Bitcoin has come a long way since its inception in 2009. Today, a lot of developers are working on Blockchain technology to improve Bitcoin’s utility.
If you are new to the Bitcoin ecosystem, you might have heard terms like Testnet, node, and Bitcoin Lightning Network very frequently. Technically, they are tools and technologies that facilitate seamless testing of features and payments.
In this blog, we will understand everything about Testnet and learn how you can test your payments over LN network testnet.
The Testnet is a replica of Bitcoin’s blockchain mainly used for testing. It shares all the characteristics of a Bitcoin Blockchain; however, the coins that are traded over the Testnet do not have any monetary value. Developers working to improve Bitcoin’s utility use Testnet to try their experimental features before rolling them out to the masses. Users can also send and receive payments to test a payment gateway before initiating real transactions.
While a Testnet functions like a Bitcoin Blockchain, it is completely separate from the livenet. This means you cannot use actual Bitcoins on Testnet and vice versa.
Testnets serve as a simulator for users and allow them to test various features a payment gateway offers without spending real money. Payment processors and developers use Testnet to test their experimental features before implementing them in the main blockchain.
Testnets are perfect for beginners and newbies who are learning to use a payment processor or want to understand how Bitcoin transactions work, how network fees are levied on their payments, etc. Here’s why Testnets are a valuable part of the Bitcoin ecosystem:
If you have recently started using a Bitcoin payment gateway, you might want to test transactions before enabling them on your website. The process is pretty straightforward, and we will go through each and every step. Let’s get going.
To start with, you will need an account with a Bitcoin payment processor. For this blog, we will take Speed as an example and follow the steps. If you don’t have a Speed account yet, sign up to follow along.
Once you have completed the registration, you will be able to access ln.dev — Speed’s native development environment to test Bitcoin transactions. It works just like the Lightning Network but for test payments (with coins that have no monetary value).
After enabling test mode, you will be able to send and receive test payments through ln.dev. To initiate the first transaction, create a payment or checkout link by heading over to Receive Payments > Checkout Links/Payment Links.
You can also receive payments via ln.dev. Simply enter any amount you wish to receive, and Speed will generate a corresponding Lightning Payment Request.
As soon as the transaction is through, the sender and receiver will be able to see a confirmation message, and the balance will immediately appear in your Speed account.
One of the easiest ways to differentiate a Testnet and a live transaction is through the address. Every Bitcoin Testnet address begins with an m or n. On the other hand, Bitcoin livenet addresses start with 1 or 3 or bc1. And it is impossible to send Testnet currency to a livenet Bitcoin address and vice versa.
Moreover, when you are working in test mode, it will be clearly indicated in your dashboard in the header/footer section. In simple words, your Testnet coins
Testnet = Test coins (no monetary value)
Livenet = Real, valuable currency
Testnet and live Bitcoin transactions are identical. Thus, you should be cautious when buying Bitcoins from another person. Scammers may trick you into believing you are getting real Bitcoins when they are sending test coins to your wallet. To ensure you are getting real coins, check the address from which they are coming from. And it is always recommended to purchase Bitcoins directly from a reputed exchange platform.
Here are a few tips to prevent Testnet scams:
Testnet is one of the best ways to explore a new Bitcoin payment gateway and test its features before initiating real money transactions. Most Bitcoin payment gateways allow you to send and receive money over the Testnet for free. For instance, when you sign up with Speed, you will receive 10,000 SATS in your account to test Speed’s features before transitioning into live mode.
Being a leading payment processor, Speed is jam-packed with user-centric features to offer your customers a seamless payment experience. Sign up today with Speed to explore its diverse payment features.