The Goerli testnet is a popular cross-client proof-of-authority testing network for Ethereum but is otherwise an entirely separate entity from the Ethereum ledger. It was established in March 2019. Tests are being run on applications before their final deployment on the mainnet.
Traders can also send tokens from other chains to Goerli. The tokens used are the testnet version of the actual ether and are supposed to be free for the developers.
Goerli’s distribution method for native ETH (GoETH) has been a major bone of contention since its distribution is primarily in the hands of a few validator entities. They distribute a small amount of GoETH. The traditional approach uses services called faucets to gain testnet tokens, which is deemed inconvenient by many.
In response, a cross-chain platform LayerZero designed a way for Goerli’s testnet ether to be traded and swapped between the Ethereum mainnet and the testnet. The focus is to enable devs to purchase testnet ether directly from the decentralized exchange, Uniswap.
The LayerZero developers launched a cross-chain liquidity pool that allows users to buy GoETH to quell concerns about acquiring the token. But critics have warned against the new approach of monetizing the native currency of a testnet and believe that such a mechanism will end up threatening the free nature of the testnet.
In fact, the price of the testnet ether shot up to $1.60 on Saturday, increasing by more than 673% since trading at $0.15 around the end of last week. The token has lost much of its value since but is still trading near $0.31.
Uniswap founder Hayden Adams called out those buying the token and warned that it will lose support from the testnet in his latest tweet,
“If you’re buying goerli eth, why in the actual hell are you doing that. Y’all know it’s a deprecated and soon to be fully unsupported testnet right? That said, always fun to have weird things happen on uniswap.”
Following the development, Polygon’s Chief Information Security Officer, Mudit Gupta, also chimed in and stated,
“Goerli eth is trading for ~$0.69. Not nice. Testnet ether is supposed to be free but is being marked up by speculators. Keyboard warriors will tell you that the developers are buying it but no, they are not. Maybe 0.1% are buying for consumption. This is the start of the end of the Goerli testnet. It served us well.”
Acquisition of testnet ether has become a major problem. To address this, a solution has now been proposed by Ethereum core dev Tim Beiko to develop a new testnet called Holli. This one, speculated to be released later this year, is expect
ed to improve the testing environment for client and application devs as well as node operators.