As Polkadot inches closer towards its first parachain auction, Moonbeam, one of the fastest-growing parachains on the Polkadot network, is already on a winning spree. Launched in 2020, Moonbeam first deployed its canary network Moonriver on Kusama, Polkadot’s canary network, in June 2021, with Moonbeam set to deploy on Polkadot later this year.
Since its launch, Moonbeam has positioned itself as an “Ethereum-compatible smart contract parachain on Polkadot” by offering dApp developers access to a fully Ethereum-compatible smart contract parachain on Polkadot. With Moonbeam, dApp developers get a similar experience as Ethereum without sacrificing Polkadot’s valuable functionalities.
This means that developers can run contracts in Ethereum’s Solidity code on Polkadot without implementing major changes in existing code. Moreover, they can apply existing Ethereum-compatible tools while leveraging Polkadot-specific features such as on-chain governance, cross-chain integration, faster throughputs, and low transaction costs.
Moonbeam has already caught the eyes of dApp developers seeking a more scalable and cost-effective Ethereum alternative. Now, Moonbeam is integrating some of the most prominent solutions to expand its capabilities even further while partnering with a myriad of promising DeFi projects.
Moonbeam On Its Way To The Moon
PureStake, one of the leading blockchain infrastructure and tools providers, announced the launch of the Moonbeam smart contract platform in April 2020 to simplify the process of building multi-chain dApps. In August 2020, PureStake received a grant from the Web3 Foundation, which further accelerated the development of Moonbeam and Moonriver.
Following this, Moonbeam announced the launch of its public TestNet, Moonbase Alpha, enabling developers to test Moonbeam’s compatibility features with Ethereum. In September 2020, Moonbeam successfully concluded a $1.4 million seed round led by Hypersphere Ventures, alongside other notable participants like Arrington XRP Capital, Du Capital, HashKey, and others. Moonbeam underwent several technical upgrades in the months that followed, adding new features to its platform, including Ethereum-style pub/sub capabilities, Moonbeam Truffle Box, unified accounts, and multiple collator support.
The year 2021 has also turned out to be eventful for the Moonbeam team. From winning the second round of the first five Kusama parachain slot auctions to emerging as the top parachain on Polkadot, Moonbeam has been busy checking off significant milestones from its list. Several promising projects like IDEX, SushiSwap, Injective, AnySwap, MyWish, Authtrail, C.R.E.A.M Finance, Lido, Impossible Finance, Automata Witness, and myNFT, and others are already leveraging Moonbeam to widen the accessibility of their services.
Beyond these relationships, Moonbeam has been continuously integrating existing Oracles and APIs like TheGraph, Biconomy, OnFinality, Ocean Protocol, Band Protocol, and Chainlink to its network to deliver multi-chain functionality. Valuably, Moonriver, Moonbeam’s Kusama-version, won the second round of the ongoing Kusama parachain slot auctions, with 6,000 network participants locking up 205,935 KSM tokens to support Moonriver’s bid.
After securing a parachain slot on Kusama, the Moonbeam team hasn’t looked back and currently, Moonriver has emerged as the top project on Kusama, achieving a total locked value (TVL) of $93,272,786 within months.
“In the six weeks since we launched Moonriver, there have been 2.5M transactions, 128K wallets addresses created, and $256M of TVL deposited. In short, a large amount of interest in and traction on the network in a very short time across DeFi, NFT, and gaming use cases,” according to Derek Yoo, the founder of Moonbeam.
Yoo adds, “Much of this adoption is the result of the Ethereum compatibility Moonriver offers, which makes it very easy for teams to deploy to the network. But we are also working on unique features that are only possible because Moonriver is built using Substrate and is a parachain on Kusama. This will allow us to extend the base EVM with native cross-chain integrations for assets and remote chain functionality, opening new use cases to developers.”
Even though layer-2 scaling solutions like ZK and optimistic rollups endeavor to make Ethereum more competitive, Moonbeam doesn’t directly compete with these projects. Instead, Moonbeam focuses on converting the dual benefits of full Ethereum compatibility alongside Polkadot’s built-in features to dApp developers, cementing itself as a genuinely multi-chain platform that is developer-friendly and fully equipped to support an array of use cases.