There are multiple long-lived Moonbeam-based networks. Most significantly, there is the Moonbeam deployment on Polkadot and Kusama.
An overview of our parachain deployments are as follows:
- Moonbeam: deployment on Polkadot (December 2021)
- Moonriver: deployment on Kusama (June 2021)
- Moonrock: deployment on the Rococo TestNet (May 2021)
- Moonbase Alpha: PureStake hosted parachain TestNet (September 2020)
This strategy allows us to de-risk software upgrades to Moonbeam on the Polkadot MainNet while still maintaining a reasonable update velocity.
The Moonbeam production MainNet is a parachain on Polkadot and has been since December 17th 2021. Moonbeam features the highest levels of security and availability. Code running on the MainNet has generally been vetted through one or more of the other networks listed above.
In advance of deploying to the Polkadot MainNet, Moonbeam launched Moonriver as a parachain on the Kusama network. The parachain functionality is live on Kusama.
We decided not to participate in the first parachain deployments to Rococo because we have been running our own parachain/relay chain setup since we launched our TestNet in September 2020.
However, Moonrock was deployed to Rococo for the first time in May 2021.
This TestNet is a network hosted by PureStake. It features a parachain/relay chain scheme. The goal is to allow developers to test the Ethereum compatibility features of Moonbeam in a shared parachain environment without needing to run their own nodes or network.