Why is the Rinkeby testnet only available when using geth and Kovan only available when using Parity?

Why is it not possible to connect to every testnet using every client? All clients can connect to the mainnet (Homestead), so why can't they connect to every testnet?


Both Rinkeby and Kovan are "Proof of Authority" (PoA) networks - unlike the Mainnet which is a Proof of Work, consensus, network.

The Kovan PoA consensus algorithm was created by the Parity team and the implementation differs from that of the PoA consensus algorithm developed by the Ethereum Foundation. This slight difference makes them incompatible.

  • 1
    It might be sensible to note that the Parity PoA engine has been around for a while and after the launch of Kovan network, the Geth team decided to draft an entirely different PoA engine. Now we are stuck with two different implementations.
    – Afr
    Sep 7 '17 at 9:19

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