Moonbeam VS Moonriver

Moonbeam VS Moonriver

Moonbeam (GLMR) and Moonriver (MOVR) have both had successful launches in 2021/22 and are seeing organic growth in the Kusama and Polkadot communities. Many people assume that the launch of GLMR has made MOVR null and void, but I will present a different perspective on how to think about these two coins and why it is a wise move to include both coins in your portfolio.

Firstly, to clear the air. Both projects will succeed and both of them will do well in 2022. As the interoperability narrative develops and Polkadot scales into 2022, we can expect to see strong growth from the DOTSAMA ecosystem.

Value propositions of GLMR/MOVR

"We believe in a multi-chain future with many chains, and many users and assets on those chains." In this context, Moonbeam and Moonriver (BeamRiver) was developed: a smart contract platform that provides an Ethereum-compatible environment for building decentralized applications. BeamRiver was designed to serve these new kinds of assets and users that exist across two or more chains.

Existing smart contract platforms are designed to serve the users and assets on a single, specific chain. By providing cross-chain smart contract functionality, BeamRiver allows developers to shift existing workloads and logic to Moonbeam and extend the reach of their applications to new users and assets on other chains.

BeamRiver's cross-chain integration is accomplished by becoming a parachain on the Polkadot network. The Polkadot network provides integration and connectivity between parachains that are connected to the network and to other non-Polkadot-based chains, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, via bridges.

Who benefits from BeamRiver?

  1. Existing Ethereum Based Projects
  • Move portions of their existing workloads and state off of Ethereum Layer 1 with minimal required changes.
  • Implement a hybrid approach, where applications live on both Ethereum and Moonbeam simultaneously.
  • Extend their reach to the Polkadot network and other chains that are connected to Polkadot.

2. Polkadot Ecosystem Projects

  • Every parachain gets access to everything that launches on BeamRiver
  • It becomes a full solution to launch your project, you will have everything you need just by being a parachain

3. Developers of New DApps

  • New DApps have access to the entire ecosystem from the get-go, no need to build up all these resources yourself

Why Polkadot and Kusama?

Overall, using Substrate will dramatically reduce the time and implementation effort needed to implement BeamRiver. Substrate allows a great degree of customization, which is necessary in order to achieve Ethereum compatibility goals. And, by using Rust, you benefit from both safety guarantees and performance gains.

The power of the DOTSAMA Ecosystem

As a parachain on Polkadot and Kusama, BeamRiver will be able to directly integrate with — and move tokens between — any other parachains and parathreads on the network.

They can also leverage any of the bridges that are independently built to connect non-Polkadot chains to Polkadot, including bridges to Ethereum. Polkadot’s interoperability model uniquely supports BeamRiver's cross-chain integration goals and is a key enabling technology to support the vision.

"But perhaps just as important as the technical criteria above, we are impressed with the people in the Polkadot ecosystem. This includes individuals at Parity, the Web3 Foundation, and other projects in the ecosystem". The team at DOTSAMA is extremely talented and is driven to build the future of Web3.

So what's the difference?

“It’s one family, not separate. They are brother and sister with different purposes but they are still family. There is no degradation. You can’t have one without the other.” – Derek Yoo

MOVR was initially planned to be a 'real-world' test-net with real economic incentives. Derek Yoo explained that the community around Moonriver has developed in a unique way, they never expected the community in Moonriver to grow so fast. As a result, he doesn't regard Moonriver as a test-net but rather a unique community-led project that has everything GLMR has minus all the VC's.

As long as people believe that MOVR is just a test-net then it is undervalued. The ecosystem will grow faster than GLMR as it's easier for projects to launch on MOVR and as Derek said, the majority of teams are building two projects for both networks which he said will be maintained as such. Not just disregarded as a “Testnet”. MOVR literally has everything that GLMR has, but it has advantages certain advantages over GLMR.

What DApps do they have?

DApps will deploy on both, Derek said that a lot of teams are going for a dual-listing and he said that anything that is going for Moonbeam will have to go through MOVR first. So it's almost like a conveyor belt that it needs to go through. However, it does not detract from the value of Moonriver or the offerings it has an independent network.

He also said that these projects won’t just be using MOVR to transition onto Moonbeam but they are actually planning to maintain deployments on BOTH MOVR and Moonbeam. There is a subset (Minority) of projects that are targeting either-or of the networks. BeamRiver is in the business of providing block-space, so when you look at how KSM and DOT are developing you will understand how different projects will need different things depending on the network.

Advantages of MOVR

  • Faster is (almost) always better. Projects want access to the Polkadot ecosystem as soon as possible. Moonriver is the best option for deployments at the moment. “First $MOVR’s advantage will always win”.
  • The MOVR token is in the hands of the community, and so far has performed extremely well on the secondary market. There is no sell pressure from VCs.
  • Projects go through MOVR first
  • 10% of MOVR token supply for liquidity incentives is a huge draw for projects and users

Advantages of Moonbeam

  • “Greater economic guarantees” will be a big drawcard for high-value projects to deploy on Moonbeam.
  • The success of Moonriver can “guarantee” the success of Moonbeam.
  • Polkadot is valued ~10x higher than Kusama. Will we see the same relationship between Moonbeam and Moonriver?

Key points

  1. The multi-chain narrative will be larger than we can imagine
  2. There has been a significant shift in the developer world to extend to multi-chain architecture
  3. Imagine having something that looks like AWS but it consists of all Web3 services. DOTSAMA is really uniquely positioned as a place to build these kinds of services.
  4. EVM developers are going to come for everything they can get their hands on

How does BeamRiver compare to ETH 2.0, AVAX, FTM?

Derek explained how he believes there is NO reason why GLMR and MOVR can’t get as big as any of the other L1s that are getting developer traction. Notice that all of them have taken this Eth compatibility approach. That is one thing that has happened in the market, chains that have taken that approach has gotten a disproportionate amount of developer support because of that.

He believes that EVM compatibility should almost be a given by now, the question is what do you do above and beyond that. What he sees a lot of other chains doing is saying “Our TPS is higher or our consensus is better”, so they basically trying to differentiate on features that are quite nuanced.


Polkadot has a unique vision, it's just going to provide a level of interoperability that no other network can provide. “It’s literally been deeply thought through by some of the leading minds in our industry for years”. When you combine the thinking of an interoperable future and apps that span multiple blockchains, that is what distinguishes MOVR/GLMR from the rest of the L1s, they can literally do everything the others can do, and more. It’s going to be very hard for other chains to do something similar.

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