Incentivized Testnet Retrospective

Neil Doshi

Content Marketing Manager at Iron Fish

The Iron Fish mainnet launches March 14th! With only a week to go, let’s take a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve learned.

In this post, we’ll go over our testnet numbers, but also share some tweets, shoutouts, and images that stand out.

Incentivized Testnet Launch 

The first phase of our testnet launched in early 2021.


At that point, Iron Fish already had an organically growing community.


Things moved incredibly quickly, and we're grateful for the support that we enjoyed from both our community and fellow builders in the space.


Incentivized Testnet Phase 1 

In November 2021, Iron Fish secured Series A funding that supported rapid growth and the launch of the Incentivized Testnet Phase (December 1, 2021–March 11, 2022).

Highlights include:

  • Our user base grew to include people from 156 countries!
  • 18,000 community members joined our Discord.
  • Over 9,000 participants earned points on the leaderboard by contributing in some way to the network.
  • Over 3000 nodes registered online via opt-in telemetry.
  • ~300 GitHub bug reports closed.

Check out a few of our Phase 1 highlighted community contributions.

This testnet phase surpassed all expectations, and as the community grew, we grew as a project and worked to define a culture that aligns with our goal to bring encrypted blockchain transactions to all of web3.


We celebrated milestones privately and publicly and, as always, drew energy and inspiration from our interactions with the community.

Incentivized Testnet Phase 2 

Phase 2 (May 10, 2022–November 15, 2022) was about stress testing the system. Thanks to you, we ran one of the largest testnets in all of crypto.

  • Phase 2 ended on November 15, 2022, with 31,207+ users on the leaderboard who contributed to the network.
  • Since the start of Phase 2, the Iron Fish network has processed 39,432,178 transactions (all shielded using zero-knowledge proofs, making Iron Fish the largest processor of ZKPs ever, to our knowledge)
  • At its peak, the Iron Fish community hosted ~11,000 concurrent nodes, second only to Bitcoin’s 15,000 typical concurrent nodes.
  • The network regularly processed 300,000 transactions/day on average.


Phase 2 also saw Iron Fish draw some pretty heavy media attention. In addition to Elena's appearances on podcasts like The Encrypted Economy and Around the Coin, Elena was featured in an important spotlight article by Sequoia Capital. The Information also named iron Fish one of 2022’s most promising startups.

We also know that late 2022 had its challenging moments. More than ever, we saw how lucky we are to have our community.


Incentivized Testnet Phase 3 

In Phase 3 (January 18, 2023–March 7, 2023), we refined multi-asset functionality and grew our community to over 43,000 Discord members! In Phase 3:

Over the entire testnet, we totaled 50 million transactions 🎉



On February 23, 2023, we held an event announcing mainnet launch (March 14) with an AMA session 🎤 We are excited to be so close to sharing mainnet with all of you. Be sure to add our mainnet launch event to your calendar.

The enthusiasm around mainnet launch has given us incredible momentum!

What's next? More info on airdrops and the mainnet event. Follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest news!

Join the Iron Fish community 🏃🐟 

Neil Doshi

Content Marketing Manager at Iron Fish

Neil is a Content Marketing Manager at Iron Fish

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