Westend provides a testing environment for our infrastructure partners to test their Polkadot and Kusama deployment and processes.
Westend is a Polkadot testnet, replacing Polkadot’s previous Alexander testnet
Westend more accurately resembles how you interact with Kusama or Polkadot than Alexander did, allowing teams and developers to build and deploy a parachain or try out Polkadot’s governance, staking, nomination, and validation functionality on a testnet. Validators can test their deployments, especially in the active validator set. Exchanges and wallets can test their transaction submissions. Everything you can do on Polkadot, you will be able to do on Westend.
Why use Westend instead of Kusama or Polkadot?
Westend is for all intents and purposes a testnet. You don’t need KSM or DOT to interact with Westend, making it a perfect testbed for validators to test their active validator set without fear of getting slashed or parachains to test anything before deploying on Polkadot or Kusama. Essentially anything you would want to do on Polkadot or Kusama you can do on Westend without needing KSM or DOT to interact with the network.
To interact with the Westend testnet you will need Westies (WND)
The tokens on this network are called Westies and they purposefully hold no economic value. Like Alexander, Westend has a faucet where you can claim up to 150 mWND(milli Westies) twice per address every 24 hours. Follow the instructions here on acquiring Westies.
Westend has the same parameters as Polkadot like session length and governance enactment period. It accurately resembles how you interact with Kusama or Polkadot. Currently on Westend you can deploy a full, sentry, or validator node, or use Westies for other features like staking, identity and social recovery.