While Ethereum Mainnet is by far the most widely used Ethereum-based network, there is an entire ecosystem of smaller networks that could be useful for developers, enterprise blockchains, or consortia projects.
Join us as we explore 17 of the hottest Ethereum-based networks across three core categories. We’ll analyze the key characteristics of each and offer our insider tips on which networks to avoid and which ones we recommend integrating into your existing systems.
This blog post is based on the presentation given at Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) in Paris in March 2020 by Peter Eulberg. You can watch the video (25 min) on the Anyblock YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3FQpDdj3JQ
Why Are We Interested In Ethereum-Based Blockchains?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of each network, let’s take some time to understand why we’re interested in other Ethereum-based networks.
Innovation. The wider Ethereum-based ecosystem is experiencing rapid growth. With blockchain being such a fast and constantly-evolving industry, keeping a watchful eye on emerging technologies can open doors to innovative business opportunities.
Code compatibility. Compatibility between Ethereum Mainnet and most of the smaller Ethereum-based networks facilitates experimentation, porting of existing functionalities, and seamless transfers between multiple networks.
Cost & Community. Some smaller networks can undercut Ethereum Mainnet gas limits for cheaper running costs. Some developers also enjoy building community-focused chains with dedicated niche user groups.
That said, it’s also important to stay alert to potential drawbacks of smaller chains. Some PoA networks have unclear governance, while others can have a very small network size and use out of date protocols.
So, let’s take a look at what Ethereum-based networks are on the market:
Public Blockchains / Mainnets
Public blockchain networks are decentralized and aren’t controlled by a single entity. Public blockchains are secure as individuals are unable to modify or alter a block once it has been validated on the blockchain.
The following chains are the main production networks, as opposed to the testnets presented afterwards.
Ethereum Mainnet is the largest Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) network out there. It is incredibly well-known in the world of blockchain and serves as the benchmark for most Ethereum-based networks (and many others as well).
Ethereum Mainnet was established in July 2015 as an open-source proof-of-work network. It consists of a blockchain-based computing platform and an operating system that facilitates smart contract protocols. It can, therefore, compute any code and is hence sometimes called “world computer”.
Chain ID: 1
Network ID: 1
Block time: ~ 13 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ethereum/mainnet/
Ethereum Classic is one of the original proof-of-work blockchain networks. When Ethereum Mainnet forked in the Summer of 2016 (as a result of “The DAO” hack and the reversal of the stolen funds), Ethereum Classic Mainnet was born. The Ethereum Classic developers decided to keep the original state and include the hack.
Chain ID: 61
Network ID: 1
Block time: ~ 12 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/classic/mainnet/
Ethereum Ellaism Mainnet is a proof-of-work network with web-assembly enabled. The network involves zero pre-mine costs or mandatory developer fees.
Ellaism centers around transparency, stability, and community. It’s also directly associated with a purpose-built testnet called Autumnus. The network currently runs on Parity and is expected to integrate with the likes of CarbonVote and MinerVote in the coming years.
Chain ID: 64
Network ID: 64
Block time: ~ 14 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ellaism/mainnet/
The Ethereum Mix Mainnet is supported by Mix-Geth and Parity — maintaining a deep focus on censorship resistance, inclusion, and empowerment of the individual. View the image below to visualize how the Mix Mainnet network moves and stores on-chain events.
Chain ID: 76
Network ID: 76
Block time: ~ 7 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/mix/mainnet/
Ethereum-based Test Networks
We can think of test chains as experimental sandboxes for developers and native blockchain users to run simulated tests.
Testnets support experimentation to refine dApp developments in a simulated environment. Testnets are useful developer resources to build native blockchain products and identify errors before going live. A key advantage of these testing environments is not having to buy real ETH to pay for gas to get the on-chain transactions processed.
Ropsten (Ethereum Testnet)
Ethereum Ropsten is the successor to Morden — the first Ethereum Testnet. We do not recommend this network as it is prone to spam attacks, slow speeds, and poor reliability.
Chain ID: 3
Network ID: 3
Block time: sub ~30 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ethereum/ropsten/
Rinkeby (Ethereum Testnet)
Ethereum Rinkeby is a proof-of-authority test network established in April 2017. Rinkeby uses Clique PoA consensus protocols that are developed and maintained by Geth. The network is supported by Geth, Nethermind, and Hyperledger Besu.
Chain ID: 4
Network ID: 4
Block time: ~15 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ethereum/rinkeby/
Kovan (Ethereum Testnet)
Chain ID: 42
Network ID: 42
Block time: ~4 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ethereum/kovan/
Goerli (Ethereum Testnet)
Ethereum Goerli is a proof-of-authority test network that was established in March 2019. Goerli uses a clique consensus mechanism. The network is directly maintained by the Goerli developer community and supported by Geth, Parity, Nethermind, and Hyperledger Besu. We prefer Ethereum Goerli over Kovan to test for Mainnet due to Goerli’s increased network size, the number of nodes and the variety of clients.
Chain ID: 6284
Network ID: 6284
Block time: ~15 seconds on average
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ethereum/goerli/
Kotti (Ethereum Classic Testnet)
Kotti corresponds to the Goerli testnet for Ethereum.
Chain ID: 6
Network ID: 6
Block time: ~ 15 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/classic/kotti/
Mordor (Ethereum Classic Testnet)
Ethereum Classic Mordor is a proof-of-work testnet that was established in October 2019 as the new and improved replacement for Ethereum Morden.
Chain ID: 63
Network ID: 7
Block time: ~12 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/classic/mordor/
Laika (Trustlines Testnet)
The Laika testnet is the daughter network of Trustlines Blockchain (TLBC). Laika is a minimal viable proof-of-stake (mPoS) testnet.
Laika uses an authority round (AuRa) consensus mechanism that’s supported by Parity. The Trustlines Protocol uses networks of mutual-trust to trace and transfer valuable information.
Chain ID: 18548
Network ID: 4874
Block time: ~5 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/trustlines/laika/
Sokol (POA Testnet)
The Sokol Testnet provides an application testing environment for developers planning to use the Ethereum POA Core network.
DApp testing for PAO Core via the Sokol testnet uses a native token called SPOA. SPOA tokens are distributed in increments of 100 and can be purchased via the Sokol Faucet.
Chain ID: 77
Network ID: 77
Block time: ~5 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/poa/sokol/
Volta (Energy Web Chain Testnet)
Volta is a testnet designed to help energy companies with regulation and operational efficiency. The network is supported by Parity and uses an authority round (AuRa) consensus mechanism with the likes of Shell, Elia, and LO3 as validators.
To date, more than ten organizations host permissioned validator nodes on the Volta network.
Chain ID: 73799
Network ID: 73799
Block time: ~5.6 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ewf/volta/
Blockchain Consortium Networks
Consortia networks involve multiple organizations maintaining and governing the network. While consortia networks are technically permissioned (i.e. not public), they can still offer a decentralized structure for members of a blockchain consortium or by themselves to a wider ecosystem.
POA Core is an autonomous blockchain network that is secured by a group of trusted validators. All validators are US notaries with publicly available information.
The consortium network facilitates fast and inexpensive transactions for use cases, including blockchain games, community-based currencies, subsidized transactions, DAO governance, and decentralized finance (DeFi).
Chain ID: 99
Network ID: 99
Block time: ~ 5 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/poa/core/
xDai was originally a proof-of-authority chain that used an authority round (AuRa) consensus mechanism, supported by Parity and Nethermind. Nowadays, xDai has evolved into a permissionless delegated proof-of-stake based consensus with POSDAO.
The xDai network is designed for everyday crypto payments and transactions. Gas fees are extremely low, and payments are very fast. Its value remains stable at ~ $1 US Dollar per xDai.
We highly recommend xDai and have a lot of positive experience with this network.
Chain ID: 100
Network ID: 100
Block time: ~ 5 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/poa/xdai/
TLBC is all about people-powered money. The network provides members with the transparency and information they need to make community-driven decisions. The Trustlines Protocol leverages networks of mutual-trust to action unique formal or informal trust-rules.
We recommend this network for “banking the unbanked”, promoting financial inclusion and developing crypto on a permissioned-variant of Ethereum blockchain.
Chain ID: 4660
Network ID: 4660
Block time: ~ 5 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/trustlines/tlbc/
Energy Web Chain
The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain for the energy sector.
The Energy Web Chain (EWC) for Ethereum is a public, enterprise-grade blockchain platform to help energy companies with the management and regulation of the industry. The EWC is a public blockchain network open to all utilities, users, and devices.
Chain ID: 246
Network ID: 246
Block time: ~ 5 seconds
Anyblock block explorer: https://explorer.anyblock.tools/ethereum/ewf/ewc/
Universal Search: Browse Multiple Ethereum Blockchain Networks At Once
Imagine a blockchain-based search engine that lets you simultaneously search across multiple networks in the click of a button. Well, look no further.
Anyblock Analytics has combined historical and real-time data from over 17 Ethereum-based blockchain networks to provide a one-stop-shop for all your blockchain search needs.
While the search capacity of most blockchain lookup tools is limited to Ethereum Mainnet, we’ve made it our mission to improve accessibility and readability across a range of networks of all shapes and sizes.
Block Explorer: Find Real-Time Blockchain Data For All Ethereum Networks
At Anyblock Analytics, we understand that a block explorer is an essential tool for any blockchain task, and that some smaller Ethereum-based chains were lacking a reliable data source. So, we’ve created a dedicated block explorer to make it fast and easy to search for various Ethereum-based networks.
Get up-to-date information about the latest on-chain events and review historical data in the click of a button.
On any of our supported networks, you can search transactions or block hashes, or browse external-owned accounts and smart contract addresses. The results include in-depth insights including, for example:
All Block Header Details such as timestamp, miner, block size…
List of transactions
List of logs
Timestamp, nonce and status
From & To Addresses
Traces of internal transactions
Translated event logs (e.g. “transfer” with token value)
NONCE (Number Only Used Once)
Sum and list of transactions and logs
Contract metadata (e.g. name and token symbol)
Contract ABI and source code (if available)
Network Status: Check The Status Of Each Blockchain
Do you need a fast and effective way to check the status of Ethereum-based blockchain networks?
Discover our handy status checker tool for real-time updates and instant access to each chain via our Block Explorer.
We hope you found this overview of Top Ethereum Blockchains helpful and would love to hear about your experiences with the different networks!
And if you are active in the community of any other Ethereum-based blockchain and would like to see your network added into our tools – happy to talk about it, just give us a call!