What is Kusama (KSM)? and the difference compares to Polkadot?
Kusama is a blockchain network created in 2019 by Gavin Wood and the Polkadot coin team, making it often referred to as Polkadot’s sibling network or sub-network. The two networks are built on Substrate with identical technical structures.
The main objective of KSM is to provide an experimental space for developers to prepare their projects before embedding them into the Polkadot blockchain for developers to work efficiently and flexibly as well.
Functions or improvements of the network are adequately tested on Kusama first to verify performance and stability, which can be modified for readiness on Polkadot’s main network.
The Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS) consensus system allows holders of KSM tokens who meet the minimum requirements of coins to join as a validator and nominator to verify the information and make the network more secure.
NPoS is employed by the Kusama blockchain network to enhance decentralization through a voting system designed to allow selection of each transaction’s validator, wherein the authority to do so does not fall only to those who stake more funds than others but rather functions coherently with the NPoS algorithm of allowing transaction validators to be selected or nominated as well.
However, the aforementioned authority to select a validator differs according to the amount of coins staked in the system. Once the transaction is verified, the reward is divided between the validator and nominator by calculating the amount of staked coins.
Technologies such as Relay Chain and Parachains characterize the KSM blockchain by enhancing its security, the flexibility to design a blockchain infrastructure within Parachains and other projects in the ecosystem can also attract investors or users during the development.
Relay Chain is the core of Kusama to allow connections within the blockchain to be more secure according to the number of users, and Parachains helps to customize the internal blockchain for different usages such as decentralized application (dApps) or even tokens and prepare for the adoption of the Polkadot network in the future.
The difference between Kusama and Polkadot
Although Kusama's overview may only be a Testnet before embedding a project into the Polkadot blockchain, the two networks are different in numerous aspects.
The rules of governance within the Kusama network are more flexible, in comparison to Polkadot. This is displayed through the allowance of coin holders to decide the direction of development in the period of 15 days, while Polkadot takes nearly two months for the entire process, resulting in Kusama being able to adjust and develop faster. To join the Kusama Network as a validator requires a lower number of staking coins than on Polkadot.
Kusama is considered perfect for starting new projects as it is easy to test the project’s performance and maybe a structure that does not require a high security system for easy, convenient, and fast development. Whereas Polkadot is suitable for decentralized applications (dApps) that require a higher security infrastructure, such as financial projects or large organizations that need a stable blockchain network.