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First Parachain to Hand Over Block Production to a Decentralized Collator Community

Boston, MA – July 9, 2021 – Moonbeam, the Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on Polkadot, announced today that Moonriver, its community-led sister network on Kusama, has completed the initial step of its five-phase launch process. Phase Zero began last Tuesday when Moonriver started producing blocks on Kusama, though governance and infrastructure operations were limited to the Moonbeam Team. Phase Zero has now been completed, and Moonriver has now entered Phase One, during which the network will begin to decentralize and add community-led collators to the active set.

In the past week, the Moonbeam Team verified block production, finalization, and the interaction of Moonriver with the Kusama Relay Chain. At this time, there was also one upgrade to Moonriver to provide fixes and compatibility with the latest versions of the relay chain.

In the coming weeks, community-run collators will take over block production for the network.  Moonriver is the first live parachain to have an open and permissionless collator set powered by a custom parachain staking pallet. This permissionless collator set is critical to ensuring censorship resistance and decentralization of the network. For the duration of Phase One, the team will ensure that this decentralized collator set is performing well with Moonriver, the Kusama Relay Chain, and its validators. Once stability has been established under community-led block production, Phase One will be complete, and Phase Two will begin, during which on-chain governance will be enabled.

Moonriver’s launch process is similar to the ones followed by Kusama and Polkadot, consisting of several phases designed to ensure network stability upon launch. Each phase is anticipated to last one to two weeks, for a total of 4-6 weeks to complete the rollout. In the end, the network will be fully operational, decentralized, and balance transfers will be enabled.

During Phase One, several technology-related updates will take place. First, a collator election will happen, and the active collator set will expand to 32 active slots.  A significant number of community collators have been supporting block production on the Moonbase Alpha TestNet for many months. Collators with the best block production performance metrics on Moonbase Alpha have been invited to initially occupy the active slots and assist with bootstrapping the Moonriver network.  In the current phase, staking and the collator set will be managed by the Moonbeam Foundation, but this will transition to an open and permissionless system once the launch process completes.  

Community-led collators will now be able to move forward toward block production. The next phases of the Moonriver network launch will move towards the further decentralization of the network and assuring the network stability.

Since most of the Moonriver network components have not been enabled, end-users will continue to be limited in the available functionality. This means that end users cannot yet claim rewards, stake, execute balance transfers, or deploy smart contracts. All users will have full network functionality once Phase Four of the launch process has been completed. 

Moonriver’s launch was enabled by a community-focused crowdloan hosted by the Moonbeam Foundation, which received over 200,000 KSM from around 6,000 contributors across the globe. To learn more about the future Moonriver launch steps, visit the network launch status site

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by Q3 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/.

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