Moonbeam aims to be the premier destination for cross-chain connected applications by providing developers with an all-in-one platform for building and running decentralized applications (dApps). The goal is to build a multi-chain paradigm where smart contracts from one environment could be deployed to another environment.
Moonbeam is so much more than a “bridge:” it’s a launchpad for applications that want to tap into Polkadot’s success without hefty code rewrites. Use the Moonbeam platform to redeploy your Solidity smart contracts to a parallel instance — with little or no changes.
History & Founder
Moonbeam began as an idea in early 2019. The firm behind the protocol is PureStake, an infrastructure company and development outfit that builds developer tools for Algorand and also runs Polkadot validators. PureStake focuses on developing innovative solutions for the decentralized web. Moonbeam was created to provide an EVM-compatible platform for developers within the Polkadot ecosystem to build applications on.
Derek Yoo is the founder of PureStake, a company that provides technology and consulting services for blockchain projects. PureStake built the Moonbeam network (which Derek Yoo is also a co-founder of.) Yoo has a finance and entrepreneurship background and has been involved in blockchain development since early 2019. The PureStake team also includes several other engineers with backgrounds in cryptography, distributed systems, and software development.
To help drive its mission forward, PureStake also provides various developer tools and resources. With the creation of Moonbeam Faucet, Frontier Explorer, and Staking Portal, the development team supports developers getting started with dapp building on the Moonbeam network. PureStake also sponsors hackathons and offers educational resources in order to foster education about blockchain technology and Polkadot’s decentralized ecosystem.
The Moonbeam team took an ambitious step forward to bridge the gap between Ethereum and Polkadot. This has enabled developers to access all of the features that the Polkadot network offers while still being able to use their favorite development tooling from Ethereum.
Revolutionizing dApp development and enabling developers to build next-generation decentralized applications without learning a whole new set of protocols or tools. By combining the best of both worlds, the familiar and easy-to-use tooling of Ethereum and the scalable, interoperable architecture of Polkadot, it provides a platform for developers to expand their application's capabilities while still being able to use their favorite development tooling from Ethereum.
Moonbeam's core features include scalability, cross-chain integrations, and on-chain governance.
These capabilities allow moonbeam to provide developers with a platform that is easy to use yet still offers the security and performance of Polkadot. Cross-chain integration will enable developers to create dApps that can interact with multiple blockchains, while on-chain governance ensures that the network is secure and maintained. The possibilities are endless with Moonbeam's integration capabilities bridging the gap between both networks.
The Moonbeam project also offers smart contract support, enabling developers to deploy Solidity contracts from Ethereum on the Polkadot blockchain. This provides a simple yet powerful way to build and manage decentralized applications while enjoying all the benefits that the Polkadot ecosystem has. Creating an interface for Solidity contracts from Ethereum enables execution on the Polkadot blockchain. It also makes it compatible with the Substrate and Polkadot ecosystem, including block explorers, wallets, parachains, and more, allowing users the flexibility to choose the right tools and services for the job.
By mirroring Ethereum’s Web3 RPC, accounts, keys, subscriptions, logs, and more, Moonbeam minimizes the changes required to run existing Solidity smart contracts on the network. Ethereum projects can simply replicate their DApp and deploy it to Moonbeam using popular deployment tools.
Moonriver and Moonbase Alpha
Moonbeam's developers have given the Ethereum and Polkadot communities the best of both worlds with its project, Moonriver. This groundbreaking product provides access to Polkadot's interoperability, scalability, and on-chain governance, coupled with the familiar development tooling that Ethereum has to offer.
The Moonbeam family has since grown to include Moonriver and Moonbase Alpha, which are sister networks of Moonbeam. Moonriver was launched as a parachain on Kusama in June 2021, while Moonbase Alpha is an experimental network running on Polkadot. PureStake continues to manage all three networks, providing the infrastructure for a secure and reliable data validator node for Moonbeam.
Moonbeam's market cap is currently $194 million USD, making it one of the most valuable parachains on the Polkadot network
Validation & Validators
The Glimmer (GLMR) token is used on Moonbeam, Moonriver, and Moonbase Alpha as the primary token. GLMR can be staked with validations on the network using an EVM wallet (predominantly Metamask.) The GLMR token, however, is not an ERC-20 token, but rather a native protocol token, so the contract must be manually added to the Ethereum based wallet. For more information on how to stake on Moonbeam, follow this tutorial: https://moonbeam.network/tutorial/stake-glmr/
Investors & their Outlook
Primary investors include: Arrington XRP Capital, Bitcoin.com, Binance Labs, CoinGecko Ventures, DU Capital, Fenbushi Capital, HashKey, CoinFund.
In May 2021, PureStake launched a successful crowd loan campaign to fund the auction for the parachain slot on Polkadot. The campaign raised 35 million DOT, or $175 million USD, which enabled them to secure the slot and become the first operational parachain on the Polkadot network.
Moonbeam has been adopted by various geographies, with the most notable being China and the United States. In addition, Moonbeam has also been adopted by other countries in Europe and Asia. In September 2021, Moonbeam held the “Moonbeam Take Flight” community event. Currently, Moonbeam hosts virtual conferences for builders in their ecosystem, with the most recent being “Moonbeam Builders: Chainlink” on December 7th, 2022.
Advantages & Challenges
Because Substrate can program parachains to be EVM compatible, Moonbeam could face stiff competition from various projects within the Polkadot ecosystem. Additionally, the Proof-of-Stake model has some inherent concerns around security. Hackers have exploited Polkadot’s vulnerabilities and systems in the past. Lastly, the risks involved with Moonbeam include the risks native to cryptocurrency. Volatility, speculation, and low rate of adoption are all problems which Moonbeam could face in the near future.
Moonbeam also offers developers a wide range of tools to build on top of Moonbeam’s platform. These include libraries for Solidity development, APIs for interacting with Moonbeam contracts, and more. Additionally, moonbeam provides developers with access to the Substrate framework, allowing developers to easily create custom blockchains on top of moonbeam.
Looking ahead, PureStake will continue playing an integral role in developing the Polkadot ecosystem. As Moonbeam and PureStake both continue to evolve within the Polkadot network, its users will be assured of a safe and secure environment for their digital assets. Furthermore, with PureStake's commitment to ensuring that Moonbeam remains an important part of the Polkadot ecosystem, users can look forward to increased interoperability between different blockchains in the days ahead.
Ultimately, Moonbeam provides developers with the flexibility they need to build powerful decentralized applications that are secure, performant, and interoperable. With Moonbeam, developers no longer have to choose between scalability and ease of use—they can now have both. By offering the full suite of tools and features, moonbeam provides a comprehensive platform that any developer can use to create unique applications on Polkadot.