Frequently Asked Questions

Technology Underlying Moonbeam

Why would I build on Moonbeam instead of creating my own parachain or parathread on Polkadot?

In general, Moonbeam makes it a lot easier to build applications on Polkadot blockchain compared to implementing a full parachain or parathread. Specifically:

  1. Substrate is powerful but complex. With a Moonbeam-based application, you don’t need to worry about token economic models, issuance schedules, governance, incentivizing nodes, or security — all of which are required when launching your own blockchain.
  2. You can leverage Moonbeam’s full connection to the Polkadot Relay Chain, which the Moonbeam economic model pays for on an ongoing basis. This is much less expensive than paying for parachain- or parathread-based access on your own.
  3. You will have a smooth upgrade path from a Moonbeam smart contract/DApp to becoming a full parachain or parathread (if and when you need the scalability and full control that comes with running your own blockchain).

What is your current timeline for a MainNet launch?

We are currently targeting Q2 2021 for a Moonbeam launch on Polkadot. We will be launching to Kusama in Q1 2021.

What is Polkadot, what is a parachain, and how does this relate to Moonbeam?

Polkadot is a network of connected blockchains. Each blockchain that is directly connected to Polkadot is called a parachain. Polkadot provides shared security and a means of communicating between parachains that are on the network.

Moonbeam is parachain connected to Polkadot. You can learn more on the Polkadot and Web 3 Foundation websites.

How does Moonbeam plan to pay for the parachain slot on Polkadot?

We plan to use the crowdfunding/Initial Parachain Offering functionality that’s built into the Polkadot Relay Chain to win our parachain slot for our deployments on both Kusama and Polkadot.

For more information on how parachain slot auctions work, we recommend the documentation on the Polkadot wiki.

What is Substrate, and how is it different than Moonbeam?

Substrate is a blockchain development framework that dramatically reduces the time and effort needed to implement your own blockchain. It is Rust-based and offers many reusable components called frame pallets.

Frame pallets can be used to rapidly build an application-specific blockchain that has full control over its economy and resources, and that is optimized for the application use case.

Polkadot and Moonbeam are both built using Substrate. To learn more, visit the Substrate website.

Do you plan to deploy Moonbeam on Kusama?

Yes. We are planning to release a Kusama deployment in Q1 2021. You can read more about our plans in this announcement.

Ethereum Compatibility

What do you mean by "Ethereum-compatible?"

Moonbeam aims to be both compatible and interoperable with Ethereum. That means it has:

  • Support for Solidity smart contracts to be run natively on Moonbeam.
  • Support for popular Ethereum developer tools like MetaMask, Remix, Truffle, and the Web3 JavaScript library.
  • Support for Ethereum account structures and signatures.
  • The ability to extend the Ethereum feature set with Polkadot-specific benefits like on-chain governance, staking, and cross-chain compatibility via bridges and Polkadot itself.
  • Support for wrapped ERC-20 tokens via a bridge back to Ethereum.

Do you support any development languages other than Solidity?

Solidity is the primary language, but really Moonbeam (via its full EVM implementation) will support any of the existing Ethereum tools and languages that compile down to EVM-compatible bytecode (e.g., Vyper). We currently have no plans for supporting ink! but, given that we are committed to maintaining Ethereum compatibility long-term, we plan to support ewasm as Ethereum evolves toward that.

How is Moonbeam handling scalability for Ethereum dApps?

We will not be able to provide specific transaction time estimates until we are running a live network, but we expect Moonbeam to be faster than Ethereum Layer 1, but not as fast as a transaction-optimized solution like zk rollups. We will be running benchmarks as we get closer to our Polkadot deployment.

What is your estimated block time?

As Polkadot parachains launch, it makes the most sense to match the 6 second Relay Chain block time. But Parity has future enhancements planned which would open the door for parachains to have a faster block time, which we plan to take advantage of once it’s available.

So, are you a token bridge?

We plan on having an integral bridge on Moonbeam to move tokens, like ERC-20 tokens for example, to and from the Ethereum MainNet. But we also will be integrating and partnering with other parachain-based bridges to support their multiple choices for users to bring assets, and for developers to integrate their applications, back to Ethereum MainNet.

Will you be able to use a Layer 2 solution on top of Moonbeam?

We currently do no not have plans to build a Layer 2 solution ourselves, but we are interested in partnering with existing solutions that could provide this.

Applications with massive throughput requirements will likely want a Layer 2 solution on top of Moonbeam or would elect to build their own application-specific parachain directly on Polkadot.

Does Moonbeam need to wait for a transaction to be finalized on Ethereum before it can be finalized on Moonbeam?

No. Our EVM implementation is an independent instance of the EVM, separate from the EVM on the Ethereum MainNet. But it will look, feel, and behave in a very similar way. And Moonbeam will have staking and on-chain governance.

You will be able to take an Ethereum app and deploy it with minimal changes to Moonbeam, both back-end Solidity contracts and dApp front-ends.

We plan to connect back to Ethereum via bridges, directly from Moonbeam and via the parachain-based Ethereum bridges that are under development. This will allow ERC-20 token transfers, for example.

Our goal is to allow apps to be deployed in a hybrid configuration, with some parts on Eth Layer 1, and some parts on Moonbeam Layer 1, where apps can take advantage of Moonbeam’s lower cost and ability to access other parachains and services on Polkadot.

In the future, will Ethereum have any weight in consensus?

Moonbeam will have its own consensus mechanism. Just like all the parachains on Polkadot, collator node operators supporting Moonbeam will produce blocks, and these blocks will be verified and finalized by validators on the Polkadot relay chain.

This is all separate from Ethereum and its current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism.

The bridges will be the connection between Ethereum and Moonbeam. One end of the bridge will be connected to the Ethereum consensus mechanism, and the other side will be connected to the Moonbeam consensus mechanism.

Moonbeam Tokens and Tokenomics

What is the Glimmer token and what is it for?

Glimmer (GLMR) is the native platform token for Moonbeam. Since we are pre-launch, it is not yet available or in circulation.

Glimmer will be a utility token, serving much the same purpose as ETH serves on Ethereum plus added Polkadot functionality like staking and on-chain governance functions. Read more about Glimmer.

Where can I buy your token, Glimmer (GLMR)?

The Glimmer token is not yet available. We have not yet announced any token distribution mechanisms, plans, or dates. Please do your research and be wary of anyone offering you Glimmer tokens, since these offers are more than likely a scam.

If you’d like to participate in the community prior to launch, contact us. We are currently working on an ambassador program and collator program for pre-launch participants.

Is Glimmer an ERC-20 token?

The Glimmer token is not an ERC-20 currently. Once we have launched and the bridges connecting Polkadot to Ethereum are up-and-running, it will be possible to move Glimmer and other tokens on Moonbeam to Ethereum as ERC-20s.

When is the public token sale?

We expect to be able to offer a public distribution shortly before the launch of the Moonbeam network. Currently, that timing is approximately mid-year 2021 (this summer).

Where will you be conducting the public token sale?

We are currently working with trusted third-parties to ensure that we have the most accessible, fair public sale possible, but details are still TBD. We will continue to update everyone via our public channels as we know more, and you will get the latest information well in advance.

Will there be a crowd loan for Moonbeam and GLMR tokens in addition to the public sale?

We do not have details and clarity for this yet. We are working on it and will update the community once we have a clear plan. It may not be possible for us to offer this and it should not be counted on at this time.

What is the River token?

River is the utility token of the Moonriver network. Moonriver is intended as a companion network to Moonbeam, where it will provide a permanently incentivized canary network. New code will ship to Moonriver first, where it can be tested and verified under real economic conditions. Once proven, the same code will ship to Moonbeam on Polkadot.

How do I participate in the Moonriver crowdloan?

Details for this are TBD. We are working closely with the Parity and Web3 teams to define and document the appropriate steps, which will be made available prior to the crowd loan event.

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