What is Kusama (KSM)?

Qué-es-Kusama-(KSM)
4 min read

Maybe you have heard about Kusama, but you don’t know what it is. In this post we will tell you all about this network. Basically, Kusama (KSM) is the testnet of Polkadot, the blockchain protocol that connects multiple specialized blockchains into a single unified network.

We can consider Kusama as the bodyguard of Polkadot (DOT). It represents an experimental community research and development version of the initial Polkadot protocol. Although we are talking about a simple test network, it is more than that and has real economic value.

History of Kusama

Kusama became Polkadot’s “canary network”. The canary network refers to a network that warns and detects any kind of vulnerability in the Polkadot network. This dates back to many years ago when in the coal mines the miners used canaries to alert the rest of the toxic gases found in the mine. Kusama performs the same function, preventing accidents.

On July 16, 2019 Polkadot presented on its blog the first experimental version of its new protocol called Kusama. This protocol was designed for real economic conditions.

The main objective of this project is to allow network developers to build parachains and test governance among other features offered by Polkadot in a real environment but without taking any risk. According to Polkadot’s co-founder and creator, this new implementation is aimed at “new, early, high-risk functionality projects”

Qué-es-Kusama-(KSM)

How does Kusama work?

Kusama is responsible for detecting every problem in the network and ensuring its proper functioning. Thanks to this, potential dangers can be recorded and eliminated as they arise. Kusama’s cutting-edge technology is expected to produce groundbreaking results.

Although Kusama is based on the same protocol as Polkadot, it is an unaudited version. We are not just talking about the test network as such, but a future testbed for new features to be implemented in Polkadot through the first tests carried out by Kusama. Once a new feature is implemented, network users use it in Kusama by testing it. When the correct functioning of the updates is confirmed, they will be implemented in Polkadot. It basically acts as a barrier for defective products, services or updates. 

The Kusama network is configured by network builders and network maintainers. The builders are responsible for developing the network and include the equipment used for the process. They carry out the function of building chutes, block explorers, bridges and sub-processes to ensure proper operation.

On the other hand, the network maintainers represent the nominators or governance actors and the validators.

Token KSM

Kusama has its own native token called KSM that powers the platform. This token is distributed in the same way DOTs are distributed. This means that whoever held DOTs during the sale owns an equal share in Kusama

Like many native tokens, KSM functions as an incentive for users. This is because the network will be owned by those who have KSM. The more tokens they own, the more network functionality they can use. With the token they can validate, nominate validators and pay to transmit interoperability messages.

Qué-es-Kusama-(KSM)

Kusama use cases

Kusama, as the co-founder and creator of Polkadot rightly said, “expects chaos“. It is the perfect network to start a project under development, to test its bugs and to detect failures. It has many use cases that contribute to the development of large projects, among them:

  • Startups in development stages. In this way it will be possible to experiment and locate the failures that would cause each project to fail.
  • Experimentation of new applications.
  • Small applications that do not require high security and stability standards.
  • Pre-production space for the Polkadot network. The space to test any project that you want to bring to Polkadot making sure it works correctly.

 

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