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Sets Minimum Gas Price and Significantly Improves TestNet Stability and Security for the Launch of Moonriver

Singapore – May 27, 2021 – Moonbeam, the Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on Polkadot, announced an upgrade of its developer TestNet to Moonbase Alpha v8. This is the last major Moonbase Alpha update before the launch of Moonriver, the Kusama deployment of Moonbeam. In this release, the Moonbeam team increased the stability of debugging and tracing nodes, set a minimum gas price, completed the initial implementation of parachain staking functionality, and included multiple other components needed for the Moonriver launch.

The Moonbase Alpha TestNet will continue to have the latest updates and be the preferred place for developers to test code and integrations before deploying to the value-bearing Moonriver and Moonbeam networks. The Moonbeam team is continuously working to streamline the experience of projects built using the Ethereum technology stack that wants to expand to Polkadot. Moonbase Alpha v8 includes significant upgrades that improve the experience even further:

  • Debugging and Tracing Nodes: Nodes will now consume fewer resources, making them much more efficient, especially when under load.
  • Introducing Staking Precompile: Moonbeam is currently one of the only parachains that have a staking implementation. The staking precompiled contract allows Ethereum developers to access native Substrate staking functions using the Ethereum API. This will allow DeFi and other protocols deploying to Moonbeam to access staking yield natively.
  • Adding Treasury: To prepare for Moonriver and better support the community, two treasuries are being added to the network. One treasury will receive 20% of the transaction fees and will be governed by the democracy and the councils. The other treasury will receive 30% of the block rewards and will serve to collect funds that will help secure parachain slots in the future.
  • Adding Support for Proxy Accounts: It is now possible to add a proxy account to perform certain actions on behalf of another account. There is the possibility to choose which action the proxy account will be able to perform (e.g., staking and governance). This will allow for more secure setups for advanced users.
  • Adding Crowdloan Reward Module: Moonbase Alpha now includes a crowdloan reward pallet to test the distribution of rewards as it will happen based on the Moonriver crowdloan.
  • Setting Minimum Gas Price: To prepare for the activities on Moonriver, Moonbase Alpha sets a minimum gas price equivalent to 1GWei (0.000000001 DEV token).
  • Restricting Block Time: Block times have been set to 12 seconds (officially at a code level) to match the Kusama relay chain requirements for parachain block time of 12s at launch. This is half-speed, and we expect to achieve a 6 second block time once we are past the initial launch phase.
  • Improving Ethereum Transaction Retrieval: Preliminary bloom filtering is now used to match user requests, which increases the overall speed of these requests. The performance optimization of retrieving log data allows users to look further back in the past. To achieve this, there is now a limit on the amount of log data for a single request.

These improvements foster an even better environment for integrations, which will continue to expand Moonbeam’s ecosystem and reach. Moonbase Alpha v8 also includes significant infrastructure improvements. Most important is the update of Nimbus, the system that powers our parachain consensus, which helps select a subset of the active collator pool for block authoring. Furthermore, block authorship will use session keys that can be mapped to each collator’s H160 address for reward payout. The network has doubled its number of active collator slots from 16 to 32. A broad and decentralized set of collators is an important goal for Moonriver and Moonbeam to create a solid decentralized infrastructure for Moonbeam’s parachain.

Moonbase Alpha was created for development purposes; the Moonbeam team continually develops and builds the technology that will bring more features, security, and optimal performance. More information on Moonbase Alpha, including the features currently available, can be found on the project documentation site.

Learn how to start building on Moonbeam Alpha v8 by visiting the official project documentation site or joining us on our Discord server.

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by Q3-2021. Learn more: