Moonbeam is a smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that offers Ethereum compatibility, enabling developers to build natively interoperable applications. This compatibility allows existing Solidity smart contracts and decentralized application (dApp) front ends to be deployed on Moonbeam, providing an attractive platform for Ethereum developers seeking to leverage the benefits of the Polkadot network.
Architecture and Functionality
Moonbeam operates as a Layer 1 chain linked to the Layer 0 Relay Chain of Polkadot, utilizing the delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism. It is built on the interoperable Substrate blockchain, a flexible, customizable framework that supports forkless upgrades and the creation of blockchains tailored to specific needs. This adaptability enables Moonbeam to offer features such as on-chain governance, Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) implementation, and staking.
Moonbeam’s Ethereum compatibility extends to its development tools, allowing developers to use familiar Ethereum tools like Truffle, Remix, Hardhat, Waffle, and Scaffold-eth. It also supports APIs and oracles like The Graph subgraphs, Chainlink price feeds, and APIs from SubQuery, Onfinality, and Covalent.
Moonriver: The Canary Network
Moonbeam also has a sister parachain called Moonriver, which serves as a canary network for Moonbeam on the Kusama network. Moonriver acts as a testing ground for smart contracts and codes before they go live on Moonbeam, providing a safe environment for developers to test and refine their applications.
Glimmer Token (GLMR)
The native utility token of the Moonbeam platform is the Glimmer token (GLMR). GLMR is used to pay for transaction fees, smart contract execution fees, and to incentivize collators who maintain full nodes. GLMR also facilitates on-chain governance, allowing token holders to participate in network decisions, including proposing referenda and electing council members.
Target Audience and Use Cases
Moonbeam is ideal for users on different chains who want to link their assets from multiple chains, or for developers to build dApps that work across a multi-chain network. It’s also beneficial for projects currently on the Ethereum network looking to scale and increase their reach at a lower cost.
Open Source and Community Contributions
Moonbeam’s core code is open source, and the project actively contributes to public repositories across the ecosystem, most notably the Frontier project. The Moonbeam Foundation also runs a grant program for projects that add value to the Moonbeam ecosystem.