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Moonbeam Announces the Upgrade of its TestNet to Moonbase Alpha v4

Introduces Support for Multiple Full, RPC, and Collator Nodes.

Boston, MA – December 14, 2020 – PureStake, the company that develops the Moonbeam smart contract platform, announced today a new version of its TestNet, Moonbase Alpha. This upgrade incorporates new capabilities that allow the accessibility of multiple collators to the network to increase its resilience and security.

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to create multi-chain applications. By minimizing the changes required to run existing Solidity smart contracts, Ethereum devs can replicate their dApps and implement them in Moonbeam using familiar developer tools like MetaMask, Truffle, and Remix, among others.

This effort is the latest in a series of upgrades since the Moonbase Alpha launch in September. As the Parity team prepares to support parachains on Polkadot, the Moonbeam team has been working in parallel to integrate, test, and deploy new code in advance of a parachain slot auction.

The Moonbeam team has made exciting improvements to its TestNet, upgrading to the latest Parity Cumulus version in preparation for upcoming parachain auctions. This update opens the door to support multiple types of nodes on the network, including full nodes, RPC nodes, and collators.  The upgrade will positively impact the network’s decentralization and resilience and is an essential step towards Moonbeam’s network launch. Additionally, Moonbase Alpha v4 contains other exciting updates:

  • Improved revert functionality and messages.
  • Better and more accurate GAS fee estimation.
  • Enhanced transaction status reporting.  

The complete list of updates included in the Moonbase Alpha v4 can be found here

Moonbeam Alpha was created for development purposes; the engineering team will continue to develop and improve it. More information on Moonbase Alpha, including the features currently available, can be found on the project documentation site.

Learn how to get started by joining our Discord or visiting the project website: moonbeam.network.

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently, in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by early 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/

About PureStake

PureStake’s team has extensive experience building technology companies and complex software platforms. Led by Derek Yoo, former Fuze Founder, and CTO, PureStake provides protocol implementation services and creates developer tools for next-generation blockchain networks. Learn more: https://www.purestake.com/.

IDEX to Tap Moonbeam for Polkadot Deployment

The Popular Exchange Plans to Deploy to Moonbeam’s Parachain on Polkadot.

Boston, MA – December 10, 2020 – Moonbeam, the Ethereum-compatible smart contract parachain on Polkadot, announced plans to integrate IDEX’s cryptocurrency exchange. This effort is part of IDEX’s Multiverse initiative to expand its world-class trading experience to new blockchains, including Polkadot. By deploying to Moonbeam, IDEX is able to include assets from Polkadot and its parachains in their exchange without making major changes to their existing code.

IDEX specifically chose Moonbeam for its extensive Ethereum compatibility. Going beyond the standard EVM implementation, Moonbeam has built several core Ethereum concepts into the platform itself, like account structures and signatures. This approach makes it easy to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts as-is, providing a fast link to the Polkadot network. IDEX’s entire infrastructure is Ethereum-based, which means Moonbeam’s capabilities greatly simplify their expansion process.

“We’re incredibly excited to work alongside the Moonbeam team on our multi-chain expansion,” says IDEX co-founder and CEO Alex Wearn. “Polkadot’s reputation and the projects being developed in its ecosystem have drawn plenty of interest, including much from our own community. We look forward to enabling that interest to turn into action as traders access Polkadot and parachain based assets on Moonbeam with the high-performance and security only delivered by IDEX.”

Moonbeam’s interoperability with other parachains will help bridge IDEX to the many projects (and their tokens) coming to Polkadot. Similarly, Moonbeam will provide exposure to many rising projects that previously could not tap into Ethereum-based communities. 

“We’re proud to welcome IDEX to the Moonbeam DeFi ecosystem,” says Derek Yoo, CEO of PureStake and head of the Moonbeam project. “We see this partnership as an endorsement of our shared beliefs in a multi-chain future, and the role that Polkadot’s interoperability-focused network serves to enable multi-chain scenarios.

You can read more about today’s announcement and IDEX’s Multiverse strategy on their website.

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently, in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by early 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/

About PureStake

PureStake’s team has extensive experience building technology companies and complex software platforms. Led by Derek Yoo, former Fuze Founder, and CTO, PureStake provides protocol implementation services and creates developer tools for next-generation blockchain networks. Learn more: https://www.purestake.com/.

Moonbeam Launches Ambassador Program

Registration open for community members who want to be part of the Moonbeam Project.

Boston, MA – November 25, 2020 – PureStake, the company that develops the Moonbeam smart contract platform, announced the Moonbeam Ambassador Program today. This program is open to all people who are part of the Ethereum, Polkadot, and other ecosystems that want to be part of the Moonbeam Project.

The Moonbeam project aims to make building web3 projects on Polkadot as convenient as possible. It is a platform that helps Ethereum-based projects pursue a multi-chain deployment strategy, extending their application to Polkadot by leveraging their existing codebase and using familiar tools.

The Moonbeam Ambassador Program is for community members who want to be part of the Moonbeam Project and its development. Join the Moonbeam Ambassador Program if you:

  • Are passionate and believe in Polkadot.
  • Want access to the team building Moonbeam.
  • Are interested in networking with other people in the Polkadot community.
  • Are excited to impact the growth of the Moonbeam network.

Moonbeam Ambassadors can directly contribute to the success of the network in both technical and non-technical ways, including:

  • Organizing meetups around the globe
  • Contributing code or contributing to project documentation
  • Running workshops for dApp developers who are considering Moonbeam
  • Designing infographics to help amplify the message and positioning
  • Writing blogs about Moonbeam, your project, or the larger multi-chain vision

We’re now accepting applications.  Click here to learn more and apply to the Moonbeam Ambassador Program.

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently, in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by early 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/

About PureStake

PureStake’s team has extensive experience building technology companies and complex software platforms. Led by Derek Yoo, former Fuze Founder, and CTO, PureStake provides protocol implementation services and creates developer tools for next-generation blockchain networks. Learn more: https://www.purestake.com/.

Moonbeam Truffle Box Now Available for Solidity Developers

Helps Ethereum Projects Quickly Deploy Smart Contracts to Moonbeam

Boston, MA – November 3, 2020PureStake, the company developing the Moonbeam smart contract platform, has launched the Moonbeam Truffle Box. Truffle is one of the most popular development tools on Ethereum, and Truffle Boxes are pre-configured packages that help reduce the time it takes to create and deploy code to supported networks. With this release, developers will use a boilerplate setup on Truffle to quickly extend their project to Moonbeam.

Moonbeam, an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network, makes it easy to build multi-chain applications. With the Moonbeam Truffle Box, Ethereum developers can easily deploy smart contracts on Moonbeam, opening new user experiences and assets. Devs will leverage Truffle’s development environment that also offers a testing framework (with Mocha and Chai) and a full asset pipeline on Moonbeam. 

The Moonbeam Truffle Box is pre-configured with two networks: dev (for a standalone Moonbeam node) and Moonbase (for the Moonbase Alpha TestNet). An example ERC-20 token contract and simple test script is included as well as examples. The setup will feel familiar to users that have experience with Truffle. 

Moonbeam Truffle Box has also incorporated the Moonbeam Truffle plugin, a quick and easy solution to start developing in local environments, by introducing support for a docker based standalone node image. It streamlines the process of setting up a local node, which can take up to 40 minutes when building its binary from source.

Click here to get started and learn how to use the Moonbeam Truffle Box.

See a Demo of the Moonbeam Truffle Box at TruffleCon 2020!

Moonbeam is an official sponsor of TruffleCon 2020. As part of our “Making a dApp Multi-Chain: Deploying Solidity Smart Contracts to Moonbeam” talk on Saturday, November 7, we will be showcasing the new Moonbeam Truffle Box. Alberto Viera and Joshy Orndorff from the PureStake team will be presenting. Register for free to watch this and other developer-focused talks: https://trfl.co/tcon2020.

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by early 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/

About PureStake

PureStake’s team has extensive experience building technology companies and complex software platforms. Led by Derek Yoo, former Fuze Founder and CTO, PureStake provides protocol implementation services and creates developer tools for next-generation blockchain networks. Learn more: https://www.purestake.com/

Moonbase Alpha Now Available with Pub-Sub

Moonbeam Network Upgrades TestNet to Moonbase Alpha v2

Introduces Ethereum-Style Publish-Subscribe Capabilities

Boston, MA – October 13, 2020 – PureStake, the company developing the Moonbeam smart contract platform, has released the latest version of its TestNet, Moonbase Alpha, and added new functionality that includes publish-subscribe support for the Web3 RPC. This marks the first significant upgrade and feature release since Moonbase Alpha was introduced three weeks ago.

Currently in active development, Moonbeam is a smart contract platform that aims to simplify the deployment process for Ethereum developers that want to expand to Polkadot. By minimizing the changes needed to run existing Solidity smart contracts on the new network, Ethereum projects can simply replicate their dApp and deploy it to Moonbeam using Truffle, Remix, and other popular developer tools.

The publish-subscribe functionality closes the last significant functional gap in Moonbeam creating an Ethereum-like environment. Commonly referred to as pub/sub, this messaging pattern makes it possible for dApps, like wallets and block explorers, to receive updates about on-chain transactions, balances, and other critical data without needing to issue new queries.

In total, the new functionality introduced in Moonbase Alpha v2 includes:

  • Event subscription support (pub/sub) in the Web3 RPC, which is commonly used by dApp developers
  • Support for pre-compiles including ecrecover, sha256, ripemd160, and the identity function
  • GPLv3 licenses

You can find the full release notes here.

Moonbase Alpha was created purely for development purposes — it will continue to undergo development and enhancements from our engineering team. More information about Moonbase Alpha, including the currently available features and architecture, can be found on the project documentation site: docs.moonbeam.network/networks/testnet/.

Learn how to get started by joining our Discord or visiting the project website: moonbeam.network.

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by early 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/

About PureStake

PureStake’s team has extensive experience building technology companies and complex software platforms. Led by Derek Yoo, former Fuze Founder and CTO, PureStake provides protocol implementation services and creates developer tools for next-generation blockchain networks. Learn more: https://www.purestake.com/

Moonbase Alpha Now Available with Pub-Sub

New in Moonbase Alpha v2: Contract Events and Pub/Sub Capabilities

With the release of Moonbase Alpha v2, which was just announced by PureStake, we are adding some new and exciting features that help Moonbeam move closer to its primary goal of providing a seamless experience for projects from Ethereum on the Polkadot ecosystem. One of the main features being added is the ability to subscribe to Ethereum smart contracts events, and other blockchain information.

Contract events are a super important part of dApps in Ethereum, as they facilitate communication between smart contracts and their user interfaces. Events can be considered asynchronous triggers with data. When a contract emits an event, this can subsequently result in an action on the front-end side.

Use Cases for Events

A simple example of an event you could track is a transfer. Let’s say a transfer is initiated by a user using the front-end of a dApp, where a transaction hash is obtained once this is submitted. But to assure the user that the payment was sent, the dApp can listen for an event (emitted by the contract) when the transaction is committed to the blockchain. This can consequently trigger a display message to the user notifying them that their action was successful.

Another powerful use case of events is cheaper storage. On average, logs cost 8 gas per byte, whereas contract storage costs 20,000 gas per 32 bytes. Therefore, events can serve as a tool to save and retrieve necessary information such as transfer logs as well. However, they can’t be used as storage for all use cases, because they can’t be accessed by other smart contracts, for example.

The Significance of Pub/Sub

Given all this context, now we are ready to talk about pub/sub.

Publish-subscribe, or pub/sub for short, is an asynchronous messaging service that acts as a middleware between the publishers of messages, and people that subscribe to them. In general terms, publishers categorize these messages into classes and publish them without really knowing who is subscribed to them. Similarly, subscribers enroll in the classes that are of interest, receiving only messages associated with that class, without knowing who their publisher is.

With the release of Moonbase Alpha v2, a pub/sub service compatible with Ethereum-style events is now available.

Tutorial: How to Use Pub/Sub on Moonbeam

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s jump into some examples to showcase how pub/sub works on Moonbeam.

To follow this demo, you will need the following:

    • Have MetaMask installed and connected to Moonbase
    • Have an account with funds, which you can get from Mission Control
    • Deploy your own ERC20 token on Moonbase, which you can do following our Remix tutorial but first pointing MetaMask to Moonbase
    • Install NodeJS and the Web3 JS library. For systems on Ubuntu 18.04 or similar, you can follow the first part of this tutorial

Subscribing to Event Logs in Moonbase Alpha v2

Any contract that follows the ERC-20 token standard emits an event related to a transfer of tokens, that is, event Transfer(address indexed from, address indexed to, uint256 value). For this example, we will subscribe to the logs of such events. Using the Web3 JS library, we need the following piece of code:

const Web3 = require('web3');
const web3 = new Web3('wss://wss.testnet.moonbeam.network');

web3.eth.subscribe('logs', {
    address: 'ContractAddress',
    topics: ['0xddf252ad1be2c89b69c2b068fc378daa952ba7f163c4a11628f55a4df523b3ef']
}, (error, result) => {
    if (error)
        console.error(error);
})
    .on("connected", function (subscriptionId) {
        console.log(subscriptionId);
    })
    .on("data", function (log) {
        console.log(log);
    });

Note that we are connecting to the WebSocket endpoint of Moonbase Alpha. We use the web3.eth.subscribe(‘logs’, options [, callback]) method to subscribe to the logs, filtered by the given options. In our case, the options are the contract’s address where the events are emitted from, and the topics used to describe the event. More information about topics can be found in this Medium post. If no topics are included, you subscribe to all events emitted by the contract. But in order to filter only the Transfer event, we need to include the signature of the event, calculated as:

EventSignature = keccak256(Transfer(address,address,uint256))

The result of the previous calculation is what’s shown in the code snippet from before. We’ll go back to filtering by topics later on. The rest of the code handles the callback function. Once we execute this code, we’ll get a subscription ID, and the terminal will wait for any event through that subscription:

Next, an ERC20 token transfer will be sent with the following parameters:

  • From address: 0x6Be02d1d3665660d22FF9624b7BE0551ee1Ac91b
  • To address: 0xfcB0B397BB28046C01be6A3d66c7Eda99Fb0f344
  • Value (tokens): 10000000000000000000 – that is 10 with 18 zeros

Once we send the transaction, the log of the event emitted by the transaction will appear in the terminal:

A lot of information is provided in the logs, but you might ask yourself: where is the information in the emitted event? And the answer is: in the logs!

Our target event sends two pieces of indexed information, the “from” and “to” addresses (in that order), which are treated like topics. The other piece of data shared by our event is the number of tokens, that is not indexed. Therefore, there is a total of three topics (the maximum is four), which correspond to the opcode LOG3:

Consequently, you can see that the “from” and “to” addresses are contained inside the topics returned by the logs. Ethereum addresses are 40 hex characters long (1 hex character is 4 bits, hence 160 bits or H160 format). Thus, the extra 24 zeros are needed to fill the gap to H256, which are 64 hex characters long.

What about the number of tokens? Unindexed data is returned in the “data” field of the logs, but this is encoded in bytes32/hex. To decode it we can use for example, this online tool, and verify that the “data” is in fact 10 (plus 18 zeros).

If the event returns multiple unindexed values, these will be appended one after the other in the same order the event emits them. Therefore, each value is then obtained by deconstructing data into separate 32 bytes (or 64 hex character long) pieces.

This example showed how we could subscribe only to event logs of a specific contract. But the Web3 JS library provides other subscription types that we’ll go over in the following sections.

Subscribe to Incoming Pending Transactions

In order to subscribe to pending transactions, we can use the web3.eth.subscribe(‘pendingTransactions’, [, callback]) method, implementing the same callback function to check for the response. This is much simpler than our previous example, and it returns the transaction hash of the pending transactions.

We can verify that this transaction hash is the same as that shown in MetaMask (or Remix).

Subscribe to Incoming Block Headers

Another type available under the Web3 JS library is to subscribe to new block headers. To do so, we use the web3.eth.subscribe('newBlockHeaders' [, callback]) method, implementing the same callback function to check for the response. This subscription provides incoming block headers and can be used to track changes in the blockchain.

Note that only one block header is shown in the image. These messages are displayed for every block produced, so they can fill up the terminal quite quickly.

Check If the Node is Synchronized With the Network

With pub/sub it is also possible to check whether a particular node, which you are subscribed to, is currently synchronized with the network. For that, we can leverage the web3.eth.subscribe(‘syncing' [, callback]) method, implementing the same callback function to check for the response. This subscription will return an object when the node is synced with the network.

Current Limitations

The pub/sub implementation in Frontier is still in active development. This first version allows dApp developers (or users in general) to subscribe to specific event types, but there are still some limitations. From the previous examples, you might have noticed that some of the fields are not showing proper information, and that is because certain properties are yet to be supported by Frontier.

Another limitation is related to the logs of the event. On Ethereum, you can use wildcards and pass in multiple input addresses, for example, to filter specific logs. Let’s say we would like to subscribe to all events of a contract that have two specific addresses in the “topic_1” field (remember that topic_0 is reserved to the event signature). Then we could pass in the following topic as input:

topics: [null, [address1, address2]]

Here, by using the wildcard null in place for the event signature, we are listening to all events emitted by the contract that we subscribed to. But with this configuration, we can also use a second input field, that is topic_1, to define a filter by address as mentioned before.

The current Frontier implementation does not support these features. As an alternative, you can create multiple subscriptions for all the events of the contract and the different addresses, but this increases the number of operations to be carried out. However, this is expected to be supported in future versions of the Moonbase TestNet.

Contact Us

If you have any feedback regarding the Moonbase Alpha v2, pub/sub, or any other Moonbeam related topic, feel free to reach out through our official development Discord server.

Moonbeam Funding Announcement

A Look at Our Seed Financing for Moonbeam

We have just announced a seed financing round for our project, Moonbeam: $1.4 million from many of the most prominent venture capital firms in the blockchain industry. It’s a big milestone for us, but I’d like to take a moment to pause and explain how this fits into our overall vision for the project.

We have learned a lot since the beginning of the year, when we started the project in earnest. And we have been able to self-finance many efforts related to Moonbeam. In particular, we have made a lot of progress on development, including our collaboration with Parity on the Ethereum compatibility features in Frontier based on a grant from the Web3 Foundation. But now we have a clearer idea of what is needed for us to launch the network.

How We’ll Use the Funds

We need additional resources in a number of areas, including engineering, ecosystem development, marketing, and other crypto specialized skills. We will use the raised funds to hire additional Substrate, Rust, and Solidity engineers to help us deliver on the vision of Moonbeam.

We will also hire additional resources that can help us grow the Moonbeam project community and ecosystem. And we shouldn’t forget the legal council, security audits, and other services we need from a practical perspective to actually launch our network safely.

How We Chose Our Investment Partners

I talked to a lot of investors since the beginning of the year, when we started the project. The common thread for our investment partners is that we had a connection and engagement early on, combined with good knowledge of (and interest in) Polkadot. These investors believed in us and our vision, even before the Polkadot launch brought extra attention to the ecosystem.

Alignment around a long term vision versus a short term one was extremely important to us. We did not want to work with anyone that wasn’t willing to commit to longer time frames, or that wanted the ability to exit quickly.

Strategic alignment within the Polkadot ecosystem was also very important, which is why Hypersphere, a Polkadot-focused fund who led our round, was a natural partner. This — combined with support from Arrington XRP, Hashkey, KR1, Du Capital, and Bitcoin.com Exchange — gives us a strong set of strategic investors that can help us drive the project forward.

Our Anchor Partners

In addition to investors, I’ve also been talking to a lot of projects in the last couple months: both existing Ethereum-based projects, and net-new projects that are building in the Polkadot ecosystem.

We announced two initial partnerships along with our funding — Bet Protocol and Linear Finance — that will be building and deploying to Moonbeam. But we are engaged with many more projects that are exploring Moonbeam based deployments.

Based on the conversations I have had, there is no question that Moonbeam fills an important need and strategic space within the Polkadot ecosystem. There is a lot of interest in building on Polkadot. And, for some teams, building a Substrate-based parachain is the right answer. But for many other teams, Moonbeam based DApps represent an easier path that minimizes the change necessary to their existing codebases, while at the same time giving them access to the users and assets on Polkadot.

Looking Forward: Building the Moonbeam Community

We have been overwhelmed by the size and speed with which our community has grown. I know there are many people in our community that want to buy Glimmer (GLMR) tokens. We are working on ways that we can get tokens into the hands of our community members and achieve a broad token distribution, starting with our Kusama network deployment.

Our most immediate priority is to expand the team, particularly the Moonbeam engineering team, so we can deliver on the vision we have laid out. But we will also be working hard to figure out our token distribution plans for our Kusama and Polkadot deployments.

This seed funding event is an important milestone for the project, and we couldn’t have accomplished it alone. We are grateful for the support from our investors, partners, the Web3 Foundation, Parity, the Polkadot ecosystem, and everyone in our community that helped us get to this point. We will use the funds to continue to drive Moonbeam forward on a steady march to our Kusama deployment, our Polkadot deployment, and beyond.

Moonbeam Funding Announcement

PureStake Closes $1.4M Seed Round for Moonbeam Network

Company Will Use Funding to Launch the Ethereum-Compatible
Smart Contract Platform as a Parachain on Polkadot

Boston, MA – September 23, 2020 – PureStake, the company developing the Moonbeam smart contract platform, announced the completion of a $1.4 million seed round led by Hypersphere Ventures, a venture firm focused on Polkadot founded by Polkadot co-founder Robert Habermeier. Other notable participants include Arrington XRP Capital, HashKey, KR1, Bitcoin.com Exchange, and Du Capital. The funding will be used to accelerate development of the Moonbeam network, a Polkadot parachain focused on interoperability.

“Polkadot was designed to enable the creation of many blockchains, each one specialized and optimized for specific purposes,” says Robert Habermeier, Co-Founder of the Polkadot Network and Partner at Hypersphere Ventures. “Moonbeam is a great example of this principle: their smart contract platform is specialized to be accessible to a large segment of developers already familiar with Ethereum developer tools and will serve as an on-ramp to Polkadot for this community.”

BetProtocol, an Esports betting and crypto-casino protocol, will develop an implementation of their system on the Moonbeam Kusama and Polkadot networks, to allow entrepreneurs to launch blockchain betting apps with no coding required.

“Moonbeam gives us quick and easy access to users and assets in the quickly-growing Polkadot ecosystem,” says Rui Pedro Teixeira, Co-Founder of BetProtocol. “And we can develop our application using Solidity and Web3 — skills we already have — rather than needing to learn Rust and develop our own parachain using Substrate.”

Linear Finance, the first cross-chain compatible, decentralized delta-one asset protocol, is also working on projects that will leverage Moonbeam smart contracts.

“We are truly impressed by the Moonbeam team’s technological expertise in cross-chain integration and easy-to-use developer tools that allow us to quickly integrate and deploy on Polkadot with the existing Ethereum codebase,” said Drey Ng, Co-Founder and Product Lead at Linear Finance. “Users can enjoy a familiar dApp environment with a better user experience. We are excited for this partnership and see long-term value in this collaboration.”

Announced earlier this year and currently in active development, Moonbeam is a smart contract platform on Polkadot that is focused on Ethereum compatibility. This compatibility includes the ability to run Solidity smart contracts and applications built using the Web3 API. Further, Moonbeam supports popular Ethereum development tools like Truffle, Remix, and MetaMask, which allows Ethereum developers to quickly deploy applications to the Polkadot network.

The Moonbeam team received a grant from the Web3 Foundation in August 2020 for their work developing a Web3-compatible RPC library.

“From the start, we’ve been inspired by the idea of an open, interoperable blockchain ecosystem,” says Derek Yoo, CEO of PureStake. “The growth we’ve seen in our community and this investment are both expressions of support for the vision of a multi-chain future. We will be using these funds to expand the team and to help us deliver a strong Polkadot MainNet deployment next year.”

Moonbeam launched its first TestNet earlier this year and expects to deliver a parachain deployment on Polkadot in Q2 2021.

Visit the Moonbeam website for more information and updates: https://moonbeam.network/

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by early 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/

About PureStake

PureStake’s team has extensive experience building technology companies and complex software platforms. Led by Derek Yoo, former Fuze Founder and CTO, PureStake provides protocol implementation services and creates developer tools for next-generation blockchain networks. Learn more: https://www.purestake.com/

Moonbeam Monthly Dispatch September 2020

Introducing Moonbase Alpha, the Moonbeam Public TestNet

Moonbeam released Moonbase Alpha, its first public TestNet, today. This represents a major milestone for the Moonbeam project.

The goal of Moonbase Alpha is to provide developers with a place to start experimenting and building on Moonbeam in a shared environment. Since Moonbeam will be deployed as a parachain on Kusama and Polkadot, we want our TestNet to reflect our production configuration. For this reason, we decided that it needed to be a parachain-based configuration rather than a Substrate standalone setup. It is also essential for us to have a fully automated pipeline executing from GitHub all the way to the Moonbase Alpha deployment configuration.

Developing a Parachain-Based TestNet

Deploying Substrate-based chains as parachains has just recently become possible based on Parity’s work on the Cumulus library, among other things. This functionality is still very new and is actively being developed and improved.

While working to set up the TestNet with these technologies, we encountered several challenges which helped us understand how relay chain <> parachain interactions in Polkadot work at a lower level.

The first challenge was around building the environment, which involves a fair bit of complexity. The process requires two automated pipelines, each producing different outputs (Polkadot binary, Moonbeam binary) and these outputs need to be married to the correct, generated spec files for the Relay Chain Validator and Moonbeam Collator node roles. Then a third process requires us to create the Moonbeam genesis state and WASM binary, which is then registered to the deployed relay chain. These actions need to be automated to execute in the right sequence.

A second challenge arises from the rapid change that Substrate is undergoing. Rust limits us to only one version of a library at any given time. Thus, it took some workarounds to find a version of Substrate that was compatible across Rococo (which we are using as the base for our Relay Chain build), Cumulus (which is currently based on a one-month old version of Substrate), and Moonbeam / Frontier (which we are updating with Substrate master every few days). Hopefully, this will become less difficult as parachain functionality matures and stabilizes.

Moonbase Alpha Configuration at Launch

Currently, the infrastructure supporting the Moonbase Alpha TestNet is hosted by PureStake, the team developing Moonbeam. The initial configuration consists of a parachainrelay chain setup. The parachain has one collator producing blocks, while the relay chain consists of three validators, one of which is selected to finalize each block produced at the parachain level. This setup provides room to expand to a two-parachain configuration in the future. There are a couple of RPC endpoints for both HTTPS and WebSocket calls.

As part of this release, the Moonbase Alpha features implementations of the EVM pallet and the Web3 RPC in Substrate. Moonbeam leverages the Frontier project (for which PureStake’s contributions earned a Web3 grant) to support native Ethereum RPCs. Compatibility with existing Ethereum developer tools such as Truffle, Remix, and MetaMask have been tested and examples of using these can be found on our docs site.

TestNet Feature Roadmap

For the next TestNet update, PureStake is planning to add two key features.

First is the unification of Substrate and Ethereum accounts under the H160 format, an effort that we refer to as Unified Accounts. This is an important milestone because, in absence of this functionality, there are two completely different sets of states: one for Substrate accounts, and one contained within the EVM for Ethereum-based accounts. By unifying them, there will be only one kind of account in the system represented by a single address, instead of two.

The second feature is the inclusion of event subscription support (Pub/Sub). This component is missing on the Web3 RPC side, so we plan to add it since it is commonly used by dApps.

The alpha TestNet version that was released today does not support third-party collators. We will add support in a future update to enable interested parties to test their setups. This may also include the implementation of the rewards system, as well as the token economic model.

Other features such as on-chain governance and the treasury might be added in future updates as well.

Because the system is hosted by PureStake, Moonbase Alpha will run similar to how Polkadot MainNet ran in early times: with Proof of Authority instead of Proof of Stake. This means that block finalization is carried out by a known identity, in this case, the PureStake validators.

Getting Started with the New TestNet

As the first Moonbeam TestNet, there will be some limitations. Tokens on Moonbase Alpha, named DEV, will be issued on-demand. To request tokens, we’ve created a Discord bot (named Mission Control 😎) that will automatically send a maximum of 10 DEV tokens per hour (per Discord user). You can check it out on our Discord channel.

In addition, users only have access to Moonbeam (the parachain). In the future, we might open access to the relay chain, so users can test transferring tokens between Moonbeam and the relay chain.

Regarding smart contracts, this early iteration has no gas limit per block in order to provide an easy on-ramp for developers. This configuration will change in the future.

Getting started is fairly simple. Point your provider to the following RPC DNS for connections via HTTPS:

https://rpc.testnet.moonbeam.network

For the Web3 library, create a local Web3 instance and set the provider to connect to the Moonbeam TestNet:

const Web3 = require('web3'); //Load Web3 library
.
.
.
//Create local Web3 instance - set the Moonbeam TestNet as provider
const web3 = new Web3('https://rpc.testnet.moonbeam.network); 

Any Ethereum wallet should be able to generate a valid address or Moonbeam (for example, MetaMask).

For connections via WebSocket, you can use the following RPC DNS:

wss://wss.testnet.moonbeam.network

If you have any feedback regarding the Moonbeam TestNet, feel free to reach out through our official development Discord channel.

Moonbeam TestNet Announcement

Moonbase Alpha, the Moonbeam Network TestNet, is Now Available

This First TestNet Release Enables DApp Developers to Start Building
DApps and Solidity Smart Contracts in a Parachain Environment

Boston, MA – September 21, 2020 – PureStake, the company developing the Moonbeam smart contract platform, announced the availability of Moonbase Alpha, its first public TestNet. Now developers can test the Ethereum compatibility features of the Moonbeam network with their decentralized applications without needing to run their own nodes or host their own network.

Moonbase Alpha makes it easier for developers to deploy smart contracts to the platform. Developers can:

  • Use the existing Ethereum-based tools they know and love, like MetaMask, Truffle, and Remix
  • Re-deploy dApp front-ends and Solidity smart contract backends to Moonbeam with little or no change necessary
  • Collaborate with other teams in a shared environment that is monitored, managed, and will be updated with the latest Moonbeam code on an ongoing basis

“This is a big first step toward our KusamaNet and Polkadot-based deployments, and we’re eager to see what developers build on top of the platform,” said Derek Yoo, CEO of PureStake. “Understanding the real world use cases for some of the more complex smart contracts that we’ll support is an important part of both testing and vetting our code so we can prioritize the features we work on. The feedback we gather over the next several months will have a significant impact on the future of the network.”

To get started on Moonbase Alpha, join our Discord and visit our website: https://moonbeam.network/

This first Moonbeam TestNet is purely for development purposes — it continues to undergo significant development and enhancements from our engineering team, and the nodes are solely operated by PureStake. The team plans to release TestNet upgrades in the future that will add additional features, including the ability for external collators to start producing blocks on the network. More details are available on the Moonbeam documentation website: https://docs.moonbeam.network/networks/overview/

About the Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by early 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/

About PureStake

PureStake’s team has extensive experience building technology companies and complex software platforms. Led by Derek Yoo, former Fuze Founder and CTO, PureStake provides protocol implementation services and creates developer tools for next-generation blockchain networks. Learn more: https://www.purestake.com/