Alpha Testing refers to the initial stage of the software development cycle, which involves testing software or product internally before any exposure to the public. The development team invites employees and internal staff who are not part of the development process to use the product and provide feedback.
The idea is simple. If users (employees) internally find any issues with the product, the public or product’s target demography will have the same issues when the product is at the beta stages or launched. The primary difference between the Alpha and Beta stages is the level of exposure to the software or product (i.e. the larger the sample size testing the product, the more feedback is expected).
Alpha testing in Cryptocurrency projects
The blockchain community is fast on the rise, with a myriad of projects released almost on a weekly basis. With consistent innovation across several blockchain-based products such as cryptocurrencies, DeFi, and Web 3.0, decentralization is quickly upon us. These developments are fundamentally software products; hence, they follow the software development cycle as well. Many blockchain projects undergo a series of alpha tests before they are launched, often welcoming contributions and code improvements from the blockchain community.
Product testing is critical in the crypto industry, mainly because a product’s failure could result in a cataclysmic loss of financial assets. A notable citing of this is the catastrophic fall of Mt Gox, a Japanese exchange that processed more than 70% of the world’s Bitcoin trades at the time. A series of malicious hacking episodes led to the loss of over $72 million worth of Bitcoins that was never recovered.