Introduction to Ethereum Testnet
Everyone is familiar with the Ethereum blockchain due to its popularity in the blockchain industry after Bitcoin. Most decentralized applications are built and deployed to this chain using smart contracts.
Do you know that there is an environment where smart contracts are tested before being deployed? This environment is called the testnet and it is a simulation of the Ethereum mainnet. There are two environments for the Ethereum blockchain namely Ropsten and Rinkeby. My focus would be on Rinkeby as Ropsten is now deprecated.
Rinkeby is a testnet based on Ethereum blockchain which is forked from the Ethereum code. Rinkeby is a Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism thereby creating a great environment for Ethereum development.
- More centralized and can’t be easily spammed.
- Proof of Authority (PoA) enhances the overall security of this environment.
If you do not have Metamask browser extension, you can get it at the web store. From there, you click on the add button to add.
Adding Rinkeby to wallet:
- Open your Metamask wallet by clicking on the puzzle looking image by the top right side of your browser
- Click on the dropdown close to the Metamask wallet — in my case where you have Alfajores
- Scroll down to the end where you have add network
- It would take you to the Chrome browser extension
- Start filling in the network information and click save to add
Getting Test ETH
For the environment to work like a simulation, you would need the test token through the faucet. This token is just for testing and has no real value like the main ETH.
Some sites to get test faucet:
You would be asked for Ethereum Address. Open your Metamask and click on the account to copy
- Paste on the input field provided by the site and click on the send button to get it. In the case of Alchemy, the send button looks like this
- Refresh your wallet after some seconds to see your balance.
This article is to introduce people especially new developers to the testnets and how to get test tokens. It is applicable to other blockchains, the difference is their chain IDs and RPC url.
Thank you for reading.