Revision as of 18:30, 15 January 2011 by MrBison (Mostly the edits from the forum topic, but it's better than almost nothing at all.)
The testnet is an alternative Bitcoin block chain, to be used for testing. This allows application developers or bitcoin testers to experiment, without having to use real bitcoins or worrying about breaking the main bitcoin chain.
- Instead of ports 8333 (listen) and 8332 (JSON-RPC), ports 18333 and 18332 are used.
- Bootstrapping IRC channel is #bitcoinTEST instead of #bitcoin (both on irc.lfnet.org). The built-in node list is disabled.
- A different value of ADDRESSVERSION field ensures no testnet BitCoin addresses will work on the production network.
- The protocol message header bytes are shifted up (0xFABFB5DA instead of 0xF9BEB4D9)