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What is Moonriver? (MOVR)

The Beginner’s Guide to MOVR


The Moonbeam Foundation created Moonriver to be an Ethereum-compatible blockchain environment on the Kusama (KSM) network. Moonriver is intended to operate on Kusama as a parachain, helping crypto projects expand their reach to new users and markets with a multi-chain approach.

On Kusama, parachains are custom blockchains that feed into the main blockchain and heart of the Kusama network, called the Relay Chain. The Relay Chain is responsible for Kusama’s shared security, consensus and transaction settlements. By being integrated into the Relay Chain, parachains benefit from the Relay Chain’s base features.

The Moonbeam team has chosen to launch Moonriver (MOVR) on Kusama in order to provide an ethereum-compatible smart contract platform to its community and is also releasing Moonbeam (BEAM), a similar platform for Polkadot, later in 2021.

Moonriver is intended to function as the “canary network” for Moonbeam on Polkadot, meaning that new code would ship to Moonriver first, where it can be tested and verified under real economic conditions, before being shipped on Moonbeam.

Moonriver’s native cryptocurrency, MOVR, should play a key role in maintaining and operating the Moonriver network. It is expected to be used for paying transaction fees, supporting smart contract execution, incentivizing collators for producing blocks to support the network, and facilitating Moonriver’s on-chain governance mechanism.


MOVR is expected to be airdropped to community members who use their KSM, Kusama’s cryptocurrency, to vote for the application to go live as a parachain on Kusama in a process called a Parachain Auction.

what is moonriver MOVR


MOVR Token Launch & Issuance

Currently, an estimated 100 projects can build on the Kusama network and leverage its Relay Chain’s security by accessing what Kusama calls a parachain slot. This number is flexible and subject to change by governance vote over time. 

Access to Kusama parachain slots is provided to projects for fixed periods of 6-48 weeks, with Moonriver needing to go through an auction to win access to one of the 100 slots.

During a parachain auction, Kusama holders can bond their KSM in support of the project they believe should receive a parachain slot. At the end of a determined period of time, the project with the most KSM committed to their campaign  generally wins access to a parachain slot, allowing them to operate on Kusama’s network for a 6-48 week period.  

The Moonriver team will crowdsource support for its parachain auction bid by accepting community contributions. If Moonriver wins an auction, supporters are expected to receive Moonriver’s MOVR token.

Of note, if Moonriver fails to win a parachain slot, the KSM committed to their bid by community participants will be returned at the end of Moonriver’s auction campaign. If Moonriver wins an auction, the bonded KSM will be returned to participants when Moonriver’s access to the parachain slot expires.

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Moonriver (MOVR) Network Design


Moonriver is intended to work as a smart contract platform, allowing developers to redeploy their ethereum dapps in a substrate environment with minimal friction. This means that the smart contracts that power Ethereum dapps will not need to be rewritten or reconfigured for the Karura network. 

If you’re unfamiliar, Substrate is a framework for creating novel blockchains and blockchain applications that can run on the Kusama and Polkadot networks.

To access these features, the Moonriver platform will offer these main services to developers: 

  • EVM implementation – Allows for Ethereum-based smart contracts to be migrated to the Kusama environment.
  • Web3 compatible API – Allows Ethereum-based tools, such as popular Ethereum wallet Metamask, to be used with Moonriver
  • Bridges –  Allows for token transfers, state visibility, and message passing with Ethereum and other chains like Bitcoin.
  • Built-in integrations for assets like DOT and ERC-20s, and infrastructure services like Chainlink and The Graph.


Moonriver’s native cryptocurrency, MOVR, plays a key role in maintaining and operating the Moonriver platform, and can be used for executing smart contracts, incentivizing nodes, paying for transaction fees and facilitating governance.


Monetary Policy

The MOVR token plays a key role in maintaining and operating the Moonriver network and can be used for: 

  • Paying for transaction fees on the network
  • Supporting smart contract execution
  • Incentivizing collators for producing blocks to support the network
  • Facilitating the on-chain governance mechanism

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Disclaimer:  The above information is provided to you for your convenience and for illustrative purposes only. It is based on information provided by third parties, may not be accurate and is subject to change. Kraken does not guarantee, and does not assume any responsibility for, the acts or omissions of Karura (“Candidate”), the performance of their products or services, or the performance of the Kusama network. Kraken does not recommend that you support, and does not endorse, Candidate or any other Parachain Slot Auction participant, or Parachain Slot Auctions in general. See our Terms of Service for more information.