What is Kusama?

Kusama is dubbed as Polkadot's canary network. It is built with substrate and runs on nearly the same codebase and multichain infrastructure as Polkadot. It is intended to be a sandbox for developers. However, it is not a testnet and exists as a separate, independent network.

Visit Homepage

Getting started with Kusama

Learn the basics of the Kusama blockchain and quickly ramp up your knowledge about the network with these selected pieces of content.


Kusama guides & tutorials

These guides and tutorials help you stake your KSM token on the Kusama blockchain using several tools.


Kusama tools & resources

With these tools & resources, you can manage your KSM token and analyze the Kusama network.


Kusama ecosystem content

Browse through a selection of Kusama-related content such as videos, blogs, podcast episodes and more!

Got Feedback? Ideas? Content?
- Let us know!

Come help us in making this subpage a great resource for the Kusama community! Please share blog posts, videos, podcasts as well as tools and tutorials that helped you to get started with Kusama or that you enjoy reading and using.


Kusama events

Join a Kusama event to connect with other stakeholders and to experience the Kusama community first hand!

There are currently no upcoming events - we are on the lookout, but if you know of one, please let us know!

Kusama FAQs

What is the difference between the Relay Chain and Parachains?


The Relay Chain is the main chain of the Polkadot ecosystem (incl. Kusama/Edgeware/HydraDX). Your validator nominations count for the validators of the Relay Chain.

Most of the computation happens on Parachains, which are connected to and secured through the Relay Chain. Learn more about the status of Parachains here.

What is the incentive to stake my tokens?


Token-holders can economically back up to 16 validators through their nominations. This increases the security of the overall network and enables token holders to earn rewards on their staked funds. You will receive rewards in the form of newly minted tokens (DOT, KSM, EDG, HDX). Conversely, if you do not participate in staking, your assets will get diluted over time.

Do I maintain control over my tokens when staking?


You remain in full control over your tokens when you stake. You simply delegate the right to propose blocks and validate transactions contained in each token to the validators you nominate. However, please note that your tokens are illiquid while staked. You need to unbond in order to move your funds.

What are the risks associated with staking my tokens?


In Substrate-based chains both, validators and nominators can be subject to punishment in case of malpractice. This is referred to as "slashing" and can result in a (partial) loss of staked funds. Slashing in Substrate-based chains is a multi-level process according to its severity:

  • Level 1 - isolated unresponsiveness: validator is offline & unresponsive for a longer period of time
  • no slashing, only removal of validator from active set
  • Level 2 - concurrent unresponsiveness or isolated equivocation: validator is repeatedly offline; or isolated case of: validator signing two or more votes in the same round on different chains (GRANDPA equivocation); or isolated case of: validator produces two or more blocks on the Relay Chain in the same time slot.
  • small amount of funds are slashed and validator is removed from active set.
  • Level 3 - non-accidental misconducts with non-systemic risk
  • moderate amount of funds are slashed and validator is removed from active set.
  • Level 4 - non-accidental misconducts with systemic risk
  • large or full amount of funds are slashed and validator is removed from active set.

What are Stash & Controller accounts?


There are two different accounts to manage your funds, namely the Stash Account and the Controller Account.

Stash Account: This account holds the funds which are bonded for staking. This is sort of your "safety box". Most functions relevant for your staking operations are done via your "Controller Account".

Controller Account: Through this account, you nominate the validators of your choice. The Controller account only needs funds to cover transaction fees, so make sure to allocate some funds for that.

Can I have multiple Controller Accounts for the same Stash Account?


No, you can only create one Controller Account per Stash Account.

Should I nominate more than one validator?


Every era, the validator set gets shuffled. Your bonded stake gets distributed among the validators you nominated and that got elected to the active set for that era. It is therefore advisable to nominate more than one validator, because if you e.g. only nominated one validator and he/she did not make it into the set, you will miss out on rewards for that era. You are best advised to nominate popular validators with a good reputation and track record (check the information provided in their on-chain ID). In order for you to increase your returns, you can also nominate a couple of smaller, less-popular validators with less stake backing them.

Make sure you do proper research on the validators you nominate since your stake is also subject to getting slashed in case of your validator misbehaving.

What do 'Active', 'Inactive', and 'Waiting nominations' mean?


In Substrate-based chain such as Polkadot, Kusama, Edgeware and HydraDX, you are advied to nominate more than one validator (up to 16). Each era, validators are elected to the active validator set and stake is divided among the elected validators according to the 'Phragmen' algorithm to optimize for equal distribution. Therefore, your nominations can have different statuses:

  • 'Waiting': the validators were not elected to the validator set for this era
  • 'Active': the validator was elected to the set and your whole stake is backing this validator for the current era
  • 'Inactive': these validators have also been elected to the set, but your stake is currently not backing them

Usually, you only have one nomination shown as 'active'.

What does 'oversubscribed' mean for validators on Polkadot, Kusama, Edgeware, or HydraDX?


In substrate-based chains, there is no limit on how many nominators can nominate a single validator, however there is a maximum amount of nominators that can back a single validator in the active set. Beyond that limit, the validator is considered oversubscribed and it will only be elected using the maximum allowed number of nominators. Nominators with a higher stake take precedence, so nominators with a lower stake than the lowest stake nominator of maximum allowed number of nominators are disregarded and will not earn any awards during that era.

The limit of maximum allowed nominators are:

Polkadot, Kusama & Edgeware - 128 nominators

Hydra - 64 nominators