Pontem testnet is live on Substrate!

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Another important milestone has been reached: Pontem Network is now live on the testnet, and you can already build projects on it using a graphic or command line interface. If you’re eager to practice with Move VM ahead of the release of Diem by Facebook, this is your best chance.

Play and experiment with an Experimental Network for Diem on testnet right now!

Releasing a testnet is always an emotional moment. Finally, you’re showing something you’ve been working on for months to a wide audience, and while it provides an immense feeling of accomplishment, you know that the real work is just beginning. Now we’ll need to collect feedback, find and fix bugs, and make the product as good as it can be — and we’ll be very grateful to you, developers and blockchain users, for helping us with that.

Pontem Network is an experimental network that allows you to build dApps compatible with Diem by Facebook and test them out without any limitations or restrictions. Our codebase is almost identical to Diem’s, so any solution that you create with Pontem will be easy to migrate to Diem when the time comes. And since we have a Polkadot parathread on Substrate, you can integrate your creations into the larger blockchain ecosystem.

You can access the testnet here. Connection is possible both via a graphic UI or a command-line interface (CLI), written in Javascript.

Using the testnet is easy with our step-by-step guides

On our Documentation portal, we’ve put up a number of detailed tutorials that will guide you through every step: creating a new UI and/or CLI account, installing the Dove package manager, and making your first transaction with testnet PONT coins.

The graphic interface is simple enough to use for non-developers, and we heartily invite you to do so. Apart from helping us build the first canary network for Diem, you’ll also interact first-hand with a Substrate-built blockchain — isn’t that cool?

If you are a developer and would rather use the command line, please refer to this article.

Please note that it’s still an early version of the testnet, secured with our own nodes. We will be releasing updates to the testnet in the coming months and expanding the node network. Still, what there is now is already enough to build lots of projects thanks to the support of Move VM.

A few words about Move and Move VM

Move is a secure and flexible programming language created for Diem and based on Rust. It can be used to create coins and all sorts of custom modules. The Move introduction page on the Diem Developers portal stresses more than once that such custom modules won’t be available when the Diem Payment Network launches, but of course we at Pontem won’t place such limitations on developers. Quite the contrary: we want you to be able to build all kinds of modules as soon as possible.

Move Virtual Machine allows developers to safely verify and execute the code written in Move within a sandbox environment. It’s similar to the better-known EVM, or Ethereum Virtual Machine.

Pontem won’t just support Move VM: thanks to our Substrate parathread, we will integrate it with third-party liquidity protocols and oracles so that you can start building your own Diem-compatible ecosystem long before Diem itself becomes available. Read more about Move VP on our Documentation portal. We also invite you to check out the Pontem GitHub page, where you’ll find a full Move toolset.

To summarize: you can already access the testnet here. All the necessary instructions are available on our Documentation page. You’ll do us a real favor if you try it out and share your feedback; the best place to do it is in our official Telegram chat. Buckle up and welcome to the testnet!

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  1. Blockchain fees. Most NFTs are issued on the Ethereum blockchain, where you have to pay for gas. NFT minting involves a complex smart contract and thus requires a lot more gas than simply sending crypto. Plus, the gas has been very expensive in the past few months, so you can expect to pay at least $50–100 in gas fees per NFT collection.
  2. Marketplace fees. While you can issue an NFT on your own, it will be hard to promote it and find buyers. That’s why most creators work with NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. And while minting NFTs on OpenSea is technically gasless and free, there is a gas fee to initialize a seller account and accept a bid from a buyer — expect to pay around $150 in total. On Rarible, the costs can exceed $600.
  • Facebook has almost 3 billion monthly active users, giving Diem the largest potential audience of any blockchain project on earth;
  • The stablecoin will probably get integrated into transactions on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp (shopping, paying for ads, sending money to friends etc.);
  • Facebook can afford to hire the best developers and marketers, so the execution and promotion will be top-notch;
  • Diem’s programming language, Move, is safe, flexible, and well-suited for writing smart contracts;
  • It should be possible to add third-party dApps to the Diem ecosystem — think of WeChat with its thousands of mini programs, but on blockchain.

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