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Bitcoin "regtest" is for when you want to run a local version of Bitcoin where the state is only shared within a small community, whereas both "mainnet" and "testnet" are shared with the rest of the world.

I get why its called "mainnet" and "testnet", but where does the word "regtest" come from?

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It stands for "regression test". As you can see here:

Regtest

Regression test mode

A local testing environment in which developers can almost instantly generate blocks on demand for testing events, and can create private satoshis with no real-world value.

https://developer.bitcoin.org/glossary.html?highlight=regression

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