Before issuing Blockchain Certificates on the Bitcoin blockchain, which requires spending money, you should experiment in test modes to ensure your transaction outputs are as expected. The cert-issuer tool allows you to experiment with test modes through configuration options.
Regtest mode is the simplest way to simulate interacting with the Bitcoin blockchain. It’s a local Bitcoin test environment that can generate fake coins for issuing test certificates.
We recommend that you issue your first test certificates in regtest mode. Our "Quick start using Docker" steps uses this mode by default.
Testnet mode also does not spend real Bitcoins, but it is a closer simulation to issuing certificates on the Bitcoin blockchain. Both testnet and mainnet are enabled by using APIs to broadcast Bitcoin transactions.
Issuing modes describe how to run the certificate issuer in testnet mode.
Mainnet (Live) Issuing
Issuing live certificates requires a small amount of Bitcoin -- for 1 certificate, it is roughly 10 cents in USD; a batch of 100 certificates is under $3 USD.
If this is your first time purchasing Bitcoin, start by reading "Getting started with Bitcoin". Specifically, the first section "How to use Bitcoin" is an overview of choosing a wallet, obtaining your first Bitcoins, and securing your money.
Issuing modes describe how to run the certificate issuer in mainnet mode.
Best practice: Keep a small balance
In a deployed environment, you will want to keep a small balance associated with your issuing address. You can transfer a small amount to the issuing address before running the cert-issuer tool.