LayerZero’s Testnet Bridge Between Ethereum And Goerli Sparks Community Backlash

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Developing for the Ethereum ecosystem often involves using one of its testnets. Goerli is, along with Sepolia, a fan favorite. Unfortunately, getting testnet ETH for development purposes can be difficult, although the solution by LayerZero isn’t the best approach either. 

More Liquidity For Goerli Developers

It is commendable to see a new approach to bring more testnet ETH to Goerli. Unfortunately, while there is a faucet developers can request funds from, it doesn’t have an infinite supply. Pre-PoS, it used to generate coins through mining, but that is no longer the case. Goerli is subject to proof-of-stake rules, making itmore challenging to get testnet currency. Overall, there is a hard limit on available Goerli liquidity, which has become a hindrance.

Developers relying on solutions like Blockdaemon can have an account manager send them some funds. Unfortunately, that supply isn’t endless either. Eventually, the funds will run dry unless something changes. Developers already have to wait hours – if not days – to claim funds from the default faucet. LayerZero came up with a potential solution, although it meets some criticism.

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One way of bringing more liquidity to the testnet is through a bridge. The testnet bridge lets users convert mainnet Ethereum liquidity into Goerli-based ETH. Moreover, the project has an initial Goerli-ETH price is $0.1, with a seeded pool on Uniswap. Users can convert between ETH and gETH, or ETH to mETH on the Goerli network. That should make it easy to create two-way liquidity and ensure developers don’t have to twiddle their thumbs.

The Community Isn’t Amused

The approach by LayerZero solves a pressing issue, but there are many uneasy questions. First, it introduces another ETH-based ticker on Uniswap, which may cause novice users to buy the “wrong Ethereum”. While they can eventually convert gETH to ETH again, they would also pay fees and potential slippage costs. That is not fair, yet it will likely cause issues eventually. 

Second, the community consensus is how Goerli-ETH should be a public good. However, when tying that good to monetized services, things take a very dark turn – a bridge needs to make money. In addition, some people feel this will drain the faucet even further and prevent developers from using the testnet altogether. The Goerli-ETH supply is already limited, and making it a “premium feature” through this bridge sends the wrong signal. 

Furthermore, the liquidity on Goerli today could be used as liquidity for the Uniswap pool. That further strains the circulating supply and creates monetary incentives that shouldn’t even exist. People now have an extra reason to hoard an already scarce asset and convert it to Ether to the highest bidder. That will have long-term consequences for Goerli-ETH. 

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