How To Buy Kusama (KSM)?
A common question you often see on social media from crypto beginners is “Where can I buy Kusama?” Well, you’ll be happy to hear it is actually quite a simple and straightforward process.
Step 1: Create an account on an exchange that supports Kusama (KSM)
First, you will need to open an account on a cryptocurrency exchange that supports Kusama (KSM).
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Fees (Maker/Taker) 0.2%*-0.2%*
Available for Trade 1000+
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North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa
In order to sign up, you will need to enter some basic information, such as your email address, password, full name and, in some cases, you might also be asked for a phone number or address.
Note: On specific exchanges, you might need to complete a Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure in order to be able to purchase cryptocurrency. This is most commonly the case with licensed and regulated exchanges.
Step 2: Deposit funds into your account
Many cryptocurrency exchanges will allow you to purchase Kusama (KSM) with fiat currencies, such as EUR, USD, AUD and others. Furthermore, they will also provide you with multiple deposit methods through which you can fund your fiat account, such as credit and debit cards, ewallets or direct bank transfers.
Note: Some payment methods will have higher fees than others, such as credit card payments. Before funding your fiat account on your chosen exchange, make sure to do your due diligence to find out the fees involved with each payment method to avoid unnecessary costs.
Step 3: Buy Kusama (KSM)
This process is similar across almost every cryptocurrency exchange. All you have to do is find a navigation bar or a search bar, and search for Kusama (KSM) or Kusama (KSM) trading pairs. Look for the section that will allow you to buy Kusama (KSM), and enter the amount of the cryptocurrency that you want to spend for Kusama (KSM) or the amount of fiat currency that you want to spend towards buying Kusama (KSM). The exchange will then calculate the equivalent amount of Kusama (KSM) based on the current market rate.
Note: Make sure to always double-check your transaction details, such as the amount of Kusama (KSM) you will be buying as well as the total cost of the purchase before you end up confirming the transaction. Furthermore, many cryptocurrency exchanges will offer you their own proprietary software wallet where you will be storing your cryptocurrencies; however, you can create your own individual software wallet, or purchase a hardware wallet for the highest level of protection.
For more in-depth instructions, our ‘Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Cryptocurrency Investing‘ will take you through the process step-by step. In addition to providing instructions for sending and receiving your cryptocurrency.
And if you’re completely new to crypto our beginner, intermediate and advanced level articles will get you up to speed with everything you need to know about the cryptocurrency space starting out.
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. In this way, it can be said Kusama acts as a kind of sandbox for developers looking to test early versions of Polkadot projects, but with real cryptocurrency traded on an open market.
Official Polkadot upgrades are also tested on Kusama before their release. Because its primary use case is to facilitate testing, Kusama attempts to give developers more flexibility while they finalize the design of their Polkadot projects. In turn, Kusama offers looser rules than Polkadot, including less stringent governance parameters. Elsewhere, Kusama mimics most of Polkadot’s major design features. For example, Kusama uses two types of blockchains – a main network, called a relay chain, where transactions are permanent, and user-generated networks, called parachains. Parachains can be customized for any use and leverage the main relay chain for security.
A potential advantage of starting a project on Kusama is that it allows Polkadot projects to build a user base and gain traction in the community before the official launch.
How do Kusama parachains work?
Parachains are literally ‘parallel chains’ that run alongside the main Kusama relay chain.
Again, imagine a plastic comb (the kusama relay chain) that has a long row of thinner, plastic teeth (kusama parachains).
These multiple chains frequently communicate with each other, which prevents the main relay chain from becoming congested by having to handle every single transaction that comes through the network.
This architecture will help Polkadot and Kusama to scale into the future, and explains why so many developers are seeking to build on the networks. To secure a slot on one of Kusama’s limited number of parachains, projects will have to lock up a competitive number of KSM tokens for up to 2 years, with these being returned after the designated period is up.
In the beginning, only a few projects will be chosen to build on the parachains, so they will have to bid the highest amount of KSM in auctions that will happen just before the network goes live.
Teams that are competing for a slot won’t be able to see how much other teams are bidding, and the auction will end at a random, undetermined moment. Smaller projects that can’t afford to inhabit an entire parachain can also rent a Kusama parathread, which is basically a parachain that has been shared and broken down into smaller chains, or ‘threads’, in order to share the cost.
This is like renting a room within an apartment, instead of paying to rent the entire apartment itself.
Who Are the Founders of Kusama?
Kusama was built by the same team that created Polkadot, a company known as Parity Technologies. Its founder is Dr. Gavin Wood, a world-renowned computer scientist and programmer, who also co-founded Ethereum.
Parity Technologies has an extensive team comprised of some of the world’s most successful blockchain engineers, and has over 100 employees in total spread throughout the world.
In addition, Kusama is funded by grants from the Web3 Foundation, which was launched to help “nurture and steward technologies and applications in the fields of decentralised web software protocols.” The Web3 foundation also supports Kusama with research and community development thanks to its growth team.
How Does Kusama Work?
The Kusama network allows for the creation of two types of blockchains.
- The Relay Chain – 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.
- Parachains – Parachains are custom blockchains that use the relay chain’s computing resources to confirm that transactions are accurate.
The Relay Chain
To keep its network in agreement about the state of the system, the Kusama Relay Chain uses a variation on proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus called nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS). This system allows anyone who stakes KSM by locking the cryptocurrency in a special contract to perform one or more of the following roles necessary to its operation:
- Validators – Validate data in parachain blocks. They also participate in consensus and vote on proposed changes to the network.
- Nominators – Secure the Relay Chain by selecting trustworthy validators. Nominators delegate their staked KSM tokens to validators and thus allocate their votes to them.
Users who stake KSM and perform these roles are also eligible to receive KSM rewards.
Three types of Kusama users can influence the software’s development.
- The Referendum Chamber – Anyone who purchases KSM tokens can propose changes to the network and approve or reject major changes proposed by others.
- The Council – Elected by KSM holders, council members are responsible for proposing changes and determining which changes proposed by KSM holders are made to the software. The Council on Kusama started with seven seats, but is intended to increase as community interest grows
- The Technical Committee – Composed of teams actively building Kusama, this group can make special proposals in the event of an emergency. Members of the technical committee are voted in by Council members.
The Difference Between Kusama and Polkadot
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.
The first key difference between the two networks is the speed of the governance system. In Kusama, it takes seven days to vote on a referendum and eight days to implement changes after the votes, compared to a month for each on Polkadot.
Second, becoming a validator on Kusama is much easier, as the minimum staking requirements are lower than in Polkadot.
It is important to keep in mind that Kusama is a blockchain for experimentation, and that it gives up stability and security to increase the speed of the network.
Official website: https://kusama.network/
Best cryptocurrency wallet for Kusama (KSM)
There are plenty of different crypto wallets available. The best one for you depends on your general trading habits and which provides the most security in your situation. There are two main types of wallets: hot storage wallets (digital) and cold storage or hardware wallets (physical). Both have their pros and cons, and there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to figuring out which crypto wallet is best for you.
HOW DO I DECIDE WHICH cryptocurrency WALLET TO USE for Kusama (KSM)?
Deciding which type of wallet to use depends on a variety of factors, including:
- How often you trade. In general, hot wallets are better for more active cryptocurrency traders. Quick login ability means you are only a few clicks and taps away from buying and selling crypto. Cold wallets are better suited for those looking to make less frequent trades.
- What you want to trade. As mentioned earlier, not all wallets support all types of cryptocurrencies. However, some of the best crypto wallets have the power to trade hundreds of different currencies, providing more of a one-size-fits-all experience.
- Your peace of mind. For those worried about hacking, having a physical cold wallet stored in a safe deposit box at the bank or somewhere at home, provides the safest, most secure option. Others might be confident in their ability to keep their hot wallets secure.
- How much it costs. It is important to investigate the costs associated with each wallet. Many hot wallets will be free to set up. Meanwhile, cold wallets, like any piece of hardware, will cost money to purchase.
- What it can do. While the basics of each cryptocurrency wallet are the same, additional features can help set them apart. This is especially true of hot wallets, many of which come with advanced reporting features, insights into the crypto market, the ability to convert cryptocurrencies and more. Security features can also be a good differentiator.
For a more in-depth overview of cryptocurrency wallets visit our “Cryptocurrency Wallets Explained” guide.
Ledger manufactures cold storage wallets designed for users who want increased security. Their wallets are a physical device that connects to your computer. Only when the device is connected can you send your cryptocurrency from it. Ledger offers a variety of products, such as the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X (a bluetooth connected hardware wallet).
Trezor is a pioneering hardware wallet company. The combination of world-class security with an intuitive interface and compatibility with other desktop wallets, makes it ideal for beginners and experts alike. The company has gained a lot of the Bitcoin community’s respect over the years. Trezor offers two main models – The Trezor One and Trezor Model T (which has a built in touch screen).