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Kusama’s Parachain Auctions Are Coming. Here’s What You Need to Know for the Moonriver Crowdloan.

May 18, 2021

10 min read

The Moonbeam Foundation is excited to release additional details on Moonriver’s Kusama auction strategy.

Key Details About the Moonriver Crowdloan:

The Moonbeam Foundation has designed the Moonriver parachain auction strategy with fairness in mind. First and foremost, we want to win a parachain slot; and we plan to do so while still upholding the values we see as integral to the Kusama Network.

  • In order to achieve broad participation in the Moonriver network, Moonriver will use a crowdloan to fund its auction bid.
  • There are 3,000,000 MOVR tokens (30% of the Moonriver network) allocated to reward crowdloan contributors. This puts a significant portion of the network tokens directly into the hands of the community within one year of the Moonriver launch.
  • Following a successful campaign and deployment of the Moonriver parachain on Kusama, reward distributions will be made on-chain: 30% of rewards will be available to claim distributed immediately (after transfers are enabled) with the remaining 70% vesting over the course of the lease (48 weeks).
  • Moonriver plans to bid for all 8 lease periods of 6 weeks each. The Foundation will set a campaign end date that gives Moonriver the flexibility to participate in at least 2 consecutive auctions.
  • Contributions can be made through the Moonriver crowdloan DApp or through official exchange partners, which will be announced shortly.
  • Note that the native token for the Moonriver network will be called Moonriver (MOVR). This has been changed from previous plans to avoid a potential trademark conflict.
  • In addition to the information provided below, please visit the Moonriver page to learn more about the network and the crowdloan page for more in-depth information on the crowdloan process.

Why Moonriver

Kusama has proven to be more than just a TestNet for Polkadot. It is an experimental, risk-taking, community-led network that has its own personality and use cases. Moonriver is an attempt to create a version of Moonbeam that leans into these values of Kusama. As a parachain on Kusama, Moonriver will have access to the latest code, features, and integrations available.

We have taken an intentionally radical approach with the token distribution for Moonriver. There are no allocations for VCs or even the founding team. We will be distributing a majority of the tokens to the community, starting with the Moonriver crowdloan. Everyone will have the same opportunity to participate in the network.

Moonriver is meant to be an experiment in the spirit of Kusama. The hope is that the community is empowered by Moonriver. That applies to builders, many of whom will be building on and deploying to Moonriver. But it also applies to infrastructure partners, ambassadors, and all community members who want to help shape the future direction of the network.

The spirit behind the Moonbeam and Moonriver networks is to build for a multi-chain future. But it isn’t apparent yet what that multi-chain future will look like. One thing, however, is clear. Moonriver isn’t going to be an interesting part of that multi-chain story without the participation of all of the amazing community members that have helped the network get to where it is today — and all of the new members that will bring their intelligence, creativity, and dedication to the community.

We welcome you to join us and help create the multi-chain future together.

Crowdloan Contributions

Once Kusama announces the auction initiation, Moonriver will open its crowdloan to contributions. We are incredibly focused on achieving broad participation in the crowdloan. You can contribute your KSM to the crowdloan through a DApp (yet-to-be-launched, but it will be linked to on this website) or through participating centralized exchanges. A tutorial with step-by-step instructions on how to contribute through our DApp will be posted on the Moonbeam Foundation site shortly, but for general instructions please see below:

Contributing via the Moonriver Crowdloan DApp

  • You must obtain KSM, and your KSM must be transferable (unlocked). This includes both staking and democracy locks. The KSM unbonding period is 7 days.
  • You must also have a Moonriver or Ethereum address (they are the same H160 format) where you have confirmed access to the private keys. The Moonriver token rewards will be paid out to this address, and they cannot be retrieved if you use an address that you cannot access. Note that the rewards will be paid out on Moonriver, not on Ethereum.
  • You will likely have the option to pre-register for the crowdloan, depending on timing, but this step is optional.
  • Once the crowdloan opens, you will be able to lock your KSM through a DApp posted on the Moonbeam Foundation website. We will provide a tutorial in advance so you know what to expect, and how to verify the authenticity of the application/crowdloan.
  • Please be aware of scams. Crowdloan contributions are made through a special transaction using the campaign index and NOT by transferring KSM to a specified address. The Moonbeam Foundation will release the Moonriver Crowdloan Index number at the start of the campaign.

Contributing via an Exchange

  • The participating exchanges have not yet been finalized, but will be announced shortly.
  • Once announced, participating exchanges will release tutorials for participating in a crowdloan. We will post links to these tutorials when available.

There is one other important detail to note about your KSM in this crowdloan. KSM contributed to a crowdloan will be locked if the campaign is:

  • Successful (i.e., Moonriver wins a slot): Your contribution will be locked for the duration of the parachain lease (48 weeks). A contributor can trigger the refund of the locked tokens at the end of the lease.
  • Unsuccessful (i.e., Moonriver does not win a slot): Contributors can trigger the refund of their locked tokens at the end of the campaign (i.e. the Campaign End Date).


Moonriver has allocated 30% of its initial token supply, 3 million MOVR tokens, to reward its crowdloan contributors. This allocation changed from the initial 60% allocation due to Kusama’s clarification that the maximum lease length is 48 weeks (and not the previously stated two years).


MOVR Token Allocation Detail




Parachain Crowdloan



30% of the network will be offered to raise KSM needed for a crowdloan to bid in the Kusama parachain auction for an initial 48-week year parachain slot. We are using this as a way to achieve token distribution for Moonriver. Upon successful launch of the Moonriver parachain, 30% of tokens will be distributed immediately to the crowdloan contributors, and the following 70% will be distributed weekly over the life of the lease (48 weeks).

Community Initiatives and Parachain Slot Reserve



Tokens reserved to secure future Kusama parachain slot leases (e.g., continued parachain slot occupancy) and other community initiatives (e.g., liquidity incentives, strategic program rewards, etc.).

Parachain Bond Reserve



Onchain funds to be used for parachain bond purposes. Part of the supply inflation goes into this fund and the idea is ultimately for this reserve to hold enough assets to secure a parachain slot in perpetuity.




Onchain managed funds where spending the funds is only possible via token weighted onchain governance mechanisms.

Long-Term Network Stewardship & Adoption



Tokens under the control of the Moonbeam Foundation, to be used to fund network adoption, grants programs, ecosystem development, and other network needs.

Developer Adoption Program



Supply that will be used in the short term for project and platform adoption and practical needs. These are matching funds for the Moonbeam developer adoption program.

We believe that the initial distribution of token holders has a profound and lasting impact on the network’s trajectory. As the canary network of Polkadot, the Kusama Network is a unique opportunity to be optimistically daring in our efforts to achieve a more fair and broad distribution of initial tokens.

With that in mind, we have designed a crowdloan campaign where all potential contributors are on even footing, and there is no cap on the number of participants. In order to ensure that everyone has access to a fair share of rewards, we have chosen to distribute nearly ⅓ of the network tokens as part of this crowdloan, which means they’ll be put directly in the hands of the community members in less than a year. We also have chosen not to sell tokens to any inside individuals, whether they be venture capital funds, founders, or employees.

Both of these strategies set the Moonriver crowdloan apart from many others in the works.

Since the Moonriver’s crowdloan does not have a fixed KSM cap, a contributor’s reward is determined based on that individual’s proportional contribution to the total number of KSM tokens in the crowdloan at auction close.

For example:

  • Alex contributes 100 KSM to the crowdloan.
  • At auction close, there is a total of 10,000 KSM in the crowdloan.
  • Therefore, Alex’s reward is 30,000 MOVR at a ratio of 1 KSM : 300 MOVR
    (100 KSM / 10,000 KSM) * 3,000,000 MOVR = 30,000 MOVR

Crowdloan contributors will be able to track overall contributions throughout the crowdloan campaign through the Moonbeam Foundation. The Foundation will provide a statistics page that will show the current total contributions to the crowdloan and the current ratio of KSM to MOVR. This ratio will change depending on the participation in the crowdloan and will remain unfixed until the moment the auction ends.

Throughout the crowdloan campaign you will be able to increase your contribution and there are no minimum or maximum contribution limits.

Reward Distribution

  • Initial Distribution: 30% of the total rewards will be distributed once the parachain has been launched and transfers are enabled.
  • Remaining Distribution: The remaining 70% of the total rewards payout will follow a linear vesting schedule over the parachain slot duration (48 weeks).

Claiming Rewards

The rewards distribution mechanism will be on-chain. Once the crowdloan has ended, the participants will be added to the rewards pallet.

  • The initial 30% of the total rewards will be available to claim upon successful launch of the Moonriver parachain. This initial distribution will not be transferable until the network is decentralized and stable, and transfers have been enabled on the parachain. Transfers are estimated to be enabled in Phase 2 of the parachain rollout.
  • The remaining 70% of rewards will vest over the lease duration. This vesting schedule will not follow a static rewards distribution schedule. Instead, contributors may claim their rewards at any time, at which point the number of vested rewards will be automatically calculated based on the number of intervening blocks. The individual contributors are in control of when to claim their rewards.

Phased Deployment of Moonriver Parachain

The Moonriver network launch will closely follow Kusama’s approach to a phased activation of network features. The genesis block will be issued by the Moonbeam Foundation; there will only be 8 initial collators, and Sudo will be active. EVM, balance transfers, staking, and governance will still be disabled.

Below is a high-level overview of the launch process that will follow the successful crowdloan campaign. More details will be released shortly, and this process is subject to change as the launch nears. Note that this process will begin after a parachain slot auction has been won.

  • Phase 0:
    • ✅ 8 collators hosted by the Moonbeam Team
    • ❌ Balance transfers disabled
    • ❌ Staking disabled
    • ❌ Governance disabled
    • ❌ EVM disabled
  • Phase 1:
    • ✅ Increase collators to a total of 32 decentralized collators
  • Phase 2:
    • ✅ Governance enabled
  • Phase 3:
    • ✅ Remove Sudo
  • Phase 4:
    • ✅ Balance transfers enabled
    • ✅ Staking enabled
    • ✅ EVM enabled
    • ✅ Reward claim enabled

What’s Next?

We are eagerly waiting for additional details from Kusama and will update you on this website as this information is released and as more details are finalized. Join the Moonbeam Network Discord, Twitter, and Telegram for updates as well.