Kusama functions as a sandbox that allows any developer to test early versions of Polkadot projects in a live, realistic environment.

What is Kusama? 

  • Kusama is an experimental blockchain platform designed to provide a massively interoperable and scalable framework for developers to build decentralised applications on. Projects can use Kusama as a live test-net like platform prior to deploying on Polkadot.
  • Kusama is built on Substrate, a blockchain building kit Polkadot is built on. As a result, Kusama shares a similar codebase to Polkadot. 
  • Kusama allows for the creation of two types of blockchains; the relay chain, being the main Kusama blockchain where all transactions are finalized; and parachains, which are custom project specific blockchains that custom applications are built on.
  • KSM token is used on Kusama’s platform for 4 main purposes; validating transactions, nominating, bonding, and voting.

Key Metrics

Token NameKusama
Token Type/ProtocolKusama protocol
Total Token Supply9,651,217
Current Circulating Supply See Coinmarketcap
Market CapitalisationSee Coinmarketcap
Token Creation Date2016
Can it be mined?No

Who is behind Kusama?

Kusama was created by Polkadot team, Parity Technologies- founded by Dr. Gavin Wood a world-renowned computer scientist and programmer, who also co-founded Ethereum.

What is the purpose of Kusama (KSM)?

Kusama’s main purpose is to be the experimental platform for developers who look to innovate and deploy their own blockchain. Moreover, Kusama can be used to prepare Polkadot’s network before launching.


  • Kusama describes itself as a canary network, fast-paced projects gain access to a highly scalable, interoperable sharded network, with features that are not yet available on Polkadot.
  • The platform is built on multichain operating on a nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS) consensus system. This allows Kusama to be able to communicate with other parachains on the Kusama Network.
  • The network connects a variety of parachains and applications such as, gaming and eSports, messaging, DAO, social networking, etc.
  • Kusama provides 4 main benefits for developers:
    • innovation: the network places the latest tech from Web3 foundation.
    • scalability: a scalable and future-proof infrastructure is provided for businesses.
    • interoperability: multiple blockchains are gathered into a shared network that can then interact with each other.
    • customization: developers are able to build their own app-specific blockchain and connect it to Kusama.


  • Kusama, like Polkadot, faces strong competition when it comes to finding its place among smart contract and Proof-of-Stake blockchain projects.
  • Parachain limitation can be challenging for the developers. Although the parachain architecture has superior scaling, its application has to be launched on Polkadot. 

News and Updates:

  • The Graph, a decentralized, open-source infrastructure protocol has further expanded into the Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM) ecosystems with Moonriver (MOVR),  a smart-contract parachain’s support.
  • Kusama council announced an early start for the next batch of parachain auctions on November 11, 2021.
  • Kusama parachain Moonriver has reached the 1 million transaction milestone just three weeks after its launch on August 31st.

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