Keep Goerli Ether Alive as Ethereum Canary Network, DAO Argues

Much of the testing of Ethereum’s major upgrades, such as the Merge, have been conducted on Goerli.

AccessTimeIconMar 29, 2023 at 11:28 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 29, 2023 at 1:36 p.m. UTC

The future of the Ethereum Goerli test network remains uncertain, but a little-known Ethereum community is rallying behind the network in the hope that a solution can be found to keep it going.

GoerliDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, is making the case to continue Goerli as an active blockchain network and using goerli ether (gETH) to incentivize activity on the network.

“Goerli’s historical usage makes it an ideal candidate to be Ethereum’s de facto canary network – a pretesting environment closely resembling the mainnet,” the newly formed DAO said in a post earlier this week.

“An incentivized canary network like Goerli offers unique advantages to builders and users alike, and the concept has seen success on many blockchains – most notably with Kusama in relation to Polkadot,” it added.

It is unclear who is behind GoerliDAO as of Wednesday.

Testnets like Goerli are a testing environment that mimics real-world blockchain usage, allowing developers to find and patch critical bugs for upcoming products or features meant to be deployed on a blockchain's main, or live, network.

Much of the testing of Ethereum’s major upgrades, such as the Merge, were conducted on Goerli.

Keeping such a testing environment alive is what the folks behind GoerliDAO are rallying for: “The preservation of Goerli as a canary network will not only fill a crucial need within the Ethereum ecosystem but also pave the way for future innovation and incentivization in the world of decentralized finance,” they said.

A canary network is a proper chain of its own, and emulates most or all the features of the main blockchain it's designed to test. Unlike testnets, these are proper mainnets – but are primarily used to gauge riskier applications in a live environment before being pushed out to the public.

GoerliDAO also says that the existence of gETH markets is another “argument against its deprecation.”

Developers use gETH tokens for testing purposes. These tokens are a testnet version of actual ether (ETH) for developers to simulate transactions, smart contacts and other activities prior to deploying on Ethereum's main network. This means that these tokens are supposed to be free – issued simply for testnet developers.

In February, cross-chain trading platform LayerZero created a swap product that allowed developers to purchase the testnet ether directly from the decentralized exchange Uniswap.

This made it significantly easier for Ethereum developers to test and have access to ether on the Goerli testnet. At their peak, gETH prices jumped to over $1.50.

Edited by Greg Ahlstrand.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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