Adam Steeber
4 min readMay 19, 2021


Last updated: May 24th, 2021 11:45 PM CDT

The Technology

Moonriver is a canary network for Moonbeam and will be the place where code is tested in the real world before being deployed to Moonbeam. These projects are a bridge between Ethereum smart contracts and the Kusama/ Polkadot relay chains. Unlike Karura which offers the same technology, Moonriver brands themselves as the easiest platform to convert Ethereum Solidity smart contracts into the Kusama ecosystem. Think of Moonriver as a retailer who facilitates dApps (decentralized applications) instead of a company that produces applications. This obviously opens the door to countless possibilities; essentially if it’s deployed on Ethereum it can be easily deployed on Kusama. Imagine if Uniswap or NumerAI were deployed on Kusama instead of Ethereum!

The Moonriver team has already demonstrated the ease of transitioning smart contracts to Kusama, here’s a video of them integrating Balancer into Moonbeam. Since Moonriver will not be busy maintaining applications they will be able to focus on getting Ethereum-based projects onto the Kusama relay chain for people to use. Although Moonriver would not necessarily be giving the Kusama community a dApp right away they would be laying the foundation for any company to integrate their existing Etherum dApp into Kusama.

MOVR is the token that powers Moonriver and it is an inflationary token with 5% inflation to start. However, 80% of MOVR transaction fees are burned and the rest go to the treasury which is controlled by governance. Just like most other parachain projects Moonriver will be its own blockchain and have an ecosystem of collators who are incentivized by the MOVR token.

The MOVR Token

Moonriver’s native token will regulate the ecosystem by metering gas fees for smart contract execution. Moonriver will need to compete with Ethereum if projects are going to want to integrate with it, so it is important that gas is controlled closely.

The token will also facilitate governance which is responsible for treasury funds, electing council members, and steering the project’s development. The biggest things that set Moonriver apart from the other parachains are that there will be no public sale of the MOVR token and that 30% of its total supply will go to crowdloaners. This makes Moonriver the most community driven parachain and makes MOVR perhaps the most exclusive token offering; people want what they can’t buy.

Moonriver will be issuing a total of 10,000,000 MOVR tokens at the genesis block and will increase indefinitely at a rate of 5% every year. Inflation is meant to incentivize and reward collators and stakers of MOVR which means you can earn stake rewards with MOVR; in the first year stakers of MOVR will earn 250,000 MOVR and collators will earn 100,000 MOVR.

The Crowdloan Reward

  • 30% of initial supply (3,000,000 MOVR)
  • MOVR:KSM ratio (TBD)
  • 48 week long lease
  • 30% of MOVR reward liquid on launch, 70% vested over 48 weeks

The amount of MOVR received per KSM is yet to be determined because it depends on the auction’s winning bid. So if MOVR wins the slot with 30,000 KSM, the ratio would be 100:1. If they win with 300,000 KSM, the ratio would be 10:1. Let explore some outcomes:

Again, these outcomes are not indicative of what the price will actually do so don’t use this as a reference. This is only meant to show you how each of the variables play a role in the trade-offs.

Overall Evaluation

Risk: Low

Reward: Medium

Novelty: Low

Utility: High

The high proportion of the total supply going to crowdloaners is what makes me give this project a low risk rating. Even if the token doesn’t perform very well on the market, the sheer proportion going to crowdloaners will ensure a good sum of wealth. Additionally, Moonriver aims to be a platform instead of an application which in my opinion makes them less volatile to token holder whims.

Even though the reward is a huge proportion of the total supply I still give the reward a medium rating because there are not as many uses of MOVR for the layman. It may take a long while for the market to realize the value of MOVR.

A technology like Moonriver is almost inevitable for Kusama. Even though the project has employed some very unique tooling in their integration process, it’s not a revolutionary idea. Many projects offer the same service as Moonriver and the only difference between them is flavor and ease.

Moonriver’s technology is a must for Kusama. Having the ability to deploy Solidity smart contracts to Kusama is key to making it a usefully scalable blockchain technology.



Adam Steeber

My focus as a writer is non-fiction, though I do dabble in fiction. I want to create content that comes from the passion of my mind. I seek to illuminate truth.