A mainnet is the main blockchain network for a project to run on after rounds of testing on the testnet. It is deemed as the final product of a project and the realization of the promise made in the white paper.
A mainnet launch is a defining time for a blockchain project to open to public and begin mass adaptation. When a blockchain project team is ready to roll out their official end product, they will carry out a “mainnet launch”, putting the product into actual production and operations.
It is common for project teams to issue their own tokens on other blockchains, such as Ethereum (ERC-20 and ERC-223 tokens) and NEO (NEP-5 token), so as to gather funds and attract miners. When a project decides to launch its own mainnet, it is important to migrate the existing tokens from the residing blockchain to the mainnet, as the mainnet coins and existing tokens are functioning on two different blockchain and not compatible with each other.
Usually, before a mainnet swap is deployed, the project team will provide instructions on how to swap the token with the mainnet’s native asset, a process called mapping. However, it requires some knowledge of how blockchain works, or else mishandling may cause a complete asset loss.