Blockchain interoperability protocol, Polkadot, launched its experimental “canary network” dubbed Kusama, this morning, Aug. 23. In a blog post, the team announced the first deployment in the wild of its protocol, combining “bleeding-edge technical improvements in governance, consensus and scalability.”
Limited functionality for soft launch
In order to get off the ground, Kusama was begun as a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) network. All validator nodes are currently being run exclusively by the Web3 foundation. During this initial period much of the functionality is disabled, most notably balance transfers and governance. Functionality will be limited to staking, sessions and claims modules.
The period will continue until between 50 and 100 well-backed validators are bonded and ready. After this, which Polkadot expect to last from one to four weeks, an upgrade will be introduced to remove Web3’s authority over the chain.
Effectively, this will transform Kusama from a centralized PoA network to a decentralized Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network. At this point, governance and transfers will be activated, and the Kusama network will be functionally live.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Kusama “canary network” is a conscious decision to eschew “fake” test-nets and “step into this unknown and see what chaos awaits.”
Kusama will only exist as long as there is community demand, and Polkadot expects it to unlock new, high-risk functionality and projects that would serve as a preparation stage for development and deployment on Polkadot.