If enough people mine testnet ETH for testing purposes, difficulty will rise along with the cost of generating testnet coins. In some a circumstance why would the value of testnet coins not rise based on supply/demand?

up vote 17 down vote accepted

The testnet can be reset any time by the Ethereum developers by issuing a new default genesis block. New testnet nodes would run automatically the new testnet. Therefore people do not build any business on it. Also miners prefer mainnet because of the potential reset, therefore testnet will always be insecure.

  1. Testnet ETH is practically infinite. The Morden genesis block allocates one address, 1.6e42 Ether. Some Ethereum developers know the private key to this and its primary use is for faucets.

Here's the account and balance:

accounts": {
"102e61f5d8f9bc71d0ad4a084df4e65e05ce0e1c": { "balance": "1606938044258990275541962092341162602522202993782792835301376", "nonce": "1048576" }
}

https://morden.ether.camp/account/102e61f5d8f9bc71d0ad4a084df4e65e05ce0e1c

Balance ETHER 1,606,938,044,258,990,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

  1. Testnet ETH is free, there are faucets such as this Get Free Ether link (upper left). Testnet faucets are set up by developers so that anyone can freely test Ethereum and DApps.

  2. Testnet can also be "reset" by the Ethereum core developers.

EDIT: The first testnet reset occurred on November 20 2016:

So the time is now right to leave Morden behind and start a new test network.

New clients will be released that use Ropsten instead of Morden as the default testnet.

  • As argued before, the fact that there is a faucet does not cause a devaluation of the currency. This is due the fact that the source of the ETH in the faucet is still obtained by mining. Therefore, the coins out of the faucet do not change the inflation of the currency. If you inherit 1MM Swiss Francs you are not devaluating the Francs – Roland Kofler Jun 1 '16 at 6:24
  • Most of the testnet ETH is in the genesis block. Some Ethereum developers know the private key to this and are wealthy beyond imagination with testnet ETH. I will edit... – eth Jun 1 '16 at 7:02
  • ok it gets difficult, probably there is still a lot of presale ETH in the genesis of the Mainnet and no proof that the devs don't have the private keys for them. – Roland Kofler Jun 1 '16 at 7:06
  • 1
    Thanks for prodding for further explanation; hopefully it is better. I will delete my comments eventually. – eth Jun 1 '16 at 7:14
  • 1
    That's the theory, but you're right some or most faucets have mined it on testnet. – eth Jun 1 '16 at 7:36

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