To be inside the crypto universe demands a little bit of patience and a lot of willingness to learn.
Every day you can discover more and this time, as I was preparing for this article, I discovered something really interesting that maybe not all of our readers/users know.
Klever has already posted various contents about Polkadot and its “canary cousin” Kusama.
However, the term “canary” here is fundamental to fully understanding what Kusama really is.
But let’s take it back to the beginning a little bit.
Kusama in Klever
Klever has a lot of partners with whom we develop and increase our work inside the company’s product.
List of Blockchains supported by Klever
The Polkadot and Kusama’s networks are both partners and their blockchains are supported inside Klever’s system in order to attract users who enjoy having them in their portfolio.
By enabling this possibility, users of the Klever Wallet and Klever Exchange can buy, send, receive, swap, and trade DOT or KSM.
The canary of Polkadot
Founded by Gavin Wood, ex-Microsoft and co-founder and also former CTO of Ethereum, Polkadot was born bringing a solution to a main question inside the crypto universe: the ‘fragmentation’.
Since a lot of crypto projects run on their own blockchain, how could we connect them all inside one single network?
That’s what Polkadot came up with. It builds “bridges” for existing blockchains such as Ethereum and Bitcoin and it has a Relay Chain – the backbone of Polkadot – and a Parachain for new blockchain projects.
But why do we have to understand what is Polkadot before jumping into Kusama?
Because, as previously mentioned, Kusama is considered the “canary” version of Polkadot.
So, if you don’t know it by now, you’ll probably be asking (as I did myself):
What is a “canary” network?
Time to learn: the name canary comes from back in the day when coal miners used this bird to identify if the gas level inside the mines was too high.
It is kind of cruel, and today I’m pretty sure we have more efficient and modern ways to identify that, but that’s what used to happen.
If the bird was released inside the mine and died, it meant that the gas level was too high and dangerous for the miners.
Now, let’s go back to blockchains and the other type of miners.
Following the grand tradition of calling validators in blockchain miners, the term “canary” has also brought a different, but somehow similar, meaning to blockchains.
“Canary” network is a “test” network.
If back in the day, canaries tested the air for poisonous gas levels, now, a canary blockchain also seems like a “test network” for another blockchain.
So, it is not altogether wrong to say that Kusama is the “testing” network of Polkadot.
However, it is a little bit different because the Kusama network is not only for testing.
A lot of projects can be and are developed inside Kusama – even with its disclaimer of ‘Expect Chaos’.
This is used as a kind of “catchphrase” for Kusama because it is a network with a lot of possibilities for failure.
However, it is still used by developers because of its very scalable and fast structure and engine.
It can perform up to 4x faster than its beloved cousin Polkadot.
That’s why some users choose to live amongst this “chaos”: high risks, high rewards.
Kusama also highlights on its website the power of its network with the following advantages:
Built by the same teams that made Polkadot, Kusama shares the same code and tools as its cousin.
On top of the game technology from Parity Technologies and Web3 Foundation, Kusama was empowered even before Polkadot.
By splitting and distributing one data across multiple databases, Kusama’s blockchains operate with open governance, providing a scalable and future-proof infrastructure for businesses, marketplaces, and applications to deploy and mature.
Remember the bold idea of bringing blockchains together in one network?
This is true also in Kusama, which “brings multiple blockchains together into one sharded network, freeing developers from the siloes created by legacy blockchain networks”.
Developers can build as they want with Kusama because the projects are built with Substrate: a blockchain framework for building customized blockchains.
By using Kusama, it is possible to create your own app-specific blockchain for whichever purpose you need or desire.
KSM, the canary token
Like all good projects, Kusama has its own token that is used for governance inside this blockchain.
KSM is used in the blockchain for:
- Validate the network
- Nominate validators
- Bond parachains or parathreads
- Vote on governance referenda
Swap KSM in Klever Wallet
You can Swap KSM in the Klever Wallet with the following pairs:
To Swap KSM in the Klever Wallet, follow these steps:
1. Click on the Swap tab (which resembles a dollar sign) from the bar at the bottom.
2. From the tokens list, select the token you want to swap. Then, the token you want to get (in this case, KSM).
* The picture above is for illustration purposes only
3. Enter the desired amount to swap (YOU PAY). Note, there is a Minimum value to swap. Once done, click on the Next button.
4. Select the Account you want to receive the tokens on. You can select from your Accounts or Contacts by clicking on the Book icon. Alternatively, you can paste an address from the Clipboard or scan a QR code.
5. Choose if you want to Pay Fee with KLV by enabling the related button. Paying fees with KLV gives you a 25% reduction on swap fees. Once done, click on the Convert Now button.
6. After, you will be redirected to a screen that confirms that your order is placed. You can click on the “Got it!” button and relax. You will receive your tokens after a while.