High-throughput blockchain Elrond has announced it is allocating $40,000 worth of prizes to users of its testnet. The move is designed to incentivize users to stress-test the platform ahead of a mainnet launch. Following a similar successful endeavor last year, testing will be run as a “virtual battleground” where participants compete for prizes by performing missions to find bugs.
Starting from June 4, users are invited to participate in the Elrond testnet as part of its “Battle of Nodes: Onchained” event. The event will use gamification to teach users how to operate the latest release of Elrond nodes and undergo white-hat attempts to find cracks or flaws in network security. The virtual battle will also hard forks and network restarts in an effort to simulate real-life events on a live blockchain mainnet, along with two undisclosed “special events” to demonstrate performance.
As a reward for participation, testnet users will share a bounty of $20,000 worth of Elrond’s ERD tokens. A further $20,000 worth of ERD will be allocated as staking rewards to those who go on to operate a mainnet node over the next year. Prizes will be distributed according to the participation level. Keeping a node online, completing missions, and identifying bugs will maximize the chances of earning the biggest rewards.
The Road to Mainnet
Mainnet launch will depend on the outcome of the testnet activities. Once the testnet has successfully completed 15 days online without interruptions, and with a satisfactorily heavy throughput and stress testing completed, Elrond will launch its mainnet.
Elrond CEO Beniamin Mincu explains: “Battle of Nodes: Onchained is the final and most important step before the Elrond mainnet. Through it, we will demonstrate a robust and performant network leading to the launch.”
The project previously ran other “Battle of Nodes” events as part of earlier testing. In October and December 2019, Elrond awarded $75,000 worth of prizes to over 400 participants from 43 countries. Therefore, based on past success, it seems likely that this final push to mainnet will yield a high level of engagement.
Elrond achieved an early boost by being one of the few projects selected for IEO on the Binance Launchpad platform. It sells itself on extremely high throughput, together with low fees.
It achieves this scalability through its innovative sharding mechanism, known as Adaptive State Sharding. This approach combines state, transaction, and network sharding into a single solution, which improves communication within the shards. In doing so, Elrond can achieve transaction speeds of up to 10,000 transactions per second.
Sharding seems to be the scaling mechanism of choice for many blockchains, with the long-awaited ETH 2.0 implementation to introduce its own sharding mechanism. However, as this will come later in the ETH 2.0 timeline, it could still be some way off.
Incentivized Testnets Proving a Hit
Elrond follows in the footsteps of several other projects that have successfully incentivized participants to use their testnet. Perhaps the most notable is Cardano, which recently jumped in price following the announcement from IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson of an updated roadmap.
The next major milestone of the much-anticipated “Shelley” era of the Cardano platform will start with a hard fork on June 30. The Shelley launch means that users who participated in the incentivized testnet will receive their Shelley Incentivized Testnet (ITN) rewards on the mainnet in early August.
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