Each Web 3 protocol has its own way of operating and can have a multitude of networks and environments to build on. Be sure to understand what's available before getting started!
If you're a developer considering building on a network and want to experiment before deploying in a production environment, you should first build on its testnet. You will be able to try tutorials and dive deeper into the network's available methods, without the on-chain costs affiliated with smart contract deployment.
You should always be able to obtain testnet tokens via a faucet. You can find the links on the network pages under "Network Documentation" on Learn.
When you are ready to move to a production environment, you can deploy your application on the network's mainnet. On mainnet, you will be able to process real-world public transactions and events and start attracting real users to get you to the next level.
Avalanche is a layer one protocol by Ava Labs that offers high-throughput, fast finality, and unprecedented decentralization. Developers are able to launch their own public or private blockchains (called subnets), create and trade digital assets, and build scalable smart contracts and decentralized applications.
Celo is a smart contract blockchain network. The technology uses a phone-number-based identity system with address-based encryption and eigentrust-based reputation. Their first application is a social payments system that can be used on a smartphone.
Cosmos provides tools that make it easy to build a new, custom-designed blockchain that may interoperate with an arbitrary number of others in the Cosmos network. Its transactions are fast and low-cost, and the network is scalable. Cosmos is intended to break the silos of blockchain economies by enabling assets to be transferred between one another. A custom Cosmos blockchain can be securely connected with other blockchains, increasing the rate of adoption and liquidity.
Filecoin is a peer-to-peer network that stores files, with built-in economic incentives to ensure files are stored reliably over time. Users pay to store their files on storage miners. Storage miners are computers responsible for storing files and proving they have stored the files correctly over time. Anyone who wants to store their files or get paid for storing other users’ files can join Filecoin. Available storage, and the price of that storage, is not controlled by any single company. Instead, Filecoin facilitates open markets for storing and retrieving files that anyone can participate in.
Mina is the first cryptocurrency protocol with a succinct blockchain. Current cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum store hundreds of gigabytes of data, and as time goes on, their blockchains will only increase in size. With Mina, however, no matter how much the usage grows, the blockchain always stays the same size - about 22kb (the size of a few tweets). This means participants can quickly sync and verify the network.
NEAR is a decentralized application platform that is secure enough to manage high-value assets like money or identity and performant enough to make them useful for everyday people, putting the power of the Open Web in their hands.
The Oasis Network is the first privacy-enabled blockchain platform for open finance and a responsible data economy. Combined with its high throughput and secure architecture, the Oasis Network is able to power private, scalable DeFi, revolutionizing Open Finance and expanding it beyond traders and early adopters to a mass market.
Osmosis is an advanced AMM protocol built using the Cosmos SDK that will allow developers to design, build, and deploy their own customized AMMs.
Polkadot enables scalability by allowing specialized blockchains to communicate with each other in a secure, trust-free environment. It is built to connect and secure unique blockchains, whether they be public, permission-less networks, private consortium chains, or oracles and other Web3 technologies. It enables an internet where independent blockchains can exchange information under common security guarantees.
Polygon (Matic) Network is a sidechain-based scaling solution for public blockchains. It is based on an adapted implementation of Plasma framework. Polygon (Matic) provides scalability while ensuring a superior user experience in a secured and decentralized manner. It has a working implementation for Ethereum. Polygon intends to support other blockchains in the future which will enable it to provide interoperability features alongside offering scalability to existing public blockchains.
Provenance is a public blockchain network designed and developed to support financial service industry needs by providing a ledger, registry, and exchange across multiple financial assets and markets. The Provenance blockchain is based on the Cosmos SDK and the Tendermint blockchain application platforms.
Secret Network is the first blockchain with privacy-preserving smart contracts. That means applications built on Secret can utilize encrypted data without revealing it to anyone, even the nodes in the network. For the first time, Secret Network allows developers to build powerful, permissionless, privacy-preserving applications - Secret Apps.
Solana is an open-source project implementing a new, high-performance, permissionless blockchain. It provides a platform that enables developers to create DApps without needing to design around performance bottlenecks.
Terra is a blockchain protocol that supports stable programmable payments and open financial infrastructure development. One part of Terra’s value contributions, payments, in essence, replaces the complicated payments value chain, including credit card networks, banks, and payment gateways with a single blockchain layer.
Tezos is a secure, smart contract blockchain platform that uses its built-in governance mechanism for protocol upgrades. Tezos is one of the first blockchain platforms to introduce a formal on-chain governance process.
For broader topics or for explanations which do not fit elsewhere, we provide these additional resources.