Kusama is a network of specialized, scalable blockchains with KSM as its native cryptocurrency. They build the network with Substrate, which powers Polkadot. Kusama bills itself as a shadow network for Polkadot, not a testnet. It does, however, let validators see how Polkadot’s validation functionality works. It also lets developers test the Polkadot network in advance. Substrate powers many of the blockchains in the Polkadot ecosystem. It has many features, including a smart contract platform. ready-to-use out-of-the-box.

Kusama reached an all-time high on 05/14/2021 of $591.55. Demand for tokens rose when it was announced only token holders could vote on new features, including Parachain Slot Auctions for crowdloans. Testing and optimization is starting as Kusama will gradually roll out the auctions.

In the Kusama network, holders can vote on new features and upgrades. Each user's vote depends on the amount of KSM cryptocurrency they hold. Anyone who owns KSM can suggest changes or vote on major changes put forth by others. There is an elected seven-member council that determines which changes are made. The Council elects a Technical Committee, which is responsible for making proposed changes in the event of an emergency.

Crowd loans will work by having teams use Kusama’s crowdloan mechanism. Teams can solicit contributors to lock their KSM until the lease ends and then reward them. Teams can also host crowd loans on 3rd-party platforms. Kusama is warning individuals who want to be contributors to beware of teams who ask them to send KSM to an address. Instead, contributions are made using a special transaction using a campaign index. This is only for native crowdloan contributions.

There are two blockchains in Kusama; the main network where transactions are permanent and parachains, which are user-generated networks. The main blockchain, called the relay chain, features speedy transactions, since new additions and validations are separate.