All about Kusama Cryptocurrency


  • Kusama is also known as Canary network of Polkadot as it allows developers to experiment and test new blockchains or decentralized applications before deploying them on Polkadot.
  • With the popularity of Polkadot, the use of Kasama network is also increasing.
  • Polkadot and Kusama are built on the same code base and structure. However Kusama is faster and has low entry barrier then Polkadot.

Kusama Cryptocurrency (KSM) is an experimental version of Polkadot crypto. It is a permissionless network allowing any developers to experiment and test new blockchains or decentralised applications before deploying them on Polkadot.

It works as a sandbox for developers seeking to test Polkadot project and helps them to understand various problems with their applications and offers more flexibility while they design their Polkadot projects. Also before release of official Polkadot updates on mainnet, they are also tested on Kusama. 

Kusama was launched in 2019 by the founder of Polkadot, Gavin Wood and co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum cryptocurrency, Peter Czaban and Robert Habermeier.

As it was launched for experimental purpose, the entry barriers are low and rules around governance are also relaxed as compared to Polkadot. However they both have similar design features.

It was built on the same code base and structure. However Kusama is faster than Polkadot and Polkadot is more prioritising stability, conservative and dependable.

Both, Kusama and Polkadot crypto use a relay chain, which is a principal network of both where transactions are permanent and Parachains is a user generated networks and can be customised. Parachains also leverages the relay chain for security. 

Kusama has many advantages as it enables Polkadot projects to gain traction and recognition and help in building user base before the official launch.

Both the networks are evolving independently and is diverging or converging according to the decisions of their respective communities.

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The Timeline

In July 2018, the DOT token holders claimed Kusama (KSM) token via Ethereum transactions and when it was successful, the DOT token holders got a position in the genesis block of Kusama.

However, after one and half months it adopted the proof of authority model and changed the process of claiming KSM tokens. Thus, to receive KSM tokens further, the validators need to get permission from parity and the web 3 foundation to generate blocks. All this created disorder, so within few months Kusama network made move to POS. 

There were around 700 validators on Kusama network and expected that the number of validators will increase to 900 soon, According to article by Polkadot Network in February 2021.

In June 2020, to attract new ideas to grow and develop the network, the Web3 Foundation ran the first Hackusama, which is a hackathon within Kusama and Polkadot network.

In December 2020, Kusama process crosses $70 mark and then in January 2021, it was among the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with market cap stood at US $590 million.

One of the factors behind the sudden growth is believed to be the successful launch of the Polkadot mainnet in 2020.    

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What Issues Does Kusama Solve?

  1. Examine Governance Functionality: Through the Kusama network any new project can examine is the technicalities involved works as per expectations and to test their governance system. Its community may also vote on the launched projects in its network in line with how democracy works.
  2. Examine how Parachains interact with their projects: Before the developers launch their projects on Polkadot network they can test their parachains in Kusama and offers features such as composable applications and slot auction. 
  3. Examine the Validator Set-up: If the developers feel something is required in the way their validator set-up works in projects or decentralised application, they can test it on Kusama network and make changes accordingly.
  4. Become a part of Kusama Fraternity: If a person tests his project on Kusama Network, then he automatically gets a chance to become the part of a cyber secret society of Kusama fraternity, which is also known as Kappa Sigma Mu.

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Kusama is also known as Canary network of Polkadot and with the popularity of Polkadot, so before the launch the option for developers to test their applications is Kusama.

The difference between both the networks are that Kusama has low barriers to entry for parachain deployment, low bond requirements for validators and parachains, low slashing penalties, fast iteration and it uses latest technology.

Where is Polkadot a highly stable and secure network with more conservative governance and upgrades and high validator rewards. 

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