September 30, 2022

<aKusama (KSM) Review

10 min read

Have you ever heard about Polkadot? As one of the most ingenious crypto tasks of the last years, it has certainly been spoken about a lot ever since it was announced. Polkadot is popular for a good factor– its designers have actually created possibly the most classy solution to the age-old crypto concern of scalability– parachains.

What is Kusama? It is Polkadot on steroids. It was introduced in May 2019 as a parallel of the Polkadot network– the 2 have (almost) the same code base and the same structure. The main distinction in between these two networks is speed, with Kusama allowing developers to release both brand-new projects and updates to existing ones much faster than Polkadot.

As Polkadot’s testing grounds, Kusama is treated by many as absolutely nothing more than a testnet, a sheltered and puny sibling that is always predestined to be in its cousin’s shadow— however that’s not the case at all.

There are a lot of tasks that are more than pleased to never ever carry on and remain on the Kusama network, seduced by its high implementation speed and all the diverse innovative jobs that get released on it.

KSM is Kusama’s native token that has a variety of various usages on the platform. Its holders can validate transactions, nominate validators, take part in network governance, and more.

The Intended Use for Kusama

Kusama was planned to be the proving grounds of the Polkadot network, a platform for designers to

evaluate out its governance, staking, recognition, and nomination performance in a real environment. Kusama lets designers experiment with the code, allowing them to recognize their wildest concepts or attempt and break their own tasks to see if there are any critical vulnerabilities. Polkadot’s future upgrades are usually released on Kusama initially, enabling parachain/parathread devs who deploy their tasks on both networks to see how the update will affect them.

How Does Kusama Work?

Kusama works the same way the Polkadot blockchain does, but it is much quicker.

Although it is considered by numerous to be absolutely nothing more than a glorified testnet, Kusama is a fully-functional blockchain network that has its own governance and token

. The Kusama network gives users access to a whole lot of key innovations such as on-chain governance, forkless on-chain updates, and cross-chain message passing (XCMP). Kusama’s governance has actually been created to be fully decentralized and permissionless, and everyone who holds KSM tokens gets to have a say in the job’s future. This guarantees durability for the platform– it will continue operating and evolving for as long as there is a dedicated community.

Just like Polkadot, the Kusama network is composed of two kinds of chains.

  • The Relay Chain

This is the main Kusama blockchain and is where all transactions are finalized. The relay chain utilizes a process called parallel processing to process transactions from all of the chains in the ecosystem at the exact same time for maximum scalability.

  • Parachains

Custom-made blockchains created and released by private designers or designer groups. They utilize the relay chain’s computing resources to validate transactions. Parachains are specialized and adjoined, creating a completely functional and flourishing ecosystem of blockchain jobs.

Parachains are famous for their high interoperability: moving information in between various ones is as smooth as butter. The Substrate blockchain framework assists designers to accelerate and streamline the processes of producing and keeping their parachains, which makes the technology more accessible.

User Roles on Kusama: Who Is Who

As Kusama is suggested to let users try Polkadot’s various functions, user roles on both networks are very comparable.


Home builders are the users that create parachains, parathreads, and other features on the network.

Network Maintainers

Similar to Polkadot, Kusama uses 4 types of network maintainers.


Nominators protect the relay chain by picking relied on validators and staking KSM. They can entrust their tokens to validators who they believe will act in a correct and reliable way, basically voting for them. In return, they get a specific part of the block rewards earned by the validators they have selected.


Collators create blocks on parachains that contain updated deals. They are required to stake KSM tokens to link the parachain to the relay chain.


New validators are picked every 24 hours. They are responsible for maintaining the health of the network by including brand-new blocks and working together with other validators by reaching a consensus with them. Validators also decide which of the blocks developed by collators are the most accurate representation of the parachain.

Governance actors

Governance actors are the users that are accountable for selecting what instructions Kusama will enter the future.

The Kusama Governance Process

Kusama’s governance actors are accountable for assisting the network evolve and move on. They can elect or against numerous procedure and codebase changes. Furthermore, anybody that has a minimum amount of KSM tokens can propose their own changes.

There are three branches to the governance procedure on Kusama: the referendum chamber, the council, and the technical committee. All three can send propositions that can result in changes on the network.


Voting is done every 8 days, and the proposition that gets voted on is the one that has the most KSM bonded to it. The technical committee can likewise make emergency situation propositions, which will be voted on if they have 2/3 of the technical committee and

3/4 of the council’s assistance. Ballot is stake-weighted, so any KSM holder can participate in it. Kusama makes use of a system called Adaptive Quorum Biasing, which determines how hard a proposition needs to be to pass depending upon the variety of voters present and who it was sent by. If the turnout for a referendum (the voting event) is low, then citizens would require to attain a supermajority to either pass or reject it. If the turnout is regular, then simply a simple majority would be enough.

The Referendum Chamber

The referendum chamber is composed of all KSM holders. This is the branch that submits public propositions and votes on them.

The Council

The council is composed of 13 members who are chosen by the members of the referendum chamber every 24 hours. They represent the passive members of the Kusama network.

The Technical Committee

The technical committee members are chosen by the council. These are typically various developers or dev groups that actively work with the Kusama network. They are charged with determining how crucial each proposition is.

The council and the technical committee can also select to fast-track some proposals that they think are additional important to the development of the network. This allows crucial modifications to come about quickly no matter just how much KSM is bonded to them.

The Kusama Treasury

The Kusama treasury is, well, a treasury of all the funds collected from different sources like deal charges, staking inefficiencies, slashing charges, and so on. The funds in the treasury are used to realize propositions voted on by KSM holders.

Parachains and Parathreads

Parachains and parathreads are the bread and butter of Kusama and Polkadot, they’re what makes these networks distinct and so remarkable.

Wait, parathreads? Aren’t Kusama and Polkadot everything about parachains? What are these strange threads?

Well, parathreads are rather similar to parachains. In truth, from a technological perspective, there’s basically no distinction between the 2. Both are blockchains that can be connected to the Kusama network’s relay chain, and rely on the network’s Layer-0 security. Each parachain requires its own slot that can be purchased via an auction.

That’s where the difference in between parathreads and parachains lies: the slots for the former are not obtained through an auction, however instead have a repaired registration cost. Parathreads are multiple chains that share a single parachain slot.

Parachains On the Rococo Testnet

Rococo is the real testnet of the Polkadot network. But why would anybody utilize it if Kusama exists, you may ask?

Well, while Kusama is indicated for designers to check out Polkadot features and parachain implementation, it is still a different mainnet. Not just does it enable users to test the complete Polkadot functionality, however it likewise is a different and independent blockchain that has its own token and governance.

On the other hand, Rococo is a testnet and was made specifically for screening parachain functionality.

Kusama Parachain Auctions

Parachain slots on both the Polkadot and Kusama networks are limited. Because of that, the job needed to establish a system for dispersing them– and they went with a (somewhat customized version of) candle light auction.

Candle auction is a kind of auction where bidders name/submit significantly higher prices and the highest number at the conclusion of the occasion is thought about to be the winner. Just like the name suggests, the auction is concluded as soon as a lit candle light heads out.

When such auctions are utilized online, instead of a candle, they need a random number to be produced. Nevertheless, parachain auctions on Kusama are somewhat various: they have an open stage when bids can be sent, however the end of the auction is decided retroactively and is thus not known to bidders. This avoids auction sniping and develops a reasonable and simply auction environment.

Parachain auctions are not the only method to get slots: it is possible to purchase them in a secondary market from designers who won a slot but do not wish to use it. Furthermore, designers can choose to release a parathread instead.

The Difference Between Kusama and Polkadot

Although the 2 are rather comparable, there are still many differences in between Polkadot and Kusama. The two are like siblings: Polkadot is the preppy college student spending their days in a lab, while Kusama is its edgier yet equally fantastic cousin that performs experiments in their own garage.

Here’s an introduction of the essential differences in between the two projects:

Source: Wiki Polkadot Kusama is essentially an unaudited variation of the Polkadot network– as an outcome, its code can consist of vital mistakes and vulnerabilities. On the other hand, there are fewer rules, and governance criteria are a lot less rigid.

Implementation on Kusama is both faster and cheaper than on Polkadot, real to its nature of being a testing room.

The on-chain governance procedure on the Kusama network has to do with 4 times faster than that on Polkadot: 8 days vs. 28. There are likewise lower minimum staking requirements.

As you can see, all the distinctions are focused on making Kusama much easier, more affordable and faster to use. It lets developers have a piece of the pie for a much smaller rate, getting access to Polkadot’s innovative innovation at the portion of resources invested.

The only drawback is less security and stability, however a few bumps on the road are to be anticipated from a network that values innovation rather a lot. That said, Kusama is still completely safe– just not as much as its cousin.

The Kusama network is perfect for projects that need high transaction throughput but not the greatest level of security like some social networking and gaming apps.

Final Thoughts

Kusama is a lot more than simply proving grounds for its cousin Polkadot– it’s a completely independent and functional blockchain that provides all the exact same advantages Polkadot does.

Kusama’s sandbox nature brings in a lot of innovators and, paired with the exceptional cross-chain interaction capabilities the network has, this makes it perfect for users and developers who want to surround themselves with the current advanced blockchain and crypto innovation.

KSM is likewise a completely independent token. Its high market cap and rate show that KSM is here to stay and that both users and financiers alike are willing to put their rely on it. As both Polkadot and Kusama establish, their tokens, DOT and KSM, make sure to increase even further, too.

Polkadot’s and Kusama’s developers and creators, consisting of Gavin Wood, believe that there’s no single blockchain that can efficiently satisfy all the requirements users may have– they believe that in order to combat the issue of scalability, true interoperability has to be attained. Both Kusama and Polkadot aim to produce an area where a large range of various blockchains can effortlessly interact and work together with each other.


How can I get Kusama (KSM)?

KSM token is offered for both purchase and exchange on a wide range of various crypto exchanges, including Changelly.

Additionally, KSM can also be declared. In order to declare Kusama tokens, you require to have held the DOT indication token at the time of the genesis block of Kusama– if you did, you are entitled to declare the equivalent quantity of KSM tokens.

Find out more about the claiming procedure here.

Please keep in mind that prior to you buy Kusama tokens, you will need to get a crypto wallet that supports KSM.

Where can I trade KSM?

Almost one year back, Binance opened trading for the KSM/BNB, KSM/BTC, and KSM/BUSD trading sets. Additionally, you can trade KSM’s cousin DOT on our beginner-friendly trading platform Changelly PRO.

Read our guide on crypto trading if you wish to find out more about it.

Is Kusama PoS (Proof Of Stake)?

Not precisely. Kusama uses a slightly modified version of the proof-of-stake consensus called chosen proof-of-stake (NPoS).

Nominated Proof-of-Stake is the process of choosing validators that verify transactions and participate in the consensus protocol. The more nominators (users that stake KSM and vote on validators) vote for a single validator, and the more KSM tokens there are backing that validator, the likelier it is to be picked as an active validator.

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