A Kusama Forum - Place for longform debate and healthy discussion

Hey Polkadot enthusiasts! You know as well as I do that Kusama isn’t just Polkadot’s “wild cousin.” It’s the trailblazer, the pioneer, a glimpse into the future of what Polkadot might become. It’s where we test, iterate, and perfect before things land on Polkadot. Its importance in the Polkadot ecosystem cannot be overstated - its where we catch things like the problems which OpenGov currently faces.

And here’s something I bet many of you agree with - Kusama deserves its own dedicated forum. Why? Because the dynamism of Kusama, its constant cutting edge experiments and its vibrant community need space to grow, discuss, and thrive.

And let’s face it, forums are a more organized way to foster detailed discussions, archive important information, and encourage community participation compared to Discord chats. On forums, no insightful comment gets lost in the flood of messages, and it’s easier for new members to catch up with past conversations. Just take a look at “Kusama Direction” it still just re-iterates the same topics over and over without conclusion.

So, let’s come together and make this happen! A Kusama forum isn’t just beneficial, it’s necessary for a robust and engaging community. Let’s do it!


I think the idea of a Kusama-focused forum is great, but I don’t think we’d be able to hand over any subdomains on kusama.network for it.

Not sure that there is that much demand currently that would justify its own forum. Why not just post the stuff in here? Keeping the network effects etc. It could be its own tag or category. However in the end we should also accept the truth that kusama and Polkadot are still closely connected and there is no need for an own forum.


Without having a forum, we won’t know - there is definitely a different culture in the network - and the potential for it to be expressed more potently and whether its obvious or not and the weight of the existing polkadot brand and associated culture would inevitably shape any conversations here, intentionally or not.

Opinion rather than truth surely?

We can start a new domain and see where we get to - decentralisation and all :slight_smile:

1 Like

My two cents is I believe that adding more forums is a bad idea.

To continue the reasoning, why not a separate forum just for technical discussions? A separate forum just for parachains? A separate forum just for governance meta-discussions?

We already have too much information spread out everywhere. Even though I’ve been working on Polkadot for 6 years, I barely know half of what is done and what exists, because information is impossible to discover. I don’t know what I don’t know, and since information is spread out I can’t even discover what I don’t know.

The fact there is a single forum for everything is a huge plus.
If you create a forum specifically for Kusama, I am absolutely sure that I will never read any of it. If you post Kusama-specific topics on this forum, I will read all of them even when it doesn’t concern me.

Decentralization just for the sake of decentralization is in my opinion no different than cargo culting.


This diversification of forums is already practical reality - with the fellowship and other on-chain collectives becoming the focal point of network coordination in Polkadot (and soon Kusama), the future will either be:

  • collective forums (therefore an ever expanding informational space) where no one can read everything
  • a single forum, that aggregrates all collectives and their discussions with some sort of tagging / membership credentials.

Per the legitimacy / adoption question of a Kusama focused forum. we can run a simple thought experiment… if Kusama became the primary path to adoption of Polkadot (by some generally agreed metrics), counter to prevailing wisdom, would you be happy to have the dominant forum be Kusama branded?

Further - if we consider the first point - that collectives are moving to becoming the primary organising entities of the networks (even the treasuries of KSM and DOT are effectively collectives), and that these are not “Polkadot” but their own defined entities/brands/operations interfacing directly with the protocol - and we also have parachains in the governance mix, the likely end point for the one forum to rule them all is a ‘supra-protocol’ aggregator that unifies the functions and politics of relay, parachains and collectives?

A useful analogy is maybe Apple - and their approach to vertical integration of the stack with iOS and hardware products. We can see a general move in crypto towards blockchain ecosystems re-positioning as operating systems (NearOS / UrbitOS, EthOS) and all ending up at consumer hardware, whether that be beautifully designed nodes fit for regular folks - like a primal PC/playstation, or blockchain phones which are a perennial ideal see Solana Mobile.

In this example, the one forum to rule them all, would depend on context - e.g. are you after the forum related to Apple’s iOS development from the perspective of an app developer, or a forum focused on firmware - which maybe closer relates to Polkadot/Parachains role in the emerging operating system?

To summarise - the issue is one of context. Currently “Polkadot” as a single forum is a broad church that is attempting to be all things to all people - and therefore will have scaling limitations, hence other forums are an inevitability. If we differentitate Polkadot (all things - Apple?) to polkadot (the protocol - security and parachains, and collectives?) things can be organised better.

In this example I’m not sure Polkadot is Apple.

And I think that this is a problem.

Nothing you say is wrong. But, as you say, it will have scaling issues. It doesn’t have a scaling problem now. Once there is enough activity that the forum becomes illegible, migrating to separate ones is very straight-forward.

My point is that splitting this forum into multiple ones attempts at solving a problem that doesn’t exist, and has major drawbacks. Only once the benefits of this split outweigh the drawbacks the splitting will be a good idea.


Would gladly post it here if there was a clear “Kusama” category here. Why isn’t there one?

However in the end we should also accept the truth that kusama and Polkadot are still closely connected and there is no need for an own forum.

Please let’s keep a healthy discussion here and lets not resort to blanket statements like this. Would love to hear a more longform response to you on why you hold this opinion!

I think we have already seen quite a bit of chatter in this forum to see that purely Kusama-based matters are a very very popular discussion topic.

1 Like

You mean like how there are separate forums for:
Astar - https://forum.astar.network/
Moonbeam - https://forum.moonbeam.foundation/
and many more?

There will always be a limit of how much you can know and concentrate on. This is the nature of our being and our capacity for knowledge. If you are working purely on Polkadot, maybe indeed there is no reason for you to follow its development on a day to day or even week-to-week level.

1 Like

We’re agreed.

So lets focus on the problem that does exist - per OP,

If Polkadot is explicitly downstream from Kusama (teams moving their chains KSM–>DOT make this point debatable, but I would suggest this is their mistep, not the networks), then the primary forum should be Kusama, not Polkadot.

Kusama already defines its own agency since treasury spends in Kusama are not replicated in Polkadot, therefore it is definitively its own ‘being’ and culture, not just a faster governing clone.

If we learn the most, first, in some specific network jurisdiction aka Kusama’s public - and those who learn those lessons best, are those who engage in governance, as proponents, voters and contributors, in a way Parity/W3F do not for legal reasons, then despite the undoubted technical prowess of the incumbents, the truly native knowledge and experience of this new and emerging system is held outside the castle walls.

Hence this is an argument not about forum adoption, but on cultural credibilty - and following from this an understanding that making polkadot (the tech, not the brand) successful, is about understanding the emerging inter-dependency between relay, parachains and collectives, as a governance trinity.

Put more directly, Parity/W3F represent a form of top down ecosystem orthodoxy:

  • Relay: Polkadot
  • Parachain: System chains
  • Collective: Fellowship

There is no such trinity currently represented in Kusama as ground up organisation:

  • Relay: Kusama
  • Parachain: ???
  • Collective: ???

A bottom up structure represents the lived experience of contributing to this new organisational form, learning its basic tools and instruments and issues first hand and indeed risking your own capital and time, whilst dogfooding the tech inc use-cases that do not fit comfortably with the more marketing / venture funding oriented parachain ‘use-cases’ we have seen to date.

Together a top down and a bottom up approach offer the best of both worlds, and benefit each other - innovation is a process, and often experienced voices dictating “that won’t work” can work against the spirit required to just try stuff… which is where we find novel ideas. Indeed, in the broader governance trinity, we are all novices…

So lets return to the original question - should Kusama’s emerging operating system, offer a space for its grass-roots public to conduct energetic, weird and quite possibly naive discourse?

Worth trying for the forum adoption purpose, I can help you with creating a Kusama category here in Polkadot Forum. Please vote if you agree/disagree to run this beta-category for 3 months for kusama and see if there is an adequate amount of demands :+1:

  • Aye
  • Nay

0 voters

1 Like

I am here to voted for new Kusama forum/category

1 Like

I believe the vote initiated by @rhee is not for a new Kusama Forum but rather for a new Kusama category here in the Polkadot Forum.

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.


I am in strong agreement with @tomaka on this one.

There does not seem to me to be a significant advantage to creating a new forum, or even a new section in my opinion.

It feels like all posts on this forum get adequate visibility, and that tags have already been sufficient to categorize posts for certain sub-communities. The clear disadvantage of creating a new forum is fragmentation of a community that is more powerful when brought together.

Finally, speaking on Kusama as a community, I am certainly in agreement that Kusama has a different culture, and that is great! However, it is important that Kusama, and the Kusama community, remembers what the ultimate purpose of the network is: a canary network.

Kusama should grow and explore areas that Polkadot will not, but it should remained centered with the purpose and needs of Polkadot. The illustration above is trying to show that Kusama must pretty much always be a superset of the Polkadot network. Thus, it should always prioritize:

  • Being a relay chain and security hub for parachains (meaning forgoing things like smart contracts on Kusama directly or other things which would eat blockspace)
  • Testing / Scaling of Polkadot’s core mechanics:
    • Parachains Protocol
    • Consensus and Finalization
    • Staking
    • Governance
    • Parachain Scheduling
    • etc…

I do worry at times, that the Kusama community is a bit too ambitious with some of their goals, and wanting to push too far away from the core Polkadot Network. I think that a separate forum may only push that further.


@shawntabrizi you outline the core elements of ‘Kusama’ in your view, but are these elements really the boundaries of the network? Surely Kusama is also the functions of the appended parachains? And if so, its culture and features and culture are far more complex and interdependent than the elements you list.

Were DOT to be the token that operates both Kusama and Polkadot - and therefore the only difference between the networks were the speed of governance / other parameters this would be true.

But since Kusama has its own token and distribution and importantly spending decisions (aka what it chooses to build and become), it is evolving into something different irrespective of what people might want or like and this should be seen as a good thing.

With respect, its this sort of comment that makes people not want to engage in debate here.

I would love to see that if that really happens. It indicate that the powerof chaos or the bottom to top market power is much more stronger then all people thought. this is what polka eco really needed.

1 Like

I wanted to chime in as someone who learned about Polkadot about a year ago, and who only recently learned about the Polkadot forum.

My newcomer view of the ecosystem is that Kusama is the “pre-production” environment. This is not to say one is less or one is more; just different expectations. Kusama allows more “risk” taking, where as Polkadot needs to be more “stable”. This is just based on my belief as a developer, that one would want to write and test code locally, and then deploy to a shared environment similar to production, before actually releasing something to production.

Blockchains do not cleanly map into this model. However, I think the spirit here is the same, with the end goal being a synergistic relationship.

For this reason I believe that having a dedicated Kusama forum is a bad idea; it would lead to more siloed information.

Building upon the mention of Apple, I would offer as an example the Pixar Studios campus. Rather than have separate buildings, Steve Jobs insisted on having a shared space for serendipitous collaboration.

" …He wanted there to be mixing. He knew that the human friction makes the sparks, and that when you’re talking about a creative endeavor that requires people from different cultures to come together, you have to force them to mix; that our natural tendency is to stay isolated, to talk to people who are just like us, who speak our private languages, who understand our problems. But that’s a big mistake."

‘How Creativity Works’: It’s All In Your Imagination

For me, having posts on the forum tagged as Kusama, would be helpful. Especially being new the ecosystem. In the back of my head I often wonder, how is this being implemented on Kusama? I would prefer to have the info mixed together rather than having to restart my train of thought on another site.


This is a great example - Pixar’s braintrust has been a key reference for me - inside and outside this ecosystem and has informed our approach to developing tools - it also has huge relevance as we move toward a world of influential on-chain collectives.

This short video is worth a watch, especially with regard to how power structures, real and perceived change discussion.

The major issue with the Polkadot forum, which then pervades everything else is one of tone inherited from the conservative design principles - it is formal, it is conservative, it is boring.

This is no one’s fault, but it is not an environment that can cultivate the sort of creative alchemy so desperately needed.

This is why we need a Kusama forum, one full of energy, dumb ideas, weirdness and play. This was how the ecosystem started, the right energy was there, but it wasn’t cultivated, it wasn’t nurtured and it didn’t get the support it needed.

Kusama is not just a canary network, it will define what Polkadot will become, if it is to become anything and in that regard, it is far more important than Polkadot, despite the relative market caps skewing perceptions.

If Kusama fails to produce chaos, Polkadot certainly won’t - the lineup to Polkadot Decoded looks like an attempt to onboard people in their sleep.

Asking permission never got anyone anywhere interesting - meekly accepting a kusama tag feels belittling imo.


We do have to face the reality that this is a distributed community, not a startup - thus starting with at least one good step in the right direction might be just what we need right now.

Also, I think what was mentioned was a Kusama CATEGORY and not just a tag. So it would appear here:

1 Like

Follow on question per network effects - is there a good reason why the Polkadot forum has no Substrate (DOT/KSM) address login?

It’s an open source forum based on discourse and it seems strange we don’t have it - and indeed the steps that follow - NFT gated areas/permissions etc.

Everyone seems to focus on token gating established social network systems Is it possible to integrate Polkadot with NFT Verification for DIscord roles? rather than on our own public infrastructure.

If we assume most people are here, or attend here it would make sense to expand out the functionality and purpose where we all are.

If we added login the Polkadot forum might end up being the most successful app in the ecosystem and the place all other elements emerge from.

This would be a simple proposal and project we can get going and might address issues of tone, allow more nuance whilst also concentrating attention.

1 Like