LayerZero announced the launch of its new product, the Testnet Bridge, which gives users a solution to buy Goerli-ETH with their $ETH on the mainnet. The bridge immediately triggered debates among the Ethereum community on Twitter. While many have positive feedback, it is also hit by backlash from a group of people, especially Ethereum developers.
Via the Testnet Bridge, LayerZero lists two pools, one on the mainnet (ETH/Goerli-ETH) and the other on Goerli testnet (Goerli-ETH/Mainnet-ETH). Users can swap their mainnet $ETH for Goerli-ETH, or vice versa. It gives Goerli-ETH a monetary value. Initially, the price of Goerli-ETH is set to $0.10. The markets allow developers on Ethereum to easily acquire Goerli-ETH on the testnet, without having to rely on the Goerli faucets. The bridge is described as "public goods" by the protocol.
However, not everyone agrees with the statement. Gregory Markou, co-founder of ChainSafe and previous member of Eth Core Dev, said, "This is not a public good. This is harmful. Ethereum does not have a canary network, and you're creating value on a network that hasn't had thoughtful economics." Gregory Markou is also one of the largest holders of Goerli-ETH, and he even changed his Twitter name to "Greg | DON'T SELL GOERLI". "Testing should be free." he added.
In the comment section, some developers complained that asking for Goerli-ETH through faucets was time and energy consuming, and they were willing to buy it if they need more. But Gregory Markou thought app developers didn't need a large amount of Goerli-ETH. He showed a video produced by the Ethereum Foundation, which advises developers to use Sepolia to test their apps, instead of Goerli. parithosh, developer at the Ethereum Foundation, has the same opinion. He said, "please don't (buy Goerli-ETH), use Sepolia instead!"
In addition, according to Hudson Jameson, former member of the Ethereum Foundation, monetizing testnet tokens not only can't solve the problem that Goerli-ETH is difficult to acquire, but will give new developers the assumption that "you have to pay money to participate in an Ethereum testnet".
Despite the criticism, the Testnet Bridge has supporters. Developer and KOL foobar is one of them. He said, "(they say) 'testnet ETH should be free.' Okay, but don't see you sending me any. What you really mean with your actions is 'testnet ETH accrual should be gated behind time-intensive activities'. Your moralizing has no power here, it's tradeoffs all the way down."
At the moment, 1 $ETH can buy over 30,773 Goerli-ETH, which means the price of Goerli-ETH is around $0.053.