and more specialized networks were developed, such as development networks (now known as devnets) and other specialized networks, the term “mainnet” became more widely used to refer specifically to the live, operational blockchain network.

What’s a devnet?
A devnet, short for “development network,” is a blockchain network that is specifically designed for developers to test and experiment with new code and applications. Devnets are often used to test new features and functionality before they are released on the testnet or mainnet. Devnets can also be used for training and educational purposes, as they provide a safe environment for developers to learn and experiment with blockchain technology without risking real assets or data.

For example, KYVE’s Korellia is a devnet network. Originally, Korellia was KYVE’s testnet, and was used for our incentivized testnet. However, after years of testing and modifications, the network became a great learning tool for the KYVE team in order to introduce a new testnet network that only includes the positive learnings, pushing Korellia down to a devnet level.

What’s a testnet?
A testnet is a separate blockchain network that is used for testing and experimentation. Testnets are typically designed to be identical to the mainnet in terms of functionality and code, but with a separate set of coins or tokens that have no real-world value. Testnets allow developers to test new applications, smart contracts, and other features without risking real assets.

An example of a testnet would be KYVE’s Kaon network. Kaon is a close replica of KYVE’s mainnet. In doing so, this allows us to create the perfect staging environment to ensure we don’t overlook certain risks or issues before pushing new features and updates onto mainnet.


Mainnet is the live, production-ready blockchain network that allows users to execute real transactions and use the blockchain for its intended purpose. It is the network where actual assets and value are exchanged and recorded on the blockchain. Mainnet is typically the most secure and reliable of the different blockchain networks.

Blockchains that are used everyday like Ethreum, Cardano, and Solana are all on mainnet. You can take Moonbeam, for example, Moonbeam is the mainnet network, and Moonbase Alpha is their testnet. 

KYVE’s mainnet network will provide the full stack of developer tools for decetentralized data validation, storage, and retrieval. It will also have a fully functional chain, or consensus layer.



You made it through the What is Mainnet course! You are now caught up on the main different blockchain networks.

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