Moonriver Crowdloan

Total KSM Received from Contributors

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What is a Crowdloan?

This is a way for the Kusama community to support projects that are launching to the network. Learn more about crowdloans, parachain slot auctions, and parachain leases.

What is Moonriver?

As a community-driven sister network to Moonbeam, Moonriver provides a permanently incentivized canary network where new code ships first.

About the Moonriver Crowdloan

The Moonbeam Foundation hosted a crowdloan for the Moonriver network in June 2021. Find out more about how the event was structured.

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What is a Crowdloan?

A crowdloan is a way for new projects to garner the support they need to connect to the Kusama network as a parachain. This functionality really isn’t a ‘loan’ so much as a way to support a project in exchange for a reward, usually in the form of the project’s tokens. In most cases, those  contributions will pay for the parachain slot lease and generate rewards in the parachain’s native token. When the parachain lease expires, the locked KSM are returned to the user.

What is a Crowdloan? A Detailed Explanation of the Term

Parachains are independent blockchains that are able to connect to Kusama. They exist as ‘shards’ and communicate with the Kusama Relay Chain for certain shared benefits like security and interoperability. By being part of a single system, parachains are also able to securely communicate and interoperate with each other. Due to their parallel nature, each parachain is able to process transactions simultaneously and pass the transactions to the Relay Chain for finalization. This architecture makes Kusama significantly more scalable than other single chain approaches.

Because parachains are independent and heterogenous (able to be different from each other), each parachain can be customized for particular use cases. In the case of Moonriver, the parachain has been optimized to create the most Ethereum-like environment possible, which makes it an easy launchpoint for projects with smart contracts and applications that use the Ethereum technology stack.

Smart Contracts

In the Kusama ecosystem, smart contract functionality lives on parachains. In this way, parachains can serve as a “layer 1” blockchain in much the same way as Ethereum does today.


Parachains are heterogeneous, which means they can each be optimized for specialized use cases.

Shared Security

While parachains have their own set of collators (which produce blocks), finalization occurs on the main Relay Chain by a shared pool of validators.

Crowdloans are a way for projects to fundraise for a parachain slot on the Kusama network. An individual can temporarily lock their KSM in exchange for a reward from the project team, often in the form of the project’s native tokens. The contributed KSM are used to help parachain projects launch to the network, and are returned to the crowdloan participant once the parachain lease ends (48 weeks in the case of the Moonriver crowdloan).

Note that, while locked, the KSM are not directly controllable by the parachain project. Crowdloan contributions are performed via a special transaction and are different than transfers; be careful that you do not transfer funds to any project directly.

Unbond KSM

Unbonding takes 7 days on Kusama. Ensure your staking and democracy holds are cleared.

Contribute KSM to Crowdloan

Contributed KSM tokens will be locked on the relay chain until the lease ends (after the successful crowdloan campaign when the parachain gets a slot) or until the crowdloan campaign ends (if the parachain does not get a slot)

Wait for the Parachain to Secure a Slot at Auction

Crowdloan participants don’t need to directly participate in this part. Once you’ve contributed to the crowdloan, the relay chain ensures that the contributions are counted towards auction bids for the parachain.

Earn Rewards

Once the parachain secures a slot and launches, participants are typically eligible for rewards based on their contributions, with the rewards being up to the team which created the crowdloan.

Parachain slot auctions are a process by which a project is able to secure a “slot” on the network, which means they connect to the Kusama Relay Chain as a parachain. Securing a parachain slot is the best way a project can guarantee all of its transactions will be secured by the Relay Chain.

Kusama’s goal is to have 100 parachain slots. Since there’s a finite number of parachain slots that can be occupied, there needs to be a way to determine who can occupy them and for how long. This is done through a simple candle auction, where the highest bidder wins the slot and the “end time” is selected randomly to prevent last-minute bidders from swooping in to win the auction.

Each lease consists of up to 8 x 6-week periods for a maximum slot lease period of 48 weeks. After the end of a lease period, it will be available for renewal or for another project to occupy. This is a good thing for the network, since it rewards parachains with active usage and a demonstrated utility; less active parachains are unlikely to compete for the slot after the lease expires.

Slot Auction Begins

Once auctions begin on Kusama, new slot auctions are expected to happen every two weeks. The auction itself will likely last for a period of approximately one week.

Prospective Parachains Bid for a Slot

Projects can either bid directly on a slot (if they have outside funding, for example) or the crowdloan can bid on their behalf. The crowdloan updates its bid throughout the auction as more contributions are received, always bidding the full balance of contributions at that point in time.

The Auction Ends and a Winner is Chosen

Auctions will run for one week, and at the end of the auction a random interval is subtracted from the official end time and a winner is declared. This incentivizes projects to place bids throughout the auction rather than waiting until the last minute.

The Parachain Launches to the Kusama Network

Once the parachain slot is secured, the project is able to begin its own launch process and deploy to the network. This will likely happen soon after the slot is won, since the lease period begins at that time.


A Community-Led Ethereum Compatible Parachain on Kusama

Moonriver will initially serve as the experimental “canary net” of Moonbeam, where new code will ship first to be verified under real economic conditions. Over time, the network is expected to evolve and grow to support use cases that may differ from those on Moonbeam.

Launchpad for Ethereum-Based Projects

An easy way for developers to deploy existing applications using the Ethereum tech stack — with little or no modifications — and gain access to the Kusama network.

Community-Led Network Strategy

Community members will own a significant portion of MOVR tokens, giving them considerable control over the direction of the network. No early backers or founders will receive tokens. There are no special token allocations or carve-outs for the founding team or early backers, resulting in a unique Moonriver token distribution.

Early & Experimental Code Releases

Access and use the latest builds and features of Moonbeam in a live, incentivized CanaryNet environment that’s connected to Kusama.

Learn More About Moonriver

About the

Moonriver Crowdloan

Help Bootstrap the Moonriver Network

In order to launch the Moonriver network to Kusama, the project must secure enough funds to cover the cost of renting (“leasing”) a parachain slot on the network. To meet this objective, the Moonbeam Foundation has run a crowdloan campaign on behalf of the network.

For the Moonriver crowdloan, individuals agreed to lock up a portion of their KSM in exchange for the native network token. These tokens are locked from the point of participation until the slot was successfully won, and then through the entirety of the lease period (48 weeks). A pool of 3,000,000 tokens representing 30% of the network will be distributed to crowdloan participants as a reward (proportionate to their share of the overall KSMs contributed to the crowdloan) over the duration of the lease period.

To better understand the process and prepare for the event, review the information outlined below.


Token Reward Pool

3 Million MOVR (30% of the genesis token supply)

Contributor Rewards

Paid as a % of your contribution to the pool (Your KSM Contribution/205,935.01112080997 Total KSM Contributed) * 3 Million MOVR

Reward Distributions

30% of the reward pool (900K MOVR) will be distributed immediately upon successful launch and transfers being enabled. 70% of the reward pool (2.1M MOVR) will vest over the lease duration (48 weeks).

KSM : MOVR Ratio

1 KSM earned 14.5677 MOVR Rewards. Use this calculator to estimate rewards.


Crowdloan Start Date

June 9, 2021 at 21:00 UTC

Lease Duration

We secured the maximum duration of 48 weeks (eight 6-week periods), starting on June 29, 2021.

Crowdloan End Date

June 29, 2021 at 08:30 UTC

Token Lock Period

KSM tokens contributed to the crowdloan will be locked from the time they are contributed until the end of the parachain lease.

Participation Requirements

Tokens Needed

KSM. You needed KSM stored either in a non-custodial (non-exchange) address, or through a partner exchange (to be announced). There was be no cap on the number of KSM tokens an individual can contribute, or on the number that can be contributed overall. However, for technical reasons, a symbolic 1M token cap had been applied to the crowdloan.

Crowdloan Location

1) Through a DApp built by the Moonbeam Foundation (available here)
2) Through an exchange (below).


Your unlocked, unbonded KSM must have been connected to the Polkadot.js extension. This step was not necessary if you participated through a partner exchange.

Participating Exchanges

How the Moonriver Crowdloan Worked

Obtain Unlocked KSM

If you do not yet have KSM, you will need to purchase some tokens in order to participate. If you already have KSM, ensure that it is located in a non-custodial wallet like Polkadot.js, and does not have any staking or democracy holds.

Pre-Register for the Crowdloan

You can pre-register for the crowdloan before it opens. While it's not necessary to complete this step in advance, it will save you time if you do.

Obtain an Ethereum/Moonriver Address

You will need a Moonriver address, which is where rewards will be paid out. Fortunately, Moonriver shares the same address format (H160) as Ethereum, so you can use an existing Ethereum address. PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE THE PRIVATE KEYS FOR THIS ADDRESS.

Participate in the Crowdloan via the DApp

Now open! Participate in the crowdloan via the DApp created by The Moonbeam Foundation. You will need unbonded KSM in the Polkadot.js extension and a Moonriver address to send the rewards.

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