Moonbeam uses a Proof of Stake-based consensus mechanism, which means that Proof of Work concepts, such as difficulty, uncles, hashrate, etc., generally don’t have meaning within Moonbeam. For APIs that return values related to Ethereum’s Proof of Work, we return default values. Existing Ethereum contracts that rely on Proof of Work internals (e.g., mining pool contracts) will almost certainly not work as expected on Moonbeam.
Moonbeam includes an extensive set of on-chain governance features based on Substrate functionality. These onchain governance modules include functionality to power upgrades to the blockchain itself based on token weighted voting.
Moonbeam’s focus is to create a fully Ethereum-compatible environment on Polkadot with the best user experience possible. This extends beyond the base Ethereum feature set, with additional features such as on-chain governance, staking, and cross-chain integrations.
With Unified Accounts, a user (let’s call him Bob) will only need a single H160 address, with its corresponding private key, to do everything we mentioned above including both EVM and Substrate functions.
Cross-Chain Integration Plans
One of the key planned features for Moonbeam is to provide an easy way for developers to use smart contracts to integrate with other chains in the Polkadot ecosystem.
Polkadot defines a low-level integration protocol, called cross-chain message passing (XCMP), that can be used to facilitate communication between parachains within the Polkadot network and share trusted logic between chains on the Polkadot network, called shared protected runtime execution enclaves (SPREE). Parity is in the process of implementing XCMP and is in the design phase of SPREE as of writing this document (July 2020). Post-Polkadot mainnet launch, XCMP and SPREE support will be released as upgrades to the Polkadot relay chain. We plan to implement and support integration scenarios based on these protocols when they are available.
Moonbeam uses a block production mechanism based on Polkadot’s Proof-of-Stake model, where there are collators and validators. Collators maintain parachains (in this case, Moonbeam) by collecting transactions from users and producing state transition proofs for the relay chain validators.
Moonbeam is a decentralized network that will be governed by a community of token holders, including core developers, application developers, collators, users, and other contributors.
A treasury is an on-chain managed collection of funds. Moonbeam will have a community treasury for supporting network initiatives to further the network. This treasury will be funded by a percentage of transaction fees of the network and will be managed by the Council. Each Moonbeam-based network will have it’s own treasury. In other words, the Moonbase Alpha TestNet, Moonshadow on Westend, Moonriver on Kusama, and Moonbeam on Polkadot will each have their own respective treasury.
Nimbus Parachain Consensus Framework
Polkadot relies on a hybrid consensus model. In such a scheme, the block finality gadget and the block production mechanism are separate. Consequently, parachains only have to worry about producing blocks and rely on the relay chain to validate the state transitions.