What is Kusama (KSM)?

Kusama (KSM) is a scalable network of specialized blockchain built using Substrate and almost the same code base as Polkadot. The network is a test development environment for teams that want to move fast and innovate on Kusama or prepare to deploy on Polkadot.

Kusama was founded in 2019 by Gavin Wood, founder of Polkadot and co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum.

The origin of Kusama

The relationship between society and technology has deteriorated to the point where large entities regularly stretch and transcend their authority.

Kusama is a network built as a risk-taking and fast-moving ‘canary in the coal mine’ for its cousin Polkadot. It is a living platform built for change agents to regain control, spark innovation and disrupt the status quo.

What can you do on Kusama?

On Kusama you can:

  • Political discovery. The campaign as a councilor or vote on new run-time Democracy proposals.
  • Hone your validator set-up. The minimum requirement for staking as a validator on Kusama is much lower than Polkadot’s expectations. There are also programs like Thousands of Validators to help community validators increase rankings.
  • Deploy a parachain. Kusama will obtain the necessary function for the parachain before Polkadot. This includes participating in parachain auctions and aggregated applications.
  • Join a secret society online. The Kappa Sigma Mu fraternity requires you to have a Kusama tattoo to participate.
  • Expect chaos. Kusama is being tested more and more fighting day by day but it is built on the foundation of moving fast and trying new things.

Kusama is owned by Kusama token holders (KSM). There is no central kill switch and all changes are made through the protocol’s on-chain governance. Kusama is experimental. There is no guarantee.

Kusama’s benefits

Fast iteration

Move fast and ship your product. Kusama’s risk-taking and agility mentality, allowing developers to move quickly through the administration and upgrade process, enabling rapid progress and growth.

Low economic barriers

Launch your customized blockchain (parachain) project with low barriers to entry. Ideal for lean startups that want to move fast and iterate.

Advanced technology

Build on a multi-generation, protected network, while using the latest features before they are deployed on Polkadot.

Open governance

Kusama is owned and operated by a community of network participants who vote and control the development of the network. It has a voice and makes your mark in the evolution of the network.

Engaged community

Leverage Polkadot’s global brand, developer community for your parachain, parathread or dApp.

Valuable experience

For teams that want to move to Polkadot after fine-tuning on Kusama, start building your community and brand on Kusama before deploying.

Features of Kusama


Kusama is built by similar teams to Polkadot, using almost the same code and tools. The network puts the latest technology from Parity Technologies and Web3 Foundation into the hands of developers, even before these features appear on Polkadot.


Kusama’s sharded blockchains and open governance provide a scalable and future infrastructure for businesses, markets, and applications for deployment and growth.


Kusama brings many of the blockchains together into a split network, freeing developers from silos created by legacy blockchain networks.


With Substrate, developers can build their own application-specific blockchain and connect it to Kusama.


In Kusama, there is no kill switch means that no central authority can stop it. The only way the network can be terminated is through governance, if the KSM owner decides to end the network, which is very unlikely. In the future, Kusama may be able to connect with Polkadot via a bridge or as a decentralized sub relay chain.

You can check KSM price here.

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