Kusama is a scalable network of specialized blockchains built using Substrate and nearly the same codebase as Polkadot. The network is an experimental development environment for teams who want to move fast and innovate on Kusama, or prepare for deployment on Polkadot.
Essentially, Kusama is a faster version of Polkadot, similar to what Litecoin is to Bitcoin.
Figment leverages the founding team’s 30+ years of real world experience operating critical internet infrastructure, resulting in unparalleled performance across our staking and application platforms.
Get insights from Figment’s complete staking offering with 24/7 institutional support from our dedicated global team and regularly produced industry leading research and insights.
Available via the Figment App or via API that hooks directly into client platforms, offering portfolio tracking across multiple networks and rewards optimization.
Stake your KSM tokens in a few clicks by following these steps:
Kusama uses NPoS (Nominated Proof-of-Stake) as its mechanism for selecting the validator set. The system encourages DOT holders to participate as nominators that elect which validators may participate. Nominators may select up to 16 validators as trusted validator candidates to stake with.
Validators assume the role of producing new blocks, validating parachain blocks, and guaranteeing finality. Nominators may select validator candidates, enabling the protocol to potentially select and back some of these validators with their nominators' stake.
The protocol pays out rewards equally to each active validator. However, distribution of the rewards are pro-rata to all nominators (less validator commission fees). In this way, the network incentivizes the nomination of lower-staked validators to create an equally-staked validator set.
You can find more information here.
There are two different accounts for managing your funds: stash and controller.
StashThis account directly controls the funds bonded for staking. In order to make and change staking decisions easily, and without compromising security, the stash account is used to designate a separate address called the 'controller' to make staking decisions, and without giving the controller direct control over the "stash" funds.
ControllerOnce designated by the stash account, the controller is used to make staking decisions, like nominating and bonding. You'll need a small amount of funds in this account to pay for transaction fees. The controller account can be changed at any time by the stash account.
Why two accounts? Security can be prioritized for the 'stash account', keeping its funds in cold storage, while having the convenience of being able to easily change nomination decisions (without the risk of exposing the stash account's private keys when signing the necessary transactions).
Kusama allows token holders to point their Stash account to any Controller account.
With Figment’s fully-managed service, KSM holders are able to point to a Controller account we control, enabling us to optimally nominate your chosen validators in order to maximize the amount of rewards generated.
With NPoS validators will need to spin up new nodes and reallocate nomination to not overload nodes. Our fully managed services optimizes returns on your behalf.
Yes, your KSM stay in your stash account, which you control at all times. Figment’s service is non-custodial and allows nominators to use any custody method that they choose.
You maintain custody of your KSM at all times in your stash account and can nominate while your KSM are in cold storage, allowing holders to easily work with any custodian.
All KSM token transfers, including rewards, are processed within the Kusama protocol. Figment never has custody of your tokens or rewards.
After unstaking, there is a seven (7) day unbonding period before being able to transfer your tokens. During this unbonding period, your KSM do not earn rewards and are illiquid. They are kept bonded for seven in order to be held responsible (ie. slashed) for any protocol violations their backed validators may have committed, since detecting these violations can take hours or days to detect and prove.
Nominated KSM are subject to Kusama slashing conditions. Figment provides a 100% missed reward guarantee for any missed rewards due to liveness (downtime).
Your tokens are subject to a potential ****slashing if a validator “double-signs."
In Kusama, validators that have poor performance or violate protocol rules may have a percentage of staked tokens slashed.
Slashing occurs when a validator signs two blocks at the same height, which is called equivocation. This is most likely to occur when a validator mistakenly activates a backup validator when their primary validator is still online.
Slashing can also occur for being offline, but it only occurs when at least 10% of the network goes offline simultaneously, and it's a much smaller penalty.
Figment has therefore prioritized avoiding equivocation over liveness (uptime).
Be cautious of validators that have only cloud-based infrastructure or complicated software based redundancy systems aimed at minimizing liveness. Complicated redundant backup systems that optimize for uptime can result in double signing and up to 100% slashing.
Fees are charged at the validator level, not the controller level. So if you bond your stash to our controller, and we then nominate one or more Figment validators and one or more other validators, we only charge fees on the Figment ones. We also would remain non-custodial - rewards will be paid directly to the stash account, so we never touch tokens that you receive "from" third-party validators.
We don't offer slashing coverage at this time as Kusama is experimental and may break/bug but we do offer rewards coverage in case of downtime. Since we do not have custody of your stash account, your funds would not be at risk of theft or hack by our responsibility.
In Kusama, an "era" is 1 day.
If you have sizeable holdings, consider using two accounts. Put most of your holdings in your stash account, and several KSM in your controller account.
Your controller account can be used to vote and nominate in a convenient way, while your funds stay stored in your stash account in a secure way.
The several KSM in your controller account are used to pay for transaction fees involved with nominating and voting.
Era points indicate how many blocks the validator has signed during the current epoch of 2400 blocks, 1 block is 20 era points. Since some validators have higher uptime and lower latency, some validators will get to sign more blocks than others. So although every one of the 100 validators should end up with 24 blocks signed and 480 era points after each epoch (about 4 hours), some are more performant than others and will get rewarded a bit more for their work which is quantified by era points. Over the long term, validators’ performance should trend toward equilibrium and the total points per validator per era should not fluctuate much.
In most proof of stake protocols validators earn a fixed percentage of rewards. However, in Kusama, every validator node receives a fixed amount of KSM tokens and the remaining are distributed to nominators on a pro-rata basis.
Therefore, the effective price you pay to you node operator is the pro-rata share of remaining rewards after the validator's fixed fee has been deducted.
Those rewards are distributed on-chain at the end of each era (approx. 24 hours).
You must manually claim your rewards via the Polkadot Explorer.
Staking rewards are kept available available for 21 days.
If you do not claim your staking rewards by this time, then you will not be able to claim them and some of your staking rewards will be lost.
You can learn more about how to claim your rewards here.
Figment is the world’s leading provider of blockchain infrastructure. We provide the most comprehensive staking solution for our over 200+ institutional clients including exchanges, wallets, foundations, custodians, and large token holders to earn rewards on their crypto assets.