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  • The native token of an Ethereum testnet, meant for testing purposes, attracted speculators over the weekend, causing its value to jump.
  • The problem with the upsurge is that it could make the testing of pre-produced Ethereum dApps costly.

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The developers of Ethereum are contemplating ending one of the blockchain’s testnet, Goerli, after its supposedly experimental token, gETH, attracted speculative buyers, who caused the price to rise more than 600%, according to CoinGecko.

A testnet is an identical copy of the actual blockchain that enables developers to test their decentralized applications (dApps) and Web3 projects before deploying them on the mainnet. It is important since running tests on Ethereum is costly and requires gas fees. Goerli works alongside other testnets like Ropsten and Sepolia.

Launched in 2019, the testnet was designed to include a native token gETH – a version of ether token meant for the developers to simulate transactions and run smart contracts. Accordingly, gETH is supposed to be free and easily available for those meant to use it – the developers.

Why the surging gETH is a problem

The soaring value of gETH is becoming a big problem for the developers because it means a high cost of testing dApps. Some of them have been reported to have ditched the tokens. The solution to this, according to one of the developers, Mudit Gupta, is to migrate to other testnets.

‘‘Testnet ether is supposed to be free but is being marked up by speculators,’’ Gupta posted. ‘‘Keyboard warriors will tell you that the developers are buying it, but no, they are not. Maybe 0.1% are buying for consumption.’’ His frustrations were echoed by Uniswap’s founder Hayden Adams who complained about those buying the ‘worthless’ token of the soon-to-be unsupported testnet. Testnet is usually meant to last for a short period before being disbanded.

The real problems facing the Goerli concerning gETH started when the dummy asset was listed on Uniswap to address a supply issue. Initially, the testnet was distributed through a crypto faucet (a way in which a crypto app or website rewards people with some crypto for completing certain tasks). The distribution metric soon proved unsustainable, forcing crypto project LayerZero to move the token to Uniswap, and that is when the speculators jumped in.

Amidst the problem, one of the Ethereum devs, Tim Beiko, recently proposed a new testnet, Holli, set for release later in the year. Beiko has touted his proposed platform to improve the network testing environment.

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