Moonriver Network (launched August 26, 2021) is a community-driven Ethereum compatible parachain on Kusama network and it is a companion network to Moonbeam Network and developed to test and verify the code before applying on Moonbeam Network.
Moonriver is a sister network to Moonbeam Network and it provides a permanently incentivized canary network. As mentioned in the introduction, the code or the projects will be deployed, tested and verified under real economic conditions first before applying on Moonbeam. Once proven, the same code will be shipped Moonbeam on Polkadot.
Moonriver Network secured 2nd slot in parachain auction on Kusama Network on June 29, 2021 and it was launched on Kusama immediately. The launch was made successful by a community-focused crowdloan hosted by the Moonbeam Foundation, which managed to raise more than 205,935 KSM (approximately $45,000,000 USD) from 5,977 contributors around the globe. The launch included producing blocks on the Kusama network and and beginning of a gradual rollout of Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform.
The launch is divided into five phases and each phase is expected to take approximately 1-2 weeks to complete.
It started on June 29, 2021 when genesis block was minted and the network was centralized in this phase and the Moonbeam team controlled governance and infrastructure.
Phase 1 began on July 9, 2021 and in this phase the decentralization process started. The team added added third-party collators from outside of the Moonbeam team. This phase is carried out to ensure the decentralized collator set is performing well with the Kusama Relay Chain and its validators and stability is maintained.
Moonriver Network is in phase 2 currently and it stayed on July 23, 2020 In this phase, on-chain governance will be enabled to give token holders more input on the future of Moonriver, the community-led network. This phase will make sure all on-chain governance systems are working as expected.
Phase 3 started on August 5, 2021 and the team removed sudo (the super user key) and handed over control of the Moonriver network to MOVR token holders. It also introduced, crowdloan rewards functionality, performance improvements, and bug fixes.
Phase 4 was a full launch of the Moonriver network on Kusama network and it was announced on August 26, 2021.During this phase, MOVR token transfers and reward claiming facilities were enabled. It also marked the start of the staking service where users can stake MOVR token to earn interest. It also enabled Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) functionality and smart contract deployment. By enabling EVM, Moonriver became the first fully functioning EVM Deployment to Kusama network. The team distributed rewards to crowdloian participants and the chain will be governed by token holders using the on-chain governance system after this phase.
In June 2021, The Moonbeam Foundation team launched Moonriver Crowdloan program. A crowdloan is a way for new projects to get financial support they need to connect to the Kusama Neowork or Polkadot Network as a parachain. According to Moonbeam's Crowdloan program, The contributions/participants will pay in KSM token for the parachain (Kusama) slot lease and generate rewards in the Moonriver's native token - (MOVR). When the parachain lease expires, the locked KSM are returned to the user.
The Moonriver crowdloan is awarding 30% of network tokens to crowdloan participants. The crowdloan raised over 83,000 KSM within just a week and ended on June 29, 2020 with Moonriver winning 2nd slot Kusama (cryptocurrency)'s parachain auction raising total 205,935.0111 KSM tokens.
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