Does a testnet ever merge with the mainnet? In other words, if I have ETH on a testnet, will I ever have actual ETH or do testnets remain for testing forever?
I Googled in multiple ways but could never find a simple "No" or "Yes" to this question.
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Just adding a bit of nuance to Rob's answer.
All Ethereum testnets started with a blank slate and have never and will never sync the balances with mainnet. Don't mistake them for hard spoons, which are blockchains that cloned the balances of another blockchain, but remain independent in all other regards.
No. All networks have different IDs, thats the discriminating them when running on a client. Also, all clients need to speak and sync with the same ID.
Here is a summary of IDs to get an idea. https://ethereum.stackexchange.com/a/17101/5375