What Is Kusama (KSM)?
The Kusama blockchain is built upon Substrate – a blockchain platform from Parity Technologies. The codebase of Kusama is nearly identical to that of Polkadot – a successful interoperable blockchain.
Fast-paced companies can take advantage of Kusama’s sharded network, which is highly scalable, interoperable, and includes features that Polkadot does not yet support. As a result, Kusama describes itself as a “canary network.”
Developers can use the platform to test out blockchain innovations before launching their final project on Polkadot – although many projects choose to stay with Kusama for their final product.
It is often used by early-stage startups and for experimentation because of its low barrier to entry for parachain deployment and its low bond requirements for validators.
Kusama Founders: Who Are They?
A company called Parity Technologies built Kusama with the same team that created Polkadot. Gavin Wood is a world-renowned computer scientist and programmer who co-founded Ethereum.
Over 100 employees work for Parity Technologies, including some of the world’s best blockchain engineers.
Kusama is also supported by grants from the Web3 Foundation, a non-profit organization that was established to foster decentralized web software and supporting technologies and applications. This foundation also supports Kusama’s research and community development through its growing team.
Kusama: What Makes It Unique?
Kusama is unlike other blockchain platforms in that it is primarily designed for developers who want to launch bold, ambitious projects with a fast-moving development schedule.
Based on a multichain, heterogeneously sharded design, it relies on a nominated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, as an alternative to the energy-intensive proof-of-work (POW) scheme used by several other blockchains.
The Kusama network can quickly upgrade the chain without forking, and support cross-chain message passing (XCMP) to communicate with other chains.
Kusama offers on-chain governance capabilities similar to Polkadot. It is both decentralized and permission-free, allowing anyone who owns Kusama (KSM) tokens or parachain tokens to vote on governance proposals, such as protocol upgrades, feature requests, and putative upgrades. With a combined voting and enactment period of just 15 days, Kusama offers on-chain governance roughly four times faster than Polkadot.
The project is designed so that projects are able to launch immediately, launching updates and improvements without having to implement a fork – thus promoting community cohesion.
How Is the Kusama Network Secured?
Nominated Proof-of-Stake (NPoS) is the consensus mechanism used by Kusama.
KSM stakeholder node election is done through a network of nominators (KSM stakers). If their nominees are selected on the next rotation, they will receive a fraction of the inflation reward. If a validator violates performance requirements or acts dishonestly, their stake may be reduced.
In addition, Kusama resolves cross-chain transactions using a simple queuing mechanism based on Merkle trees. Validators on relay chains pass messages from one chain to the next using the same validators on each chain – this secure, trustless process uses the same validators on each chain.
Where Can You Buy Kusama (KSM)?
By Warren Manuel
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