How to buy Kusama coin Online
This beginner’s guide explains the unique role Kusama plays on the blockchain. Learn about its own cryptocurrency, known as the KSM coin, and whether it represents good value.
Compare where to buy Kusama, and open an account
Below is a list of the best cryptocurrency trading platforms. If you know all you need to about Kusama already, then head straight to one of those, and you can be safe in the knowledge that they’ve been reviewed and approved by our team of experts. Otherwise, scroll down to learn more about Kusama first.
What is Kusama?
Kusama is the little brother to Polkadot, and is a platform for developers to test applications before launching them on the main network. It’s a place for experimentation and the canary in the coal mine for any problems that might pop up on the Polkadot system. The KSM token fuels Kusama, where developers need it to build apps, and it can be held to earn rewards and vote on governance.
While Kusama has looser regulations and tends to offer developers more freedom than Polkadot, it’s important to remember the two are closely linked. Kusama is created by the same team – led by Dr. Gavin Wood, who also co-founded Ethereum – and the two work in a very similar way.
How does Kusama work?
Kusama works by creating a series of smaller blockchains that can process transactions simultaneously. This breaks down the work required and removes the bottleneck of only being able to process one at a time.
The KSM token is used as an incentive for people to act as validators to confirm these transactions are correct, so they can be added to the main Kusama blockchain. Anyone who stakes their KSM coins to help do this is paid a reward.
The dynamic between Kusama and Polkadot is like that of Litecoin and Bitcoin. They operate in a very similar way but the differences tend to be Kusama taking away restrictions to allow for experimentation. On Kusama it takes less time for proposals to be voted through and you don’t need to stake as many KSM tokens to earn rewards.
How to buy KSM online – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find an exchange
Kusama is available on most of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges. As it’s a smaller, less popular coin, it can be difficult to track down if you stray too far from the top of the class. Here are two platforms with the widest array of coins:
- Binance: With Binance you can trade more than 100 cryptocurrencies. Binance has more trading volume than any other exchange and so is a great place for most crypto trading. Sign up for Binance >
- Bittrex: Bittrex is another popular exchange that offers hundreds of cryptocurrencies. It has an intuitive interfact that’s ideal for beginners. Join Bittrex now >
Step 2. Sign up and fund your account
Most exchanges let you fund your account with fiat currency (like GBP, USD, or EUR), but you need to sign up for an account first. The sign up process is usually quite simple, just make sure you have a copy of your photo ID on hand to verify your identity.
Step 3. Purchase
Kusama goes by the ticker symbol KSM. Search for that through your chosen platform, and you’ll be presented with a list of pairs – like ETH/KSM or DOT/KSM. Because Kusama is a less popular coin, to get some you will most likely have to exchange your fiat currency for another cryptocurrency like Ethereum or Polkadot first. Once you’ve done that, choose the right pair to choose an amount you want to buy and execute the trade.
Step 4. (Optional) Get a suitable wallet
You might want to think about getting a wallet to store your coins. You can leave them in your exchange account, but wallets offer extra security and control over what you own. Wallets come in a few different forms, the most common ones are mobile, desktop, and offline wallets. Here are some of the top ones to try:
- Coolwallet: CoolWallet is a hardware wallet with mobile functionality. It offers the security of hardware while being accessible on the go with bluetooth. Get CoolWallet now >
- Guarda Wallet: Guarda Wallet is an online wallet with mobile, desktop, and tablet functionality. It also includes an integrated exchange where you can trade the top cryptocurrencies as well. Sign up with Guarda Wallet >
How to trade Kusama – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find a broker
To trade Kusama you need a broker with low trading fees. No restrictions on trading is also important, but make sure to pick a broker with low fees. That way you can make lots of trades without giving up too much money every time you trade.
Step 2. Deposit money
Brokers let you fund your account with fiat currency. Some other fees it’s worth keeping an eye on are how much the broker charges for deposits and withdrawals.
Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade
Two of the most common ways to trade cryptocurrency are using contracts for difference and spread betting. Trading CFDs is a popular way of speculating on the price of an asset without needing to own it outright. You can use CFDs to trade stocks as well as cryptocurrency with most brokers.
Step 4. Start trading
If you’re new to trading it can be a good idea to start with a demo account. A lot of brokers offer these, where you can trade with pretend money and get to grips with the market without risking your own.
When it comes to trading KSM, you’re speculating on its performance by taking a long (buy) or short (sell) position. You can learn more about how to short sell assets in our guide to short selling.
There are more advanced strategies for experienced traders. One of those is trading with leverage, a way of making big trades by only putting up a small percentage of the overall value. This means you borrow the rest from your broker, so while it opens up big wins, you can lose big as well if the market moves the wrong way.
If you aren’t ready to buy yet, don’t worry. It’s always a good idea to take a bit of time to think about investing in cryptocurrency. Here’s a reminder of some of the pros and cons of Kusama, then three more questions to help you decide whether to buy.
- Can earn rewards for involvement in the platform
- It’s an alternative way of investing in Polkadot’s growth
- Kusama could have value as a platform in its own right
- Kusama and Polkadot are backed by big names in the crypto world
- It’s very tightly linked to Polkadot’s performance, so any issue there could cause problems
- Kusama is deliberately lightly regulated
Below are three questions for you to think about when deciding if you should invest in Kusama.
1. Is it a good time to buy Kusama?
The answer depends on what your goals are. If you want to get involved in Kusama, staking coins to earn rewards and voting on its future, it’s usually going to be a good time to buy.
If you’re looking at it as an investment, or for short term trading potential, there’s a bit more to think about. You need to decide if Kusama is good value in its own right and whether the current KSM price represents an opportunity. You can use the market analysis below to help you:
2. What problem does Kusama solve, and what are the coin’s investment prospects?
Kusama is a testing ground for developers who want to launch on the main Polkadot network. It’s a way of making sure any problems are caught in a safer environment and its looser rules gives a developer more scope to experiment.
As an investment, Kusama would benefit from the growth and increased awareness of the Polkadot platform. While it is going to be affected by its bigger brother’s fortunes, it is also a platform in its own right and some developers might choose to stay. Already platforms like 0x have built on both Polkadot and Kusama.
For both platforms, successfully beating out the competition is the way to long term growth and having a proving ground could help them both by ensuring only the best projects actually launch on Polkadot itself. You can follow the latest news on Kusama below:
3. Do you want to hold Kusama for the long term?
If you want to use KSM to get involved in the Kusama platform, you’ll want to buy and hold for the long term. If you think Kusama (and Polkadot) is set up well for long term growth, it’ll also be a good idea to hold. At other times the price might lend itself to short term trading opportunities.
Considerations for a long term investment strategy
Long term investors want to look for signs of more developers building on Kusama. If you believe it’s set up well for the long term, either in isolation or together with Polkadot, you should go straight ahead and buy some KSM coins on an exchange. You can also think about getting a wallet to store your new coins.
Considerations for a short term trading strategy
Short term traders want to find the best broker with low fees. To pull off a short term trading strategy you’re going to need to perform a lot of trades and you don’t want to lose too much money in fees. You should also familiarise yourself with trading indicators to try to predict price moves.