Any cryptocurrency powered by mining and smart contracts is vulnerable to spam attacks. When a group of hacker attacks, it stalls some of these network processes. When the main Ethereum network runs as usual, developers can practice on the test networks. They can test their codes on testnet, before it goes live on main Ethereum network. It helps fixing performance issues, loopholes, coding bugs, etc. There was a massive spam attack on test network, Ropsten. The transactions were heavily spammed and slowed the testnet to crawl.
Announcement of Kovan Testnet
Following that, the Kovan testnet was announced from the developers of Parity Technologies, popular Ethereum software of its time. The Kovan testnet was backed by the ten of the biggest companies related to Ethereum, including of course, Parity, Etherscan, Digix, Melanport and more. Parity Tech has a bit of respectable history to it. During the 2016 DOA attack, when the Ethereum network was stalled and halted, Parity was the only platform running without getting into a crawl. In fact, Ethereum officially made a blog post, recommending users to switch to Parity mining. The mining guides and settings were mentioned on September 22, 2016. Kovan network is now introduced which is actually a (POA) Proof of Authority based blockchain network for ethereum and is publicly accessible, Kovan is being developed and maintained by a highly professional group of ethereum developers, the basic aim is to help the ethereum developer community through the efficiency, high speed and reliability of kovan ethereum test chain. The top blockchain based organizations behind the development of kovan network include Etherscan, Digix, Parity technologies, Attores, Maker, Onebit, Blockchain industries, Melonport, Nivaura, GridSingularity etc.
Advantages of Kovan Testnet
Conventionally, you would have to mine the testnet Ether, to use in the software. In the post Kovan situation, you can get Ether via its slow drip faucet, located in the central Parity LAN. It helps in controlling the situation better by reducing the block time to just 4 seconds. Time between blocks is invariable at the moment. It accounts for 3-6x times improved transactions on its modern processors. There are plans for future integration of dust protection EIP 169. It secures Kovan against state-bloat attacks, making it less liable to spam attacks. The Kovan blockchain explorer for testnet is powered by Etherscan.
Some Important sources and links related to Kovan Testnet
Developer community really welcomed kovan testnet as it made the network 4x faster and more efficient, there were a lot of validators and nodes active on kovan testnet at the start but the number started coming down so the kovan network had to undergo a fork in May2019 to make it more validator friendly, Etherscan and ethplorer are offering kovan testnet explorer that you can access from; https://kovan.etherscan.io/ and https://kovan.ethplorer.io/ respectively. You can also claim from kovan ethereum testnet faucet, which also confirms the functionality of the testnet, here; https://faucet.kovan.network/, Enjin based faucet is also active that can be accessed here; https://kovan.faucet.enjin.io/. Lastly here is the kovan github link for the enthusiasts; https://kovan-testnet.github.io/website/
Although kovan network has been good addition to ethereum testnets, let us see how it continues to serve the purpose in future especially after the launch of Eth2.0, looks like the kovan testnet will also need an upgrade if not a fork in the future to cater increasing demands and amounts of transactions that will require even more efficiency, at the moment kovan testnet is considered the best, fastest and an exciting platform for developer community and is well integrated into most of the ethereum ecosystem toolsets. With the kind of blockchain consortiums behind kovan testnet we can be hopeful that it will be here for a longtime and will keep serving ethereum community.