Choosing a Web3 Network

A detailed guide to choosing which Network to deploy on for Ethereum and Layer 2s. Compares Layer 1 chains vs Layer 2 chains as well as Mainnet vs Testnet environments.

Layer 1 vs. Layer 2

Alchemy currently supports the Ethereum Layer 1 chain and the Arbitrum Layer 2 chain. Arbitrum is a separate chain built on top of Ethereum as a smart contract that supports faster transaction times, higher throughput, lower gas costs, and many more benefits. Activity and transactions are ultimately relayed to the Layer 1 chain from Arbitrum through optimistic rollups.


Mainnet vs. Testnet

Every blockchain (including both Layer 1s and Layer 2s) has a mainnet. The mainnet is the blockchain that actually carries out real-world transactions and events for the public. This is different from a testnet, which is used to test out those transactions and events before putting them into production.


Ethereum Testnets

Goerli

Goerli is a proof-of-authority blockchain, supported by multiple clients. This testnet has the goal of being both widely used across all client implementations supporting the Clique Proof of Authority (PoA) engine and robust enough to guarantee consistent availability and high reliability.

📘

Choosing Your Testnet

Goerli is the recommended testnet to build on as other testnets are going to be deprecated in the future.

Check out more info about Goerli on GitHub.

Rinkeby

❗️

Deprecation Warning

Rinkeby is going to be deprecated sometime in 2022, we recommend using Goerli instead.

Rinkeby is a proof-of-authority blockchain that uses the Clique PoA consensus protocol and is only supported by Geth. This testnet is immune to spam attacks since the Ether supply is controlled by trusted parties and has to be requested from a faucet, not mined.

Note: Rinkeby doesn't fully reproduce the current production environment since it uses PoA.

Check out more info about Rinkeby on the website.


Arbitrum

Mainnet

Arbitrum currently has one testnet on connected to Ethereum's Kovan testnet. This operates exactly the same as Arbitrum mainnet but is built as a smart contract on Kovan instead of on Ethereum mainnet. It is currently under development and will be released shortly.

Rinkeby

Arbitrum currently has one testnet on connected to Ethereum's Rinkeby testnet. This operates exactly the same as Arbitrum mainnet but is built as a smart contract on Rinkeby instead of on Ethereum mainnet.


Polygon

Mumbai

Polygon has one testnet known as the Mumbai network, which operates exactly the same as the Polygon mainnet.


Which Ethereum Testnet Should I use?

We recommend using the Goerli testnet as all other testnets on Ethereum are expected to be deprecated after the Merge.


Did this page help you?