The Difference Between NEAR Testnet and Mainnet Explained


Dec 14, 2021

2 min read

The Difference Between NEAR Testnet and Mainnet Explained

NEAR Protocol is a decentralized application platform made to enable the open web of the future. The NEAR ecosystem goes far and wide to support its applications and aid its economic growth. On the NEAR platform, developers can build applications without worrying about the server and have access to open finance in building smart contracts.

NEAR Testnet

A Testnet is an alternative or often a first and second version of a blockchain to be used for testing. Testnet assets are separate and distinct from Mainnet assets and are not expected to value investing. Testnet is typically used for development purposes. When you build a new feature that requires you to send and receive assets, and you don't have any real assets or don't want to lose them mistakenly, you use a test network (Testnet). All core changes are first tested on testnet before releasing on Mainnet. Other details of the testnet can be found as listed below.

NEAR Mainnet

Mainnet is the original and functional blockchain where actual transactions occur in the distributed ledger, and the native cryptocurrencies possess real economic value. The Mainnet performs the functionality of executing real transactions within the network, which is stored on the blockchain and is referred to as the ‘end product’ that is open for the public to use.

Each transaction executed on the blockchain requires participants to pay a transaction fee (payable in the native coin) to incentivize miners to validate the transactions and prevent network spamming. For their hard work, miners will be rewarded with native coins from the protocol and also the transaction fees paid by the participants.

Testnet vs Mainnet

Testnet and Mainnet are different from each other. The table below explains those differences.




NEAR Protocol testing environment 

NEAR Protocol functional blockchain 


Real transactions but with no value, purpose is to test the chain, Dapps, etc.

Real transactions with real value


No economic benefits, just testing purposes 

Real economic incentives for blockchain participants

Final Thoughts

NEAR’s innovative Mainnet is powered by the development trials deployed on the Testnet. Where NEAR’s Testnet focuses on creating user accounts and other development advantages, NEAR’s Mainnet is known for its innovative approach and solutions. Recently, the network announced the launch of Simple Nightshade, the first step toward a fully shared and secure blockchain. At Stakin, we look forward to the future the NEAR ecosystem brings in its growth.

DISCLAIMER: This is not financial advice. Staking, delegation, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk, and there is always the possibility of loss, including the failure of all staked digital assets. Additionally, delegators are at risk of slashing in case of security or liveness faults on some protocols. We advise you to do your due diligence before choosing a validator.

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