As previously announced, the Ropsten network has been deprecated and will be shut down in the coming weeks. Over the past few months, infrastructure providers have gradually stopped supporting the network and validator participation rates have been steadily declining.
The vast majority of remaining validator nodes will be shut down during the December 15-31, 2022 period. After this, Ropsten will no longer be supported by client, testing or infrastructure teams.
As a reminder, the next testnet to be sunset is Rinkeby. The network will be live until mid-2023 to give users and application developers the chance to migrate to either Goerli or Sepolia. That said, Rinkeby does not support The Merge, nor will it support future network upgrades. It is no longer a feature-equivalent replica of the Ethereum mainnet.
The Merge and legacy testnet deprecations have provided an opportunity for the Ethereum community to rethink its broader approach to test networks. Proposals around purpose-specific networks for stakers vs. developers, end-of-life norms for testnets and more are being discussed on Ethereum Magicians and in community calls. If you have strong opinions about the future of Ethereum testnets, now is the time to voice them!
Cover image by Micael Widell