Moonbeam, an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on Polkadot, announced today a new version of its TestNet, Moonbase Alpha. This latest version introduces significant infrastructure updates and adds staking features, opening the door for collators that actively participate in producing blocks on the network. This update is an essential step toward the launch of Moonriver, the network’s Kusama deployment, which is currently expected in late March 2021.
An Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam 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 on Moonbeam using familiar developer tools like MetaMask, Truffle, Remix, among others.
The staking mechanism being introduced — for testing and development purposes only — powers the selection of collators and protocol level rewards for providing collation services to the network. The Moonbeam team continues to work on other technical improvements designed to make it easier for Ethereum based projects to expand to Polkadot:
- Improvement in the gas computation.
- Support for querying pending transactions while they are yet to be processed.
- Queries that accept multiple addresses for past events.
Moonbase Alpha v5 also includes significant improvements to the TestNet infrastructure. It can now support externally accessible full nodes and collators, enabling partners and users to participate in the network directly. Additionally, it also includes improvements to the quality of the code, standardization of libraries, and optimizations, making it 15-50 times faster than the previous version.
The 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.