I understand that both the Rinkeby and Kovan testnets employ the Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus algorithms. I also understand how PoA works. However, I still dont understand how Kovan and Rinkeby differs. From this post, I see Kovan is "supported by Parity" and Rinkeby is "supported by geth".

  1. What does this mean?
  2. I have noticed that my transactions take on average 5 sec to get mined on Kovan while it takes on average 20 sec to get mined on Rinkeby. If the consensus algs on both these networks are identical PoA, why is there a huge difference in the mining times of transactions across these networks?

Rinkeby is not supported by Parity because Rinkeby uses Clique consensus mechanism and Parity has not implemented this mechanism.

Kovan is not supported by Geth because Kovan uses Aura consensus mechanism (authority round) and Geth has not implemented this mechanism.

you can read more about this here.

Hope it will help.

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