Kusama (KSM) – The Polkadot “Cousin” Built for Interoperability

Kusama website homepage

Before the launch of Kusama and Polkadot, blockchain interoperability had been a significant barrier to Web3 adoption. Since there are numerous blockchain networks, there is a need for interaction between these. Initially, the Ethereum chain could not interact with other blockchain networks. 

But thanks to cross-chain projects like Polkadot and Kusama, interoperability is achievable today. This article sheds light on how cross-chain interoperability can be achieved via the Kusama network. It also highlights the key features of the token.

What is Kusama (KSM)?

Kusama is a blockchain protocol built for developers interested in exploring new ways to build blockchain projects. Kusama makes this possible because it has a low entry barrier.

KSM is the cryptocurrency that powers Kusama, a protocol that enables cross-blockchain transfers of any type of data or asset. The protocol aims to achieve high security and scalability by uniting multiple blockchains. Parity Technologies built substrate, a building kit for blockchain, and Kusama is built on it. 

The Team

Kusama was created in 2016 by the founders of Polkadot: Peter Czaban, Gavin Wood, and Robert Habermeier. Gavin Wood is also a co-founder of Ethereum and a renowned computer scientist. Parity Technologies, the company behind the protocol, has team members scattered around the globe and some of the world’s renowned blockchain engineers.

How Does KSM Work? 

KSM operates on the Kusama network, which offers a highly scalable and interoperable sharded network. It provides unique features not currently available on Polkadot, making it an ideal platform for fast-paced projects. Kusama is often called a “canary network.” It is a testbed for developers to experiment, innovate, and deploy their blockchains. Many projects utilize Kusama as a preparatory network before launching on Polkadot, although some opt to remain on Kusama for their final product.

Kusama offers several advantages that make it accessible to many users: 

  • It has a low barrier to entry for deploying parachains, meaning that it is easier for projects to utilize the network.
  • The bond requirements for validators are low, making it more feasible for individuals to participate in the validation process.
  • Early-stage startups often favor Kusama as a platform for experimentation and innovation.
  • Kusama utilizes a sharded architecture for its blockchains, which enhances its scalability. The platform’s open governance model contributes to its scalability by providing a flexible and expandable infrastructure, and the platform uses a sharded architecture for its blockchain. This allows for a higher number of transactions per second. 

The Native Token

KSM is the native token of the network. KSM tokens are regularly minted, and the number of minted tokens depends on the value of KSM locked by stakers. Staking is one of the most prominent use cases of the KSM token. Kusama validators receive most of the rewards from the staking pools, while the Kusama treasury receives smaller rewards. When half of KSM’s total supply is locked in staking pools, all newly minted tokens will be distributed to Kusama validators. However, if more than half of the supply is locked in staking pools, some newly minted tokens will be distributed to the treasury.

KSM serves as the governance token for the Kusama network. KSM is used for auctions and to secure parachain slots. If the auction is successful, a certain amount of KSM will be locked. The KSM token is also used for staking. This empowers decentralized applications and smart contracts due to the network testing and deployment the Kusama platform offers.

KSM token has a total supply of 9,651,217 tokens. Of the 9.6 million tokens, 8.47 million are currently in circulation. KSM does not have a fixed maximum supply compared to other blockchain tokens. Notably, there is a 10% yearly increase in the inflation rate.

How is Kusama Different From Polkadot?

Although Kusama and Polkadot have similar codes and the same developers, they are different Kusama serves as the go-to test network for developers who want to build and test their dApps before launching on Polkadot. Also, Polkadot once did a redenomination to increase its circulating supply. On the other hand, Kusama has never undergone a redenomination. Thus, Kusama, famously called the Polkadot cousin, is an experimental network, while the Polkadot is the main chain.

Can KSM be Mined?

KSM is a cryptocurrency that cannot be mined. However, individuals can earn rewards by staking their KSM tokens. Staking KSM is crucial because it strengthens the security and efficiency of the network. Those who stake their tokens are rewarded for their valuable contributions to the network.

How Do I Buy and Store KSM?

You can buy and store KSM on popular exchanges, including Gate.io, Binance, and Huobi Global. You can store KSM on the centralized exchange or in a decentralized wallet.

The Road Ahead

The KSM team recognizes that cross-chain transactions can be made faster and cheaper while maintaining security. In the coming years, the Kusama team will work towards achieving cheaper and faster interoperability among blockchain protocols. 

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