Mimblewimble Just Launched Its First Testnet

An experimental blockchain boasting an innovative array of potential features is now entering a new phase of testing.

AccessTimeIconNov 17, 2017 at 1:35 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:10 a.m. UTC

The experimental blockchain network mimblewimble has launched on testnet.

Known for its creative use of Harry Potter references, the project was proposed last year by a cryptographer going by the pseudonym "Tom Elvis Jedusor" (French for Harry Potter's archnemesis Lord Voldemort). And while such trappings may make it silly to some, developers are serious about the tech – arguing it improves scalability and privacy with cutting-edge cryptography.

Now, the team behind the effort is taking its first step toward putting the code to the test.

As explained by lead developer Ignotus Peverell, the testnet will offer a workshop of sorts for developers, complete with fake coins that allow them to detect (and correct) issues before launching a version with real money on the line.

The developer went on to explain that with the testnet (called testnet1) up and running, a few developers are mining and running the nodes that follow the cryptocurrency's unique rules.

He told CoinDesk:

"There's still a lot of work, but it's a big milestone for us."

Users can now operate a node and connect to the Grin network by "building" the software through a process described on GitHub. They can also send cryptocurrency tokens (also called 'grin') to other testnet users with the aim of helping plot out issues.

"We hope to have as many bug reports as possible, so we can start fixing issues we've overlooked," Peverell said. "At this point, one can still expect failures that would be a complete nightmare on a mainnet."

Transactions and beyond

In short, Peverell anticipates there will be many versions of the testnet.

"This is our first testnet, so we're testing everything that has been developed so far. That includes the peer-to-peer network, the core consensus rules, the cryptography required to run a mimblewimble chain, the wallet software," Peverell added.

Later versions, he suggested, will include more advanced features such as so-called "scriptless scripts" that would add other functionalities, such as Lightning Networks, to Grin.

Still, it might not be too long before the cryptocurrency goes live. According to Peverell, the team is aiming for launch "sometime in 2018."

Magic wand image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.