A scalable multi-chain network for radical innovation and early stage Polkadot deployments.
Kusama is a scalable network of specialized blockchains built using Substrate and nearly the same codebase as Polkadot. The network is an experimental development environment for teams who want to move fast and innovate on Kusama, or prepare for deployment on Polkadot
Kusama was founded in 2019 by Gavin Wood, founder of Polkadot and co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum.
Key Features and Highlights
Kusama is the Polkadot’s canary network. The name canary comes from the idea of canaries that were used in coal mines to give warning to miners by detecting carbon monoxide and other toxic gases that could hurt them. Similarly, Kusama acts as a canary by warning and helping detect any kind of vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the Polkadot code base.
Kusama is a permissionless network which aims to become a testing ground for experiments with significant changes on Polkadot.
A key difference between Kusama and Polkadot is that Kusama has modified governance parameters that allow for faster network upgrades, with seven days to vote on referendums and eight days to implement those upgrades after a vote.
Kusama's infrastructure includes the Relay Chain, the Parachains, and the Bridges:
- The Relay Chain is the central chain of the Kusama network. All validators of Polkadot are staked on the Relay Chain.
- The Parachains are parallel chains that connect to the Relay Chain and are maintained by their validators, called Collators.
- The Bridges are special blockchains that allow Parachains to connect to and communicate with external networks like Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Kusama will help you launch your custom Blockchain with:
- Fast Iteration: Move fast and ship your product. Kusama’s risk-taking and nimble mentality allows developers to move swiftly through the governance and upgrade process, enabling rapid progress and growth.
- Low Economic Barriers: Launch your custom blockchain (parachain) project with low barriers to entry. Ideal for lean startups looking to move fast and iterate.
- Advanced Technology: Built on a next-generation, sharded, multichain network, while employing the newest features before they are deployed on Polkadot.
- Open Governance: Kusama is owned and governed by a community of network participants who vote on and control the evolution of the network. Participants will have a voice and make their mark in the evolution of the network.
- Engaged Community: Leverage Polkadot’s global brand and developer community for your parachain, parathread or dApp.
- Valuable Experience: For teams looking forward to moving to Polkadot after fine-tuning on Kusama, you can begin building the community and brand on Kusama before deployment.
Kusama onboard to the Gitcoin platform, strengthening the foundations of the Web 3.0 ecosystem and expanding the opportunities for developers to earn from open-source projects.
Kusama Ecosystem: Polkadot, Acala, Chainlink, Moonbeam, Phala, Edgeware.
In 2020, more than 200 projects have been funded between the grants programmes and treasuries. Kusama treasury meanwhile has funded 40 proposals awarding a total of 62,222.92 KSM. This is all in addition to the $4.1m granted to 145 proposals done as part of Web3 Foundation’s ongoing grants programme. Hackusama, the first Polkadot/Kusama hackathon launched and was a great success. Two online Subzero developer conferences also happened, successfully disseminating knowledge and understanding of the Substrate platform and its incredible builder community, with the second attracting around 1,500 attendees. Over 300 developers have now been through their well-received one-month Substrate developer course, with most students seeing the effort all the way through to graduation. This has happened in three separate cohorts and they’ll be continuing this initiative through 2021, with the fourth cohort already underway.