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Introducing Moonriver - Solidity Smart Contracts on Kusama

Published date: May 21 2021

1. What is Moonriver?

Moonriver is the Kusama Implementation of the Moonbeam Network. Moonriver is a canary network of Moonbeam. It is like a place to test and deploy new technologies to see if it is stable enough to be deployed on the Moonbeam parachain on Polkadot Mainnet. 

2. Earlier Launch, Earlier Access

Since Kusama will enable parachain functionality in the first half of 2021, the Moonriver network will be able to deploy as a parachain before Moonbeam deploys to Polkadot. That means developers will have earlier access to Moonriver to start building, experimenting, and launching, and other participants will be able to access DApps and assets on that chain.

Also, Moonriver will have features that Moonbeam have:

  • Complete Ethereum Compatibility

  • Blockchain runtime

  • Unified Accounts

3. Complete Ethereum Compatibility

Features of Ethereum Network that Moonriver will have the same:

Because Moonriver provides developers a full EVM implementation, it will also have features that Ethereum Network has. Such as: 

  • Solidity-Based Smart Contracts

  • Ecosystem Tools (e.g., block explorers, front-end development libraries, wallets)

  • Development Tools (e.g., Truffle, Remix, MetaMask)

  • Ethereum Tokens via Bridges (e.g., token movement, state visibility, message passing)

Furthermore, Moonriver will also have a bridge that connects itself with Ethereum Network. 

4. Blockchain runtime

The core Moonriver runtime specifies the state transition function and behavior of the Moonriver parachain. The Moonriver runtime is built using FRAME. It includes several standard pallets as well as several custom ones. The runtime is compiled to a WebAssembly (Wasm) binary as well as a native binary. These compiled versions will be executed in the Polkadot Relay Chain and Moonriver node environments.

5. Unified Accounts

With Unified Accounts, a user will only need a single H160 address, with its corresponding private key, to do everything including both EVM and Substrate functions. That means a user only needs to  hold one private key that matches one address. User does not need to move balances between 2 different accounts and is able to access all the features with a single account and private key. Moonbeam & Moonriver has standardized this single account to conform to the Ethereum-style H160 address and ECDSA key standards.

6. Utilities Of RIVER Token

Moonbeam and Moonriver will have two different token for every single network. Glimmer (GLMR) will be a native token of Moonbeam and River (RIVER) will be a native token of Moonriver. On basic, both Glimmer and River will have the same utilities. The only difference between them is the network. Users will need GLMR and RIVER to perform these action on Moonbeam  & Moonriver network:

  • Pay transaction fee to access and support network operations.

  • Incentivize collators, the full nodes responsible for maintaining parachains on Polkadot and Kusama.

  • Support the gas metering of smart contract execution.

  • Facilitate on-chain governance mechanisms by proposing referenda, voting, electing council members, and more.

  • Power the mechanics needed to create the decentralized node infrastructure on which the networks operate.

7. Who’s building on Moonbeam & Moonriver? 

Right now, there are 36 projects that are building on Moonbeam & Moonriver with some big names like: The Graph, Balancer, Ocean Protocol, Chainlink,... 

About Moonriver

Moonriver is intended as a companion network to Moonbeam, where it will provide a permanently incentivized canary network. New code will ship to Moonriver first, where it can be tested and verified under real economic conditions. Once proven, the same code will ship to Moonbeam on Polkadot.


See Moonriver on DotMarketCap: