Our Vision for Moonbeam¶
We believe in a multi-chain future with many chains, and many users and assets on those chains. In this context, we have created Moonbeam: a smart contract platform that provides an Ethereum-compatible environment for building decentralized applications. Moonbeam 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 service the users and assets on a single, specific chain. By providing cross-chain smart contract functionality, Moonbeam 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.
Moonbeam'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 Moonbeam¶
There are three main audiences who can most benefit from Moonbeam's cross-chain functionality:
Existing Ethereum-Based Projects¶
Projects that are struggling with cost and scalability challenges on Ethereum can use Moonbeam to:
- 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.
Polkadot Ecosystem Projects¶
Ecosystem projects that need smart contract functionality can use Moonbeam to:
- Augment their existing parachains and parathreads.
- Add new functionality that is needed, but not included on the main Polkadot Relay Chain. For example, they could create a place where teams can crowdfund their projects, implement lockdrops, and process other, more complex financial transactions than are provided by base Substrate functionality.
- Leverage the mature and extensive Ethereum development toolchain.
Developers of New DApps¶
Individuals and teams that want to try building on Polkadot can use Moonbeam to:
- Leverage the specialized functionality from Polkadot parachains while reaching users and assets on other chains.
- Compose functionality from Polkadot parachains by using Moonbeam as a lightweight integration layer that aggregates network services before presenting them to end users. Implementing a composed service using pre-built integrations on a smart contract platform will be a lot faster and easier (in many cases) than building a full Substrate runtime, and performing the integrations yourself in the runtime.
Key Features and Functionality¶
Moonbeam achieves these goals with the following key features:
- Decentralized and Permissionless — a base requirement for censorship resistance, and to support many existing and future DApp use cases.
- Contains a Full EVM Implementation — so existing Solidity-based smart contracts can be migrated with minimal change and with expected execution results.
- Implements the Web3 RPC API — so existing DApp front-ends can be migrated with minimal change required, and so that existing Ethereum-based tools such as Truffle, Remix, and MetaMask can be used without modification against Moonbeam.
- Compatibility with the Substrate Ecosystem Toolset — including block explorers, front-end development libraries, and wallets, giving developers and users the ability to use the right tool for what they are trying to accomplish.
- Native Cross-Chain Integration — via the Polkadot network and via token bridges which allows for token movement, state visibility, and message passing with Ethereum and other chains.
- On-Chain Governance to allow stakeholders to quickly and forklessly evolve the base protocol according to developer and community needs.
This unique combination of elements fills a strategic market gap, while at the same time allowing Moonbeam to address future developer needs as the Polkadot network grows over time. Building your own chain with Substrate is powerful, but also comes with a number of additional responsibilities such as learning and implementing the chain’s runtime in Rust, creating a token economy, and incentivizing a community of node operators.
For many developers and projects, an Ethereum-compatible smart contract approach will be much simpler and faster to implement. And by building these smart contracts on Moonbeam, developers can still integrate with other chains and get value from Polkadot-based network effects.