AMA Recap: CRYPTO MINERS X POLKADOT X KUSAMA

We hosted an AMA session with Polkadot and Kusama on 5th September.

Mr. Ramsy was the host from Crypto Miners and Mr. Radha Krishna from Web3 Foundation was the guest. He shared with us the features and advantages of Polkadot and Kusama.
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Segment 1️⃣: Introduction

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Hello everyone 👋 Welcome to Our #Special AMA session With Polkadot & Kusama 🔥

To help us learn more about Polkadot and Kusama, We are lucky to be joined By Dr. Radhakrishna Dasari

Radha:
Very glad to be here!

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Welcome here Mate

Thanks for joining with us today ❤️

Radha:
Ready for the questions :)

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Cool 👍

First of all Can you introduce yourself to us?

Radha:
Sure.

I’m Radhakrishna Dasari, Technical Education Lead at Web3 Foundation. I have a PhD in Computer Science and was a Teaching Professor at the University of Vermont before joining Web3 Foundation

I work on scaling Polkadot education. This AMA is of course part of that effort :)

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Glad to have you today 🤝

Radha:
Also, for those of you who do not know the role of Web3 Foundation

Web3 Foundation is for Polkadot just like Ethereum Foundation is for Ethereum

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Alright, Now Let’s Explore more about Polkadot and Kusama 🚀🚀

Radha:
Absolutely!

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
1. Give us a concise and brief introduction about Polkadot.
How it is playing its role in Web3?

Radha:
A concise technical introduction of Polkadot is -

Polkadot is a heterogeneous multichain that connects and secures blockchains with pooled security and interoperability.

I’ll explain this in normal words :)

Heterogeneous Multichain — means, there are multiple blockchains with their own business logic, ideas and code running on Polkadot. Their well being and functioning is secured by Polkadot (Shared security). Polkadot also gives them secure channels to talk to each other (Interoperability)

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Thanks for the well start 👍

Now let’s see our second question from this segment

2. Make a concise and easy introduction to Kusama.

Radha:
Yes!

If you are a Blockchain developer/Company that is trying to test out ideas that have never been tested before on a Blockchain and want to have access to a platform to do so, Kusama network is the place to be.

Kusama is a canary network of Polkadot. It is NOT a test network. There are multiple other testnets whose tokens have no value. But Kusama’s native token KSM has economic value.

Kusama has the same code base as Polkadot, but it is an independent fast running Blockchain that assists Polkadot ecosystem with bold experimentation. “Expect chaos!” is its tag line

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
So What are the features of Polkadot and Kusama that makes them superior and special as compared to its competitors?

Radha:
Great question!

Now is the time to introduce parachains which are parallel blockchains that run on Polkadot or Kusama

These parachains can be enterprise, public, private, permissioned, permissionless, you name it…

Just as an example, a single parachain on Polkadot can do (technically) what Bitcoin or Ethereum does. In other words, each parachain is a Layer 1 Blockchain

Hence, Parachains = Possibilities

To save time, I’m sharing all the features Polkadot brings to the table

Polkadot has the technology to support the next wave of innovation in Blockchain

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Sounds great 👌

Now Tell us about Relay Chain and Para Chains. How both works in Polkadot ecosystem?

Radha:
Polkadot relays messages securely between the parachains. Hence the name Relay chain. As it works like an underlying layer (like internet for relaying messages on Telegram, Whatsapp, Facebook messenger etc), Polkadot is a Layer 0 Blockchain

Like I mentioned earlier, Parachains are L1 blockhains like say Ethereum. The DApps built on that Ethereum like parachain can not only benefit from the rich features provided by that blockchain, but also all the other parachains and their services in the Polkadot ecosystem

True composability — Instead of reinventing wheel each time, you leverage on the open decentralized technology built by others

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Polkadot used GRANDPA algorithm. What are its benefits for using?
Also tell us about XCM and Substrate technologies which Polkadot is using?

Radha:
Perfect timing!

So, if you take a look at Polkadot Blockchain right now

Took this screenshot a few seconds ago. You see that the block time is 6 seconds. There are over 11 million finalized blocks on Polkadot Blockchain

The difference between best block is leading the finalized block by approximately 3 blocks

For those of you who are new to the term “finality” — Block finality ensures that your transaction can never be reverted

It takes about 1–2 hours on Bitcoin. That is why the exchanges wait that long before showing BTC balance in your account. On Polkadot, this is about 20 seconds (3 blocks), thanks to GRANDPA finality gadget developed by the researchers at Web3 Foundation

Talking about XCM

Hear the news about “this bridge hacked for …. million dollars, that bridge hacked for …. million dollars” all the time?

XCM is a cross consensus messaging format that would be the answer for such hackers. All the parachains on Polkadot follow XCM for talking to each other. If someone has to attack their communication, they have to attack the security of the whole network!

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Kusama is said to be cousin of Polkadot. What are the reasons?

Radha:
Just to add to it, rather than each blockchain bridge developing its own protocol and make mistakes with code vulnerabilities and bugs, Polkadot’s XCM will be heavily audited and be used by all the parachains https://polkadot.network/blog/full-audit-of-xcmv2-completed-by-quarkslab/

Kusama, Polkadot’s cousin :)

Indeed. It is in fact the older cousin

Live screenshot. Shows 6 seconds blocktime and 14 million blocks. Kusama blockchain started well before Polkadot blockchain.

I mentioned earlier that all the features on Polkadot are tested first on Kusama. This is still true. For instance, the latest governance features to be enabled on Polkadot (Gov2) will first be tested on Kusama

New code, new ideas, new features — all of them land on Kusama first. When they function well in the real blockchain environment with value, you can be assured that they will do well on Polkadot which has more enterprise levels of security and more conservative governance

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Now tell us about the native tokens $DOT and $KSM, what are their usecases and utilities? Also provide us with the tokenomics

Radha:
The question of great relevance for anyone in the ecosystem!

$DOT and $KSM are utility tokens. They are NOT cryptocurrency. What can you utilize DOT tokens for? Here are a few strong use cases

1. Staking your tokens to secure the network
2. Parachain Auctions and Crowdloans
3. Governance — deciding the future and direction of the network

By putting your tokens “at stake” on validators who you trust will deliver their duties efficiently, you get rewarded. You are putting the effort to find such validators, so the rewards are coming from your direct effort which actually secures the successful functioning of the whole network. Now, you know what “Proof of Stake” means :)

In 2018, there were a lot of ICO scams that took away innocent investor tokens. Polkadot offers a solution for this — permissionless crowdloans. The tokens are bonded on your behalf for a blockchain that wants to become a parachain on Polkadot. These tokens are not touched by the parachain and will be released back to you after the parachain lease is finished

As you were not able to earn staking rewards for those tokens for the lease period of parachains, the parachain teams may offer some rewards in their native tokens etc.

Finally, Governance. Polkadot has currently the most sophisticated and functioning on-chain governance that is evolving. To take part in it, you would need those tokens https://medium.com/polkadot-news/polkadot-governance-v2-e1220a24b213

Also, DOT and KSM can have utility on parachains, for setting identities on the relay chain, creating proxy accounts etc. Check out the Wiki article on “What can I do with DOT?” https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/getting-started#what-can-i-do-with-my-dot

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Let’s move to our last question from this segment

What Polkadot and Kusama achieved so far and what important updates and developments we’ll get in coming months in both ecosystems?

Radha:
Polkadot is the first production grade blockchain that has implemented (heterogeneous) sharding. Currently runs over 20 parachains and over 40 parachains on Kusama. The ecosystem is just getting started.

For sophisticated technology to be implemented on Blockchain, you need solid SDK and optimizations. For instance, making Metavers a

Metaverse* a reality, you need technology that can support it. Technology to just send JPG with a lot of gas price won’t cut it

In the coming months, you would see the enterprise and their usecases from Web2 slowly moving to Web3 and Polkadot ecosystem will be one of their top choices

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Thanks Radha for this well detailed introduction about Polkadot and Kusama

And that’s the wrap up of our the first part of the AMA session ✅

Let’s now proceed to our Twitter Questions section

i hope you’re ready for that!!

Radha:
Yes. Go for it!

Segment 2️⃣: Twitter Questions

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
1)For some users, PARACHAIN AUCTIONS can be confusing. How do one evaluate a best project to invest in? How does the crowdloan and auction works here? How does @Polkadot strategise it’s your crowdloan activities?

Radha:
Very relevant question! Thanks Sarika

With Parachain Auction crowdloans, every user with DOT tokens can take part in supporting their favorite project in a trust less way.

For

For evaluating the best project to crowdloan your DOT, you have to do your own research. Polkadot community calls on Twitter are a good avenue to listen to different new parachain projects

I’ve created a video and a Wiki doc that explains crowdloans and auctions in detail. Please check it out and ask followup questions, if any https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/learn-auction

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
2)Polkadot is an open-source project founded by the Web3 Foundation. Web3 Foundation launched Polkadot in Proof of Authority mode. So, can you please explain to us the Proof of Authority mode? And I read Web3 Foundation used the Sudo key, please tell us also about Sudo?

Radha:
Thanks for this question!

Initially, when anyone creates a Proof of Stake Blockchain like Polkadot, there needs to be a handover that needs to happen from the developers to the community

“Sudo” means having power user level privileges. Proof of Authority can be set using Sudo privileges. In simple words, the person with Sudo privileges can decide which validator can produce which block. As Polkadot moved to Proof of Stake, this is decided by the DOT token holders

Decided by DOT token holders via Staking*

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
3: Kusama is Canary Network for Polkadot. What is this meaning? Is Kusama a hard fork of Polkadot? Isn’t it a separate chain from Polkadot?

Radha:
As explained above, Kusama is an independent blockchain that has its own governance, native token and community. Its vision is to be the experimental platform for innovative Blockchain applications that can eventually make their way to Polkadot after success. Some applications can choose to be just on Kusama, as the security it offers might suffice their use case

Canary birds used to be taken into coal mines before the actual work started. If the bird is safe and sound, the mine is good to work in. Kusama is the canary network of Polkadot

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
4)what do you think are the parachains or pallets that dotsama should have but its not in the scene. What do you think is the future of parachains, what kind of innovations are we looking at now i mean what dot sama parachains has achieved in the last year.

Radha:
This is by far my favorite question. Actually it is a series of questions! :)

As I mentioned earlier, any use case that benefits from a Blockhain can find its home on Polkadot. When I say “Any” that is literally “Any”!

Polkadot ecosystem is just getting started and we have parachains or projects aiming to be parachains in almost all the popular usecases

Polkadot Pioneers Prize gives a good insight into what the focus of the ecosystem is in the near future https://pioneersprize.polkadot.network/

To name a few parachain/pallet usecases — on.chain privacy and Zero knowledge stuff needs to improve. Also, all the usecases implemented need to have a good UI and user experience. The focus of the ecosystem will be geared towards that, after the fundamental core technologies are perfected

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Let’s hear our last question from Twitter

5: I read that we are able to CUSTOMIZE our own project through SUBSTRATE. Can you tell us what technology does Kusama use through the Substrate? How is SUBSTRATE related to Kusama and Polkadot?

Radha:
The snapshot I shared above shows that Substrate Blockchain Building framework lets you build a blockchain tailored for a specific use case seamlessly https://substrate.io/

Both Polkadot and Kusama are built using Substrate

Substrate has a lot of pallets which are like lego blocks that you can use directly in your blockchain project. Do you want to have accounts and balances on your blockchain, add balances pallet. Do you want on-chain governance, add governance pallet!

All of this is open-source. You can modify these pallets or create a new pallet altogether for your use case.

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
That’s the wind up of our twitter segment

Now Moving on to our last segment — Live Q&A

Shall we Mate?

Radha:
Yes

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Alright

Segment 3️⃣: Live QnA
(In this segment group was opened for 60 seconds and Miners sent hundreds of questions. Guest choose some best to answer)

1) During the AMA you said Kusama is a canary network on Polkadot so if there’s a security breach on Kusama will Polkadot be affected too?

Radha:
The whole reason of Kusama’s existence is to make sure breaches never make it to Polkadot. Kusama community embraces chaos. So, if things were to break, they will only break on Kusama

Also, as Kusama has economic value, developers would put their 100% effort not to break things on Kusama as well. But to err is human. All such mistakes are captured on Kusama

2) It was expected Polkadot to be a hub for specialized blockchains but now it’s turn to be just a hub for multiple blockchains that they copy each other and doing the same thing. Do you see any change in the future in this matter?

Radha:
I hear you 100%

I would like to remind you that these are early stages of the ecosystem. Hence, all the use cases that have been implemented elsewhere are making their way into our ecosystem. What are we doing differently? The answer is in a few blockchains that run on Polkadot that are not running anywhere else

Check for use cases like internet of things and Social networks. These Web2 usecases are slowly making their way to Web3 and Polkadot ecosystem already has a few projects

Over the next few years, you will witness growth in the new usecases of Blockchain

3) As a developer, why will I need Polkadot when I can use Kusama for my project? Or must developers use both Kusama and Polkadot for projects to be efficient?

Radha:
Here is a project that initially launched on Kusama and then moving to Polkadot https://medium.com/kilt-protocol/kilt-moves-to-polkadot-b5d4b56f8040

Polkadot is more stable and. secure than Kusama. If the blockchain usecase requires that levels of stability/security, it makes sense to be on Polkadot

Actually, to add to this, most of the parachains on Polkadot have a corresponding parachain on Kusama. It helps to test features on Kusama and move them to Polkadot when the project is confident

4) Do you think parachains on Kusama hasn’t been utilized fully and that more attention needs to be paid to KSM before jumping/rushing to build on Polkadot?

Radha:

This will have an opinionated answer. There could be numerous reasons why projects might be jumping on to Polkadot before doing a lot of testing on Kusama.

Personally, I think the same. Just because you have access to a tool does not mean that you would use it. Kusama is available for experimentation. No other blokchain ecosystem has a canary network like that. I think the developers need to make the best of it

5) While you build your project do you take into account community feedbacks and demands??While you build your project do you take into account community feedbacks and demands?

Radha:
Yes! We have Polakassembly for on-chain governance discussions

https://polkadot.polkassembly.io/

You would see a lot of discussions happening around wide range of topics. All of the feedback condenses into on-chain proposals that improves the network and its features

Radha:
I’d like to share https://support.polkadot.network/support/home

This is for all Polkadot/Kusama network usage questions, like “How to stake DOT” “How to participate in Crowdloans?” etc

The support website also has a contact form that you can use, if your question is not listed in the knowledge base

*This segment ends here*

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Thankyou so much Radha For your valuable answers and information about Polkadot and Kusama

It Was Pleasure Hosting An Ama With You

Is there anything else you would like to share or you want us to know?

Radha:
It was a pleasure being here today. Very high quality questions and interaction

Yes, please watch out for announcements on https://twitter.com/Polkadot

We have a Polkadot Developer Conference coming soon. There are a lot of community events across the globe and in different languages

You all have a good day! Bye!

Ramsy | Crypto Miners:
Have a nice day mate
Thank you for being here 😊

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