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What is Kusama?
Kusama was introduced in late 2019 by Dr. Gavin Wood, inventor of Polkadot and co-founder of Ethereum. His team Parity coordinates Kusama development progress.
What’s the difference between Kusama and Polkadot?
Both projects utilize almost similar codebases built around the Substrate web application framework. Also, the two share some sophisticated technical concepts in their operations, e.g. governance principles, hot-swappable runtimes for forkless, on-chain upgrades, and Cross-Chain Message Passing (XCMP) for interoperability.
As per the documentation of Polkadot, Kusama prioritizes flexibility, accessibility (low penalties, forgiving slashing policy), and fast updates. By contrast, Polkadot underlines stability, unmatched security and conservative governance. Also, Polkadot boasts way higher validator rewards.
What are Kusama parachains?
In Kusama, dApp developers can utilize the entire blockchain (parachain) for their use-case. This results in a variety of Kusama’s killing features. Parachain design is more flexible, easy to upgrade, modular and scalable.
Besides that, Kusama parachains can be easily customized for governance and real-world use-cases. Low transactional fees and advanced level of security also contribute to parachains’ popularity amidst dApps developers.
Why does Kusama need auctions?
In order to book a slot on Relay Chain, teams lock up their KSM tokens within the framework of the auctions. To prevent auction sniping (the strategy of bidding at the last moment), the exact moment of the auction endpoint is kept secret: actually, it is chosen by VRF (tamper-proof randomizer).
To support its bid, a team can launch a crowdloan campaign: ordinary KSM holders - the owners of Kusama’s core native asset - can ‘delegate’ their tokens to the referred team for the entire period of slot leasing.
First-ever parachain slot auction took place between June 15th, 2021 - June 22nd, 2021. As a result, Karura DeFi-focused ecosystem obtained a right to utilize Relay Chain slot until May 13, 2022.