What Is Kusama (KSM) Network?

Kusama is a network that uses improved governance parameters, which allow it to operate up to 4x faster than Polkadot.

The blockchain sector is constantly changing, with new projects being launched regularly. This inevitably leads to a demand for innovations that improve the performance of existing blockchain projects while also laying the groundwork for new ones.

Polkadot has become one of the more prominent crypto ventures. On the other hand, Kusama is one of the most inventive parts of its environment. The network allows developers to launch dApps before moving to the Polkadot network to stabilize and update their apps.

What Is Kusama?

Kusama is a public pre-production environment for Polkadot that runs on the Polkadot blockchain’s early unaudited release. Kusama refers to itself as the ‘canary network’ of Polkadot. So, what exactly is a canary? The canary is the bird seen on the Kusama network logo. It is a bird that is used to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of coal mines. If the bird becomes ill or dies, it is a sign to evacuate the mine. Polkadot’s Kusama works in the same manner. Kusama, which is gaining popularity among blockchain developers, is an excellent choice to test their applications before launching them on Polkadot.

Kusama’s blockchain technology manages the network’s native cryptocurrency, KSM. It is, therefore, not an ERC-20 token and has several use cases.

  • It can be used as a governance token to manage the protocol, updates, and fixes.
  • KSM can be staked for the functionality of the network and to earn rewards.
  • It can be bonded as a parachain to connect to Kusama.

Kusama History

Kusama was founded in 2016 by Parity Technologies by the same team that created Polkadot. The team consists of Polkadot’s creators, Gavin Wood, the most well-known of the trio, is famous for being the co-founder of Ethereum. In addition, he is the president of the Web3 Foundation. Peter Czaban was a former tech director at the Web3 Foundation. Robert Habermeier is a renowned blockchain researcher and developer.

Anyone holding DOT tokens at the moment of Kusama’s first block can obtain KSM starting in July 2019. The Web3 Foundation handled Polkadot and Kusama token sales. Web3 released Kusama before DOT, with $1.71 in December 2019. DOT’s distribution matched KSM’s. As a result, those who participated in the DOT ICO will have access to the same number of KSM tokens purchased during DOT’s ICO. In addition, the team set aside 1% of KSM for future network incentives.

KSM Ecosystem Overview

Kusama is Polkadot’s wild cousin, and it mirrors many of its primary design features. Kusama, for example, processes transactions and manages network operations using 2 kinds of blockchains.

The Relay Chain

The main network is known as the relay chain and helps in finalizing transactions. Then, the network separates those transactions. The relay chain has limited functionality and is in charge of system coordination.


Polkadot’s creators developed a bridge between chains that allows Polkadot to reside at the core of an interconnected blockchain network, thanks to its scalability. The network responsible for this scalability is known as parachains. What exactly are parachains?

Parachains are also known as parallel chains. They are user-generated networks that can have a variety of architectures, features, and use cases depending on the project that uses them. The parachains communicate regularly, preventing the relay chain from becoming overloaded with every transaction that passes through the network.

KSM Governance

The Kusama network is governed by three groups: the referendum chamber, the council, and the technical committee.

Referendum Chamber: This group presents proposals for change and votes on which ones will be implemented.

Council: Elected by KSM holders, council members are in charge of proposing changes to the program and determining which changes are implemented.

Technical committee: The council elects these members. The committee, which can comprise of Kusama’s developers or development teams, ensures that the most urgent proposals are voted on and implemented first.

Polkadot vs. Kusama: What’s the Difference?

Kusama can provide a working condition by using a live testnet. It also uses improved governance parameters to operate up to 4 times faster than Polkadot. The network also uses two chains: relay chains and parachains. They boost the scalability and interoperability of the Kusama network.

Second, a new project or dApp can utilize the network to see if its network’s validators are properly configured. If they find something is missing in their validator configuration, they can make the necessary changes. These modifications will assist in improving the setup. This means that Kusama can absorb the risk of early experimentation while the Polkadot network can focus on maintaining a super-high level of security. Many projects that want to launch on Polkadot will first launch a similar version on Kusama.

In comparison to Polkadot, the Kusama community finds it easier and faster to make network upgrades. Renting building space on Kusama is likewise less expensive than on Polkadot. This makes it easier for smaller projects to develop on Kusama because they can respond to market demand faster and don’t need to raise a large sum of money beforehand.

Where to Store Kusama?

Kusama coins can be stored in various wallets that are categorized differently. There are hot wallets (online) and cold wallets (offline), Hardware wallets (suitable for larger funds and HODLers), and software wallets. There are also custodial (third-party) wallets and non-custodial (self custody) wallets.

Guarda — a multi-currency wallet—is a safe place to store your money. It is a secure non-custodial wallet meaning you have full control over your keys. This wallet never stores the public/private keys of digital assets or personal information about its users. Aside from storing your coins, you can also purchase, exchange, and send Kusama.

How to Create a KSM Wallet Address on Guarda:

Kusama is available for new users and existing users via web and desktop. New users can create a wallet address with these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Download the Guarda app on your desktop or access it from any browser of your choice.
  2. Click on create an account and write down your password. It is important to remember that password as you would be locked out if you forget it since Guarda does not store your password information. Once you have done that, you will be able to access the ecosystem.
  3. Click on the ‘+’ sign, and under the ‘CREATE’, search for or type out Kusama, and it will appear.
  4. Click on add wallet, download, and save the backup that appears on the screen for future use.

Existing users can simply log in to the platform and add the wallet by following the 3rd and 4th instructions. Once this is done, users can start performing various transactions.

Where to Buy/Exchange Kusama?

Buying and selling KSM or exchanging the coin is simple with the use of Guarda because of its excellent easy to navigate user interface.

How to Buy KSM on Guarda

To buy KSM on Guarda, adding the wallet to your list for quick access is better. Click on the ‘BUY’ button and add the amount you want to buy the KSM tokens for. Choose the payment partner that works for you and hit the ‘BUY’ button. Select your preferred payment method, go through the verification process, double-check the information and buy the coins.

After the transaction has been confirmed, the tokens will appear in your wallet.

How to Exchange KSM on Guarda

Kusama can be exchanged from your KSM wallet to another crypto wallet and vice versa. Exchanging Kusama on Guarda is like exchanging fiat currencies (e.g., USD and EUR) in banks or other financial institutions. It is very simple; just click on the ‘EXCHANGE’ and select the wallet you want to exchange from. The amount of KSM you can get in your wallet will appear; hit the ‘NEXT’ button if you are fine with it. Then, check the information and press ‘CONFIRM.’ After the transaction is complete, wait or go to history and the coins will appear in your wallet after a while.

Make sure you have enough of the other cryptocurrencies you are receiving for the transaction to go through. The same applies if you sending are KSM to another crypto wallet to avoid transaction failure.

Kusama Staking

Staking Kusama can earn you up to 14.3% in rewards. It is important to know that Kusama cannot be staked directly on the Guarda platform. Instead, Guarda runs its validator node. When you stake Kusama, you are given the option of sending your balance to one of several validators. Staking conditions vary among validators; some guarantee a higher APY, while others promise more stability.

This feature is available and is presented as default in the wallet for several assets available on Guarda, including Ethereum, Cardano, and Ontology. Guarda charges a modest rate and offers stability.

So Guarda does not have a staking option for KSM on its platform, a validator was created for staking it. This means that anyone who owned KSM may choose Guarda as their validator, but it wouldn’t be in Guarda’s ecosystem.


The network attracts many developers to its ecosystem as a platform that allows developers to test out projects and make live improvements. The bottom line is that the network is innovative, and its native token has potential. However, traders should be aware that, like other crypto projects, it is highly volatile and reacts to market trends.

Don’t be hesitant to conduct extensive research to decide whether the project is worth your time and money. This way, you can figure out what works and what doesn’t for the project.

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