Is the future multi-chain? Developers of Moonriver believe so. The fast-rising project marries the Ethereum blockchain with the Kusama network. This article explains the Moonriver project and its native token, MOVR.
What is Moonriver?
Moonriver was created as an Ethereum-compatible blockchain environment on the Kusama network. Moonriver operates as a parachain on the Kusama network, allowing developers to extend their services to Ethereum users.
Parachains are special blockchains that plug into the Kusama network, called the Relay Chain, which is responsible for security and consensus-building. The Kusama Relay Chain provides developers with an environment that mimics the economic incentives on the Polkadot blockchain.
The initial idea behind the creation of Moonbeam was to create a smart contract platform compatible with Ethereum to prepare for the release of a similar project, Moonbeam (GLMR), on Polkadot.
This makes Moonriver a “canary network” for Moonbeam on Polkadot. All new code and features are first implemented on Moonriver for testing and verification and are later executed on Moonbeam. However, developers have indicated that Moonriver will eventually have its own projects and specialized use cases in the future.
How Does Moonbeam Work?
Developers in the DeFi space currently have a huge burden of making applications multi-chain compatible. This is because users opt for different blockchains for reasons such as ease of use and gas or transaction costs. To meet this demand, developers have to learn different programming languages and use different tools to make their DApps available on as many blockchains as possible.
Very few projects are able to achieve such a feat due to resource constraints, including time, funding, and even technical differences between blockchains. In an effort to change this, several new blockchains are finding new ways to make it easier for applications running on bigger networks like Ethereum to move over or integrate.
Moonriver connects the Kusama blockchain to Ethereum. The project provides an easy route for existing projects on Ethereum to plug into the Kusama Relay Chain by lowering the barriers that exist. For instance, Moonriver reduces the changes needed to run smart contracts built using the Solidity programming language.
This means that existing DApps can simply replicate their features and deploy them to Moonriver using tools they are already familiar with. This makes several Web3 APIs built for Ethereum compatible with the Kusama blockchain.
Moonriver has also allowed easy token transfers and message passing between Ethereum and the Kusama blockchain. For instance, using Multichain.org, users can transfer tokens from Moonriver to Ethereum and vice versa.
What Is MOVR?
MOVR is the native cryptocurrency on the Moonriver platform. The token has various use cases relating to transaction cost, creating incentives for node operators and on-chain governance.
All transactions on Moonriver attract a transaction fee that is paid in MOVR. What’s more, gas for smart contracts is paid using MOVR.
Nodes created by collators who ensure a decentralized environment for the platform to run effectively are rewarded for their services in MOVR.
Finally, to create a truly decentralized project, holders of MOVR can participate in creating proposals, electing council members, and making decisions on the project’s future.
MOVR was initially distributed via an airdrop to community members who used their KSM (the native token of the Kusama network) to vote for the application to go live as a parachain on Kusama.
Beyond people who participated in the Crowdloan, 40% of the token was allocated to “community initiatives and Parachain slot reserve.” The treasury and Parachain bond reserve received 0.5% of the token allocation each. “Longterm network stewardship and adoption” (The Moonbeam Foundation) and the developer adoption program received 24.5% and 4.5%, respectively.
MOVR Historical Price Action
At the time of writing (January 2022), MOVR is priced at $78.42. This is 84.14% from its all-time high of $495.71 recorded on November 08, 2021. The cryptocurrency has witnessed a downtrend starting from the end of December 2021 due to an increase in circulating supply and general bearish sentiments in the crypto space.
Growth and Trajectory of Moonriver
The project has seen a lot of capital injected into it. Moonbeam (also Moonriver) has raised $1.4M in a seed round led by Hypersphere Ventures, a VC firm focused on Polkadot founded by Polkadot co-founder Robert Habermeier. Bitcoin.com Exchange, KR1, Arrington XRP Capital, Du Capital, and HashKey also participated in the seed round.
What’s more, Moonbeam received $6 million in a strategic round where CoinFund was the primary investor. Coinbase Ventures, Binance Labs, Fenbushi Capital, ParaFi, and IOSG Ventures also participated in the funding round.
The project has also partnered with several projects in an effort to expand its ecosystem. Decentralized applications (DApps) and projects working with Moonriver include Chainlink, IDEX, SushiSwap, and Human Protocol.
Moonriver has over $170 million in total value locked (TVL) in its ecosystem at the time of writing (January 2022). This is expected to increase as the development team rolls out new features. The roadmap beyond 2021 is currently unclear, but with a need to constantly test features for Moonbeam, there are more integrations ahead.
With an extensive array of partners and projects, Moonriver could become a major player in the multi-chain future with the growth of the Kusama blockchain.
What’s more, investments from big names like Binance Labs and Coinbase Ventures may be a bullish signal for the development of the project.