What is Moonriver?

5 min readJun 12, 2021

About Moonriver

The Moonriver is a smart contract platform extracted from its sister network called “Moonbeam’. This platform is found to be fully compatible with Ethereum and can deploy all of its tools to develop solidity projects in a Substrate-based environment. An easier transition can be made from Ethereum to Kusama environment for solidity projects and these include the following;

  • Minimal changes
  • Languages
  • Use of existing tools and front-ends
  • Unified addresses, signatures, and accounts
  • Subscribe-Publish capabilities

Expectations from Moonriver

The initial purpose of Moonriver is to serve as a “CanaryNet” that will make an alarming system in coal mines for any potential issue. It will work through the integration of the user’s code with the Moonriver that will test the authenticity of the code for future manipulation scenarios. As we can see that nearly 30% of the token supply will be distributed among the community through an initial crowdloan. This aspect has shown that most of the tokens will be in the hands of the community.

This is a dual-deployment that will link the Moonriver with Moonbeam after the launch. Running a software system in a TestNet environment provides various difficulties regarding the participation of governance, economics, and future strategies. Most of the projects have addressed these issues before launching their MainNet in a TestNet environment. Researchers here are striving to achieve a permanent environment in which Moonbeam can be deployed initially before its utilization in Polkadot. Such actions will generate enhanced security, better software quality, and faster development. Kusama was conceived as an unaudited family network towards the more polished Polkadot network, but we’ve already seen restricted communities, a daring NFT campaign, and autonomous sponsorship of new competitors towards the ecosystem. Similarly, Moonriver may become home to specific use cases, possibly ones which don’t need the Polkadot’s financial stability.

Moonriver Crowdloan

A crowdloan campaign has been established to run to fund the Moonriver parachain slot on behalf of the Moonbeam network. Some of the components involved in the process of crowdloan have been assessed and provided below;

Parachains: For new customers, independent parachains will be available in the provided ecosystem and they will get connected to the relay chain for certain benefits like finality and security under Kusama and Polkadot.

Parachain Auctions: A simple candle auction process will be employed to fill the parachain slots, where the highest bidder will win the slot. It will provide active users to the parachains after the expiration of the allotted lease.

Crowdloans: The parity teams working at Moonbeam have developed ways for new projects to attain the crowdloans, which will work in return for a reward from the investor. An active user will provide his tokens to the Kusama for a certain closed time.

A big question remains that when the Moonriver will launch? Well, this is expected in June 2021 MainNet. Nothing can be said about the final date, as it requires several milestones to carry including the parachain enabling, auction process, and crowdloan functionality. A rough outline of the milestones that need to be achieved is given below in figure (01) for an expected launch of Moonriver under MainNet:

Figure 01: Moonriver launch milestones map

Auctions under Kusama’s parachains are found to be one of the most important milestones to initiate the Moonriver Crowdloan. Winning a parachain slot is the first step towards the Moonriver parachian auction strategy. The Moonbeam foundation has provided various values that need to be considered as an integral part of Kusama Network. These aspects include:

  • A crowdloan will be developed to fund the auction bidding for Moonriver.
  • Nearly 30% of the Moonriver network tokens will be rewarded to the contributors.
  • 30% of the rewards will be available immediately to claim while the rest of 70% will be vesting throughout lease.
  • Contributions will be made through the Moonriver crowdloan DApp.

The platform of Kusama has been taken for the launch, as it has proved to be more than just a TestNet for Polkadot. It is found to be a risk-taking, experimental, and community-led network platform that will provide an efficient start to the Moonriver. A multi-chain future is required to be built through Moonbeam and Moonriver under the spirit of Kusama.

Contributions towards crowdloans

It has been stated that once the Kusama will initiate the auction process, the Moonriver will open its crowdloans to contributions. An individual can make KSM contributions to the crowdloan through utilizing the DApp or through direct participation. The Kusama has also provided some instructions for proper participation which are given below:

  1. Contributing via the Moonriver Crowdloan DApp

Obtaining a transferable KSM

Moonriver or Ethereum address

Make pre-registrations for the crowdloan

2. Contributing via an Exchange

The participating changes have not been finalized yet through Kusama


Moonriver has set nearly 3 millioObtaining a transferable KSM

Moonriver or Ethereum address

Make pre-registrations for the crowdloann MOVR tokens as a reward for crowdloan contributors. The initial allocation was 60% but later changed through Kusama under a new policy of lease, which was set to be 48 weeks.

Figure 02: Allocations of tokens at launching stage of Moonriver

As the Moonriver’s crowdloan does not contain a fixed value of KSM cap, so the reward of a contributor will be assessed through the proportional contribution from an individual towards the total number of KSM tokens in the crowdloan auction. The Moonbeam foundation will provide continuous tracking of overall contributions along with a statistics page that will show the current value of crowdloan and the ratio of KSM to MOVR. The Kusama team has stated that the rewards will be distributed through an on-chain mechanism.

  • The initial 30% of the total rewards will be available to claim upon the successful launch of the Moonriver parachain.
  • The remaining 70% of rewards will vest over the lease duration.

The launch of Moonriver network will be based on Kusama’s approach for a phase activation. The Moonbeam foundation will issue a genesis block. There are expected to be 8 collators initially and active Sudo. The foundation has also provided a launch process to follow for a successful crowdloan campaign. It includes four phases given as;

Phase 1: Increase in the number of collators to a total of 32 decentralized collators

Phase 2: Enabling the governance system

Phase 3: Remove Sudo

Phase 4: Enabling the reward claim after EVM

Note: Some of the additional details can also be provided as per the latest details from Kusama foundation.