What Happened: During the recent ETHDenver conference, Buterin said he would “definitely support” launching a Kusama-like network for the Ethereum ecosystem, referring to a kind of test network with its coins holding real value and where features would be implemented before coming to Ethereum. He said “having something that is like between the testnet and the mainnet that has … some economic incentives definitely could be valuable.”
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Buterin also said he believes the Ethereum community should “be bolder with our testnets” and asked “where is the Ethereum proof-of-stake testnet that has a one-second slot time? Where is the Ethereum testnet that has a 140 million gas limit just so we see what happens?”
Kusama is a network much like Polkadot (CRYPTO: DOT) but it implements new features much earlier and faster. This makes it cutting edge but also much more prone to being broken by bugs or exploitable vulnerabilities. Much like Ethereum and Polkadot, Kusama has its own test networks with coins that don’t have any real value, but for Polkadot, Kusama acts as an additional test network for new features.
After all, some hackers may be more motivated to exploit vulnerabilities for potentially larger but illegal gains rather than for a much smaller but legal bounty payment. For this reason — and possibly others — Kusama acts as a much-needed buffer before the implementation of new features on the Polkadot blockchain, where the stakes are much higher.