Mainnet is a blockchain technology that is used to facilitate transactions. It is a network that provides a safe and secure way for money to move from one party to another. It was the first and remains the main network used by bitcoin. DigixDAO (DGD) is the latest digital currency to announce plans to introduce a mainnet in their blockchain. Some cryptocurrency platforms use their own mainnet while others may rely on a mainnet from another party to effect their transactions.
Digital currencies are stored in wallets. When a payment is initiated the money is sent to the mainnet from where the process of validation starts until a block is created. A mainnet therefore can only be accessed from a wallet. The validation process is decentralized and is done by individuals (miners) who get compensation for their contribution in the verification of transactions. They are compensated in new units of the digital currency. This process of verification and consequently creation of new units of the currency in the form of compensation to the miners is what is called mining. Miners must however have a digital wallet for them to access the mainnet.
The block created contains a permanent record of all the information relating to the transaction. Blocks are linked together creating a chain, often referred to as a blockchain with every new block created being added to the chain.
A mainnet should not be confused for a testnet. While they both facilitate movement of currency between 2 points, a testnet does not use real money and is therefore commonly used by developers in testing their systems without risking actual money. The mainnet allows for transactions with actual money
Lightning labs, on March 15th released the mainnet-ready lightening network implementation for bitcoin, a step that is expected to bring faster and cheaper services to users of bitcoin. ICON and TRON are among cryptocurrency platforms to introduce and update mainnet in their systems. Having a mainnet brings with it a lot of benefits for a digital currency. TRON for instance, through its mainnet named exodus, is expected to bring transaction costs on its currency (TRX) so low making it the least expensive among all cryptocurrencies in terms of fees.
The networks can be designed with a variety of capabilities depending on the needs. Apart from facilitating digital currency, a network can be optimized to handle other types of assets like smart contracts. Ripple is a mainnet on which the digital currency ripple is traded on. Apart from bitcoin and ripple, this network is designed to facilitate trade of commodities, frequent flier miles and other traditional currencies like the dollar and the euro.
A mainnet is important in the digital currency market and consumers seem to be well aware of the fact. Earlier in the year DigixDAO (DGD), a digital currency saw its price climb when news broke of its plans to a mainnet.