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What Kusama (KSM) is All About?

BitForex Editor
Mar 17, 2021

Kusama is commonly referred to as the cousin of Polkadot, and it is a Polkadot's risk-taking and fast-moving canary network. It works like a canary in coal mines that give warning to miners, but in this situation, it works by helping in the detection of any loophole in the Polkadot code base as both Kusama and Polkadot are built on the same code.

Kusama was created by Gavin Robert in 2019, who was also the creator of Polkadot and a co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum. He established this with the input of Peter Czaban and Robert Habermeier.

Kusama is developed on a multichain, heterogeneously-sharded design that utilizes a nominated proof-of-stake (NPS) consensus system. This enables it to perform fast on-chain upgrades and enable cross-chain message passing to communicate with other parachains on the Kusama network.

Kusama is a multichain network with interoperability and scalability for blockchain developers with new and unique innovations. It consists of a network of specialized blockchains that were built using substrate and similar codebase and tools as Polkadot. It is a public pre-production platform for blockchain developers to experiment and test new blockchains or applications, take control, create innovations, and change blockchains' status quo. Although it can be a testing ground, it operates on real cryptocurrency traded on an open market.

It is also a platform to help users of Polkadot prepare for deployment. That is, it gives room for developers to prepare and conclude the design of their Polkadot projects. Polkadot updates are also usually first tested on Kusama before implementation. Kusama's major design features are similar to that of Polkadot as it has a main network referred to as a relay chain and a user-generated network known as parachain.

Kusama Design Features

Relay chain

It is the main Kusama blockchain, and it is the network where the finalization of transactions occurs. The relay chain separates the new transaction additions from the transaction validation act to achieve faster speed. To keep its network in agreement about the system's state, the Kusama Relay Chain uses the NPS variation. This system allows anyone who stakes KSM to perform one or more of the user's roles.

Parachains

They are custom blockchains that confirm that transactions are accurate by using the relay chain's computing resources.

Kusama User Roles

Builders

They are users who create bridges, parachains, parathreads, and other features on the network. They are the teams and individuals involved in development.

Network Maintainers

They include the nominators, collators, validators, and the governance. They are a diverse set of users that work together to ensure the network's growth, security, and stability.

Nominators: They secure the relay chain by selecting trustworthy validators. Nominators assign their staked KSM tokens to validators, therefore, allocating their votes to them. They also receive a portion of the block rewards earned by the validators they have voted for.

Collators: They are responsible for creating blocks on the parachains that contain the current transactions. Validators jointly decide which blockchains are the most accurate representation of the state of the parachain and add them to the relay chain. Collators are to stake KSM to connect the parachain to the relay chain.

Validators: They are responsible for maintaining the network by adding new blocks and by reaching an agreement with other validators. They are rewarded under the Proof-of-Stake system for their work and can be cut off if they act in a manner that is detrimental to the network. Validators are chosen every 24 hours.

Governance: They are responsible for the future of Kusama as they determine how the platform will evolve by voting for or against protocol and codebase changes. It consists of the following;

1.The Referendum Chamber - It consists of anyone who purchases KSM tokens. They can suggest changes to the network and approve or reject major changes suggested by the others.

2.The Council - They are elected by KSM holders and are responsible for suggesting changes and determining which KSM holders' changes are effected. The Council has seven seats, but there is a plan to increase the available seats as community interest grows.

3.The Technical Committee: This is a committee that can make special proposals in the event of an emergency. Council members vote in committee members.

Kusama Cryptocurrency

This is popularly referred to as KSM, and it is essential in maintaining and operating the Kusama network. User has a chance to vote on network upgrades by owning and staking KSM with each vote equivalent to the amount of KSM they stake. Newly minted KSM are used to reward Kusama users who staked to vote. KSM tokens are usually released perpetually at a predetermined inflation rate.

The current KSM price is about $300 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of about $220 million USD. The best platform for trading in KSM is Binance, Bitz, Huobi Global, HBTC and OKEx. KSM is usually purchased through a legal exchange that is supported by networks like Kucoin, Hotbit, and MXC.

Benefits of Kusama

1.Advanced Technology: It employs the most recent blockchain features before they are installed on Polkadot. It is built on a sharded, next-generation multichain network that allows a brand to be scalable and have a future-proof facility.

2.The Community: It engages the community by leveraging on Polkadot's brand and developer community globally for your parachain or dApp.

3.Customization: Developers can build their app-specific blockchain and link it with Kusama using its substrate.

4.Open Governance: A community of participants governs the network, and they can vote and control the growth and evolution of the network.

5.Relatively cheap: It allows for the launching of parachain products with low economic barriers for entry, therefore, making it a suitable platform for startups on a cheap budget.

6.Speedy Network: It allows for fast movement through the governance and upgrade process that enables rapid progress and growth but increases the risk of lesser network security and stability.

7.Valuable Experience Offer: It allows you to build and fine-tune your product and community before moving up to Polkadot. It helps you gain the necessary experience needed to succeed on Polkadot.

Kusama offers you the opportunity to build your brand and remain on the network or use it as a testing ground for Polkadot migration.

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