Kusama is a ‘Canary Network’ for Polkadot, which means that this network serves as an almost identical copy of the Polkadot blockchain. Before releasing new features on Polkadot, this network tests them.
Kusama is a sharded blockchain, open governance, risk-taking, and fast-moving network, an experimental environment for the groups that want to move fast and innovate on Kusama or get ready to deploy on Polkadot. This platform is made for change agents to get back control, disrupt the status quo, and spark innovation.
This scalable and specialized blockchain uses Substrate and almost the same codebase as Polkadot. Kusama frees developers from the siloes of past blockchain networks by bringing several blockchains together. Substrate helps developers build their app-specific blockchain and connect to Kusama.
What is Kusama?
Kusama is an experimental platform for Polkadot that exists as an independent network and offers its native cryptocurrency called KSM (Kusama).
This network wishes to act as a sandbox and let developers deploy and test pre-release versions of their projects before they decide to launch them on Polkadot’s mainnet.
This platform is also a test base for Parity Technologies that lead to the mainnet launch of Polkadot. Kusama uses KSM (native token) to power computation and gives users the ability to secure the network and vote for upgrade schemes just like users can do on Polkadot.
People also know this platform as Polkadot’s wild cousin since it has almost the identical codebase as Polkadot. Polkadot is one of the most popular interoperable blockchains.
It provides a scalable infrastructure for marketplaces and applications to develop. This future-proof infrastructure is an experimental blockchain platform that intends to give the developers an interoperable and scalable basis.
This platform is on Substrate (a blockchain building kit developed by Parity Technologies). It benefits from a lower barrier to entry for setting up para-chains, low bond requirements for validators. Most early-stage startups use this platform.
The same team that made Polkadot (the company is called Parity Technologies) build Kusama.
Gavin James Wood is an English world-renowned computer scientist and programmer who co-founded Ethereum and created both Polkadot and Kusama. He holds an M.A. in computer systems and software engineering and got his Ph.D. in 2005.
Before working on Ethereum (described as the one computer for the entire planet), Wood worked at Microsoft as a research scientist. He also founded Parity Technologies (formerly Ethcore) and the Web3 Foundation, which funds Kusama. Web3 aims to help develop and steward technologies and apps in decentralized web software protocols. Web3 also supports Kusama with research and community development.
KSM has a total supply of around 10 million tokens(2021). Unlike other blockchains, this number of tokens is not fixed, increasing 10% per year.
This token came out in 2016. Initially, The network airdropped KSM tokens to the users in Polkadot (DOT) sale. Kusama has never gone through redenomination to increase its circulation supply (Unlike Polkadot).
Kusama is not like an ordinary blockchain and is mainly for developers who wish to launch bold projects with a fast-evolving development speed. This is applied on a multichain, heterogeneously-sharded design that uses a NPoS (nominated proof-of-stake) consensus system, a substitute consensus mechanism to the POW (proof of work) mechanism.
This system helps the network perform on-chain upgrades quickly without fork and support XCMP (cross-chain messages passing) to allow communication with other para-chains on this platform.
Kusama has on-chain governance capabilities just like Polkadot. This governance is decentralized and permission-less. It means that it allows anybody with KSM tokens or other tokens on the chain to vote on the respective governance proposals, including changes to the protocol, putative upgrades, and feature requests.
The on-chain governance is about four times faster than the speed of Polkadot. Its voting and enactment process takes just 15 days, leading to the rapid pace of development for projects on Kusama.
This network is on a next breed, sharded, multichain network while employing the latest features before they are deployed to the Polkadot network.