Most staking networks today view running an incentivized testnet as a key step toward a mainnet launch. In fact, it feels like incentivizing validators' test net participation is mandatory.
Validator time and attention is in short supply right now. Providing incentives in exchange for validator time and attention helps attract and engage a high quality validator set. Chorus One describes many other benefits of the approach in this post.
I help staking networks design incentivized testnets. I first started doing this soon after the Cosmos mainnet launch.
There weren't many incentivized testnet examples to point to then. As a result, most networks looked to the original incentivized testnet, Cosmos Game of Stakes , for inspiration. I published some ideas to improve it here.
I 'd also (and still do) point clients to the Iris Network. They continue pioneering a consistent and innovative test net program, even after their mainnet launch.
Now many other models have started to emerge. I've been fortunate to help design some along the way. As a result, there's an increasing number of examples to point to and learn from.
I intend to maintain a running list of them in this post. I'll start by listing them below. Over time I'll add specific links to details, reward structures and leaderboards.
P.S. - Would you like me to help design your incentivized test net? Contact me here to start the discussion!
Proof of Stake Incentivized Test Net Examples
Cosmos Game of Stakes (the original)