Polkadot vs Kusama

Polkadot (DOT) vs. Kusama (KSM) are two independent platforms on top of which users can launch and operate their own blockchains. Polkadot and Kusama are very closely related due to being built on nearly identical codebases. In the near future, the Polkadot and Kusama networks will be formally connected by a bridge.

Kusama is branded as a “canary network” for the Polkadot blockchain, meaning that new code and features are always battle-tested on Kusama first before they can be launched on Polkadot. It is important to note that Kusama is not a testnet in the traditional sense of the term because unlike a testnet, the Kusama network is host to substantial economic value. 

Kusama and Polkadot allow developers to build, deploy and integrate parachains, which are custom, user-generated, blockchains, in an environment with economic incentives that reflect those on their respective networks. 

Polkadot vs Kusama
Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot is a platform that aims to create a network of public and private blockchains that can exchange custom assets and data.

Kusama vs polkadot

Kusama (KSM)

Kusama is a sandbox environment for Polkadot where developers have more flexibility to ideate their projects on a platform that mimics Polkadot’s major designs.

There are intricacies that set DOT and KSM blockchains apart, such as different governance parameters, and you can find those by reading our side-by-side comparison of Kusama and Polkadot below.

The difference between Polkadot and Kusama



The Polkadot platform is software on top of which users can launch and operate their own blockchains.


Towards this goal, Polkadot’s design allows for two different types of blockchains; a main network, called the Relay Chain, where transactions are settled, and user-created networks, called parachains, that can be customized for any number of uses and communicate with each other via the Relay Chain.


This specific design is intended to let users create many customized parachains for different uses without disclosing the information hosted on them to the Relay Chain or the other parachains, thus allowing for more private and efficient transactions. 



Kusama is an independent network that aims to be a kind of sandbox for Polkadot developers who wish to deploy and test pre-release versions of their Polkadot projects, but with real cryptocurrency traded on an open market.


Because its primary use case is to facilitate testing, Kusama attempts to give developers more flexibility while they finalize the design of their projects and offers looser rules than Polkadot, including less stringent governance parameters.


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.

Useful Polkadot & Kusama Resources

If you are interested in learning more about Polkadot and Kusama, please visit Kraken’s What is Polkadot? and What is Kusama? pages.

Review the latest Polkadot price and Kusama price chart.


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