In a previous article, we discussed the differences between testnets and mainnets as well as their importance as technical milestones for any successful cryptocurrency project. A lot of projects are planning to launch either testnets or mainnets in the coming weeks. Let’s look at the 5 most important mainnets currently scheduled for release in Q2 2018.
All of these projects have large followings and are ranked in the top 30 in market cap rankings as of mid-May 2018. We’ll examine the details we know so far and how the mainnets might impact the current cryptocurrency market.
All market caps on this list were calculated on May 16, 2018.
Mainnet Launch Date: May 31
Market Cap: $4.6 billion
Tron (TRX) plans to stop using Ethereum’s ERC20 token technology on June 25, 2018, less than a month after the mainnet’s release. In addition, all old Tron dapps designed for the Ethereum network will be able to seamlessly transition towards use on Tron’s new virtual machine, TronVM v.0.1. The Tron Foundation has also announced that it will offer a reward program for Tron dapp developers.
Even though Tron consistently ranks as one of the top five cryptocurrencies by 24-hour trade volume on a lot of popular cryptocurrency exchanges, prices were down even before the beginning of the bear market cycle that began in early May. However, a successful mainnet launch should do a lot to bolster Tron’s standing as a top cryptocurrency from a technology perspective.
Mainnet Launch Date: June 2
Market Cap: $10.5 billion
EOS is a project that has seen many updates in Q1 and Q2 of 2018. Just a little over a month after the release of Dawn 3.0, the EOS project team released Dawn 4.0 in early May 2018 with 40+ developers pushing commits to the project’s Github page. All of these updates are buildups to the main event: the EOSIO 1.0 mainnet launch on June 2.
One of the most important aspects of this project is its accessibility to developers. Unlike Ethereum, which requires programmers to learn a new language (Solidity), EOS utilizes C++ and will even provide a C++ standard template library.
CTO Daniel Larimer has also written that the project should be able to handle 3,000 transactions per second on average in a real-world scenario, giving EOS a lot more scalability than most projects currently on the market.
VeChain Thor (VEN/VET)
Mainnet Launch Date: June 30
Market Cap: $2.4 billion
VeChain Thor was created as a platform for the integration of IoT and blockchain, essentially an enterprise-level blockchain solution for the global supply chain (shipping, logistics, retail, and more).
VeChain Thor (VEN/VET) representatives announced the mainnet launch via Twitter back in April and have been testing the VeChain Thor blockchain ecosystem internally since that time. In early May, 100 hand-picked public testers were given access to the original code and allowed to test the network’s capabilities as part of the project’s Public Alpha Test.
For now, the network will support at least two different tokens: VeChain (VET) and Thor Power (THOR). VET will generate THOR, a similar network functionality as NEO’s method of generating GAS with NEO.
Mainnet Launch Date: June (exact date TBA)
Market Cap: $822 million
Little information is available about the Ontology mainnet; however, we do know that it’s expected to launch sometime in June (exact date TBA). If this plan holds up, it will mean that the project has achieved some pretty significant progress in a short period of time considering that the ICO only ended on January 8, 2018, and its testnet launched on March 30, 2018.
Ontology’s mainnet launch will feature a NEO-GAS economic system, where users will be able to swap the current tokens with the true ONT coins that will emit ONT GAS, called ONG. In the eyes of many potential investors and people in the Ontology community, this makes sense given the fact that Ontology & NEO have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and are working together to create a shared smart contract ecosystem.
Mainnet Launch Date: Most likely Q2, exact date TBA
Market Cap: $892 million
Like Ontology, Aeternity has yet to set an exact date for its mainnet launch; however, the current plan seems to be a release by the end of Q2. Although it could take place in Q3. Also similar to Ontology, there isn’t much information available about which features will be added in the mainnet release.
The initial testnet release occurred back in December 2017 and you’re free to give it a try. According to the Aeternity blog, you can do a multitude of activities with the testnet, including running nodes, sending testnet tokens, and mining. The team has also worked on testing its testnet in creative ways at real-world events such as the 2018 re:publica conference in Berlin.
Potential Impact of Upcoming Mainnets
Project teams hope that the release of their mainnets will result in increases in the value of token prices. However, this won’t necessarily be the case. As we examined in a previous article, a mainnet’s ability to create short-term price gains is difficult to directly correlate. A lot depends on the overall market trends at the time.
For the long-term, however, mainnets are essential for creating the foundations for widespread user adoption. Technical milestones don’t guarantee that a project will ultimately be considered to be successful, but they do help the entire cryptocurrency market by bringing the token economy ever-closer to becoming the new, mainstream economy.