Figment’s First Look: Kusama

Not a Mainnet, Not a Testnet. Just Kusama.

Figment Networks will offer a validator service for Kusama that will be open for delegation. If you own DOT, you own KSM–contact@figment.network to learn more.

 



The Token

If you own DOTs, you own KSM

The genesis distribution of KSM will mirror that for DOT: if you purchased DOTs in the sale, then you own an equal share of the Kusama network.

Head here (https://claim.kusama.network) and contact@figment.network if you need support.

Will KSM be worth anything?

What the DOT is to Polkadot, KSM is to Kusama: the token that powers the network. Scroll a bit lower to read about what you can do with KSM. As for KSM’s value, that’s entirely speculative. KSM is like a sub-DOT, and it may have value for the same reason that DOTs may have value — because someone else might pay you for them. It’s a limited-supply asset, and if there are people that need more KSM than what the Polkadot team and/or foundation provide (via grants & faucet), a market for KSM could emerge. And in crypto, speculators be speculators ‾\_(ツ)_/‾

Kusama is supposed to be a messy, breaking, test environment — real applications aren’t supposed to be built on it, so it may not accrue much value. But it may. Like any other token, KSM’s potential value will depend on speculation and its usefulness. And though Kusama isn’t a mainnet, it’s also not a testnet.

Testnet tokens are valued at $0.00. Unlike testnets, the expectation with Kusama is that the network will live on. Even if it crashes and has to be rebooted, its state should be preserved; if you hold 10 KSM, you can expect to have 10 KSM in the future. So the environment to accrue value is there.

What can you do with KSM?

With KSM, you can validate, nominate validators, bond parachains, pay for interoperability message passing, and participate in governance on the Kusama network. The Polkadot team provided this user guide.

Participating on Kusama with your KSM could earn you some DOTs. One percent of DOT tokens at Polkadot genesis are reserved as a grant for Kusama’s stakeholders and community, though the mechanics have not yet been published. Staking your KSM will entitle you to rewards in KSM.

You Can Stake Your KSM

If you’re not planning to run a validator, you can use a validator service, such as what Figment Networks provides. In Kusama, you can be a nominator, which is the process for delegating your stake.

Delegating Stake as a Nominator

The nominator 1) publishes a list of validator candidates that they trust and 2) submits the number of staked KSM to support them with (ie. delegate). The candidates elected as validators will share the staking risks and rewards with their nominators. If you‘d like to nominate us, contact@figment.network.

Annual Staking Returns

We don’t yet know the returns for staking KSM. If 50% of KSM is staked, then each validator will reportedly receive approximately 20% annual KSM returns, provided they are not punished for breaking protocol rules.


Though Kusama has many of the elements of a testnet, and many elements of a mainnet, our position is that it is neither. Kusama just is. Well, soon. We can expect Kusama in September 2019.