What is Kusama (KSM)?

Kusama is a public pre-production environment for Polkadot, one that allows any developer to experiment and test new blockchains or applications before releasing them on this network.
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What is Kusama (KSM)?

Kusama boasts unprecedented interoperability and scalability for blockchain developers who want to quickly push the limits of what’s possible.

It is built using Substrate with nearly the same codebase and industry-leading multichain infrastructure as Kusama’s cousin, Polkadot.
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Parachains

Kusama mimics most of Polkadot’s major design features, including Parachains.Parachains are custom blockchains that use the relay chain’s computing resources to confirm that transactions are accurate.

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Relay Chain

Relay Chain is the main Kusama blockchain, this network is where transactions are finalized. To achieve a greater speed, the relay chain separates the addition of new transactions from the act of validating those transactions. The Kusama Relay Chain uses a variation on proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus called nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS).

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Canary Network

Kusama is branded as a “canary network” for the Polkadot blockchain, meaning that it provides early code release that is unaudited and available before it is launched on Polkadot. In Kusama, it takes seven days to vote on a referendum and eight days to implement changes after the votes.

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Governance

Three types of Kusama users can influence the software’s development. The Referendum Chamber which are essentially token holders. The Council who are elected by KSM token holders. The Technical Committee, which is composed of teams actively building Kusama.