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Moonbeam Continues to Push Ethereum Compatibility Forward in the Polkadot and Kusama Ecosystems

Singapore – February 11, 2022 – Moonbeam, the Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on Polkadot, has released the latest runtime 1201 upgrade to Moonriver, with a Moonbeam deployment to follow next week. This upgrade introduces the building blows for supporting EIP-1559 and the recent London hard fork on Ethereum, which significantly modified network’s the underlying fee structure and mechanisms. This release reflects Moonbeam’s ongoing mission to keep pace with Ethereum and maximize compatibility at all times.

EIP-1559 is an improvement proposal that went into effect in August 2021. The primary intention was to introduce an automated bidding system in an attempt to improve the user experience when it comes to guessing transaction fees for interacting with the network. Ethereum now uses a flat base fee model for all transactions, with an optional “tip” for miners.

Now Moonriver and Moonbeam will reflect this fee structure, with a few notable differences. Since Moonbeam is a proof-of-stake blockchain, there are no miners. Transactions are organized into blocks by nodes called collators. While tipping is still possible, 80% of the fee is burned rather than sent to collators, who are compensated through other on-chain mechanisms. Notably, the base fee on Moonbeam is static (rather than dynamic, like Ethereum today), and block size is fixed.

“One of the core design principles of Moonbeam is to optimize for compatibility with the Ethereum technology stack,” says Derek Yoo, Founder of Moonbeam. “With this release, we bring Moonbeam up-to-date with Ethereum mainnet. We are committed to maintain compatibility with Ethereum in order to facilitate ease of deployment for multi-chain architectures and scenarios.”

This support for EIP-1559 is the culmination of a multi-month effort, which included a contribution of the work back to the community. The Moonbeam team submitted these changes upstream to Frontier, which is the open-source Substrate pallet that powers EVM functionality in the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems. The Moonbeam team received a grant in 2020 for their contributions to this pallet and have worked with the Parity team continuously to improve and maintain it.

The runtime 1201 release includes several important changes:

  • Enables XCM on Moonbeam (in anticipation of Polkadot support being enabled)
  • Introduction of the Democracy precompile on Moonriver, which will enable network participants to vote using MetaMask
  • Fee payment and changes to base fee handling based on EIP-1559

For developers and technical stakeholders who want more detail around the implications these changes have on staking, the APIs, and other core functionality, check out this blog post from the developer relations team.

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. Like Moonriver, its sister parachain on Kusama, Moonbeam is expected to accumulate developer and user activity from the 80+ projects building DApps and protocols on the network. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam benefits from the shared security of the Polkadot Relay Chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Learn more: