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Moonriver Won a Parachain Slot and Is Now Producing Blocks on the Kusama Network

Moonbeam Team

Jun 29, 2021

5 min read

Secured the Third-Ever Parachain Slot on Kusama Through a Successful Crowdloan Campaign Run by the Moonbeam Foundation.

Singapore – June 29, 2021 – Moonbeam, the Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on Polkadot, today secured a parachain slot for Moonriver, its sister network on Kusama and connected to the network as a parachain. This launch was made possible by a community-focused crowdloan hosted by the Moonbeam Foundation, which received more than 205,935 KSM (approximately $45,000,000 USD) from 5,977 contributors around the world. Now that the network has secured a parachain slot, Moonriver is producing blocks on the Kusama network and has begun a gradual rollout of its Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform.

Moonriver is a parachain on Kusama that provides a seamless environment for teams that are most familiar with the Ethereum technology stack. Like its sister network, Moonbeam, the Moonriver smart contract platform capabilities feature unmatched Ethereum compatibility that goes beyond basic EVM support, simplifying the process to build an application in Kusama. Projects building on Moonriver are able to use the same smart contract languages, Ethereum-based accounts, developer tools, base-level integrations, and other services they currently rely on, but within a new extended environment on Kusama. These projects are then able to natively interact not only with Kusama but other parachains that are also connected to the network.

“The Moonriver launch is the result of a huge amount of effort from a large number of contributors, extending far beyond the PureStake development team. We are grateful to our technology and ecosystem partners who helped make this happen, including Parity, Web3 Foundation, our collator community, our ambassadors, and all of the contributors to the Moonriver crowdloan” says Derek Yoo, Founder of Moonbeam. “As Moonriver completes its launch sequence and enables full functionality in the coming weeks, we look forward to supporting all of our ecosystem partners who plan to deploy to the network.”

The Moonriver Network secured a parachain slot on Kusama by winning a bid in the second-ever parachain auction. By securing this slot, Moonriver launched to the network shortly after and began producing blocks at 11:30 UTC time today. However, this marks the first phase of the launch, and the network will gradually introduce new functionality by following a four-phase launch process to ensure the stability of the network while it is deployed. The Moonriver network is currently in Phase 0 and is expected to take 1-2 weeks to complete each phase. At the end of the process, balance transfers will be enabled, and users will have full functionality of the network.

The Moonriver launch process will follow this high-level structure:

  • Phase 0 | Centralized: The genesis block is launched, and the network is centralized. The Moonbeam team will control governance and infrastructure.
  • Phase 1 | Delegated Proof of Stake: Once the team is confident of the network stability, third-party collators will be added, and the network will begin the decentralization process. Note that Moonriver is the first network to have a decentralized collator set and a custom parachain staking pallet.
  • Phase 2 | Governance: Once the stability of the network is confirmed, the Moonbeam team will issue a runtime upgrade and enable governance.
  • Phase 3 | Removal of Sudo: Once governance is stable, the Sudo key (which grants the Moonbeam team control) will be removed, and control of the network will be transferred to token holders. 
  • Phase 4 | Full Launch: This is the last and most important step in the launching process, where balance transfers and the EVM will be enabled. Developers and end-users will have access to the full functionality of Moonriver, including the ability to transfer funds, participate in the Moonriver staking system, deploy smart contracts, and claim crowdloan participation rewards.

After Phase 4 of the launch process has been completed, projects that have already deployed to Moonbase Alpha, the Moonbeam TestNet, will begin deploying to Moonriver.

A hallmark of the Moonriver network is that it is community-led, which means that it will distribute the majority of its tokens to the community. The Moonriver crowdloan was the first such initiative, and participants will receive MOVR network tokens that represent 30% of the total genesis network tokens. Significantly, no early backers or founding team members received an allocation, which gives the Moonriver community a high degree of control very soon after the network launches. 

The Moonriver Network is intended to serve as a permanently incentivized canary network. At first, this means the code on Moonriver and Moonbeam will be the same. Over time, the Moonriver network is expected to evolve to serve specific use cases, similar to how Kusama has developed specialties that are not the same as the Polkadot network.

Moonriver’s parachain lease period will last 48 weeks. At the end of this lease, the KSM used to pay for the initial lease will be returned to the original contributors, and the Moonbeam Foundation will secure the necessary KSM to renew the slot for a second year. No specific plans for this have been disclosed yet. See more details about the Moonriver crowdloan results by visiting the Moonbeam Foundation site.

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: