Parachain Slot Auctions

Blockchains that break down walls.

Parachains are Kusama’s advanced, next-generation blockchains that bring several breakthroughs compared to legacy networks. Together they form the Kusama ecosystem, an interconnected network of specialized chains breaking down the walls of the centralized web.

Open possibilities for Web3 builders.

While other blockchain networks only allow developers to build dapps using smart contracts, Kusama gives them full control over the underlying blockchain itself. This flexibility gives parachain developers the maximum freedom to optimize for specific use cases — which means better and more secure dapps and services for all.

Legacy blockchains

A single, limiting design for the entire network. No ability to optimize for specific use cases, so compromises and tradeoffs must be made.


Parachains are specialized for a multitude of use cases, enabling more optimized services and thriving, multifaceted economies.

Legacy blockchains

Most blockchains are like walled gardens, cut off from each other and unable to communicate, prohibiting the free flow of data and commerce.


Parachains are a rich, interconnected ecosystem where data flows freely between chains, leading to innovative new interoperable services.

Legacy blockchains
Limited scalability

Transactions are processed one-by-one, leading to bottlenecks, network congestion and high fees when dapp usage spikes.


Parachains process transactions “in parallel”, spreading them across the entire multichain network for maximum scalability.

Legacy blockchains
Difficult to

Like all software, blockchains need periodic upgrades to stay relevant. Upgrading most blockchains is painstaking, making them slow to evolve and respond as new technology becomes available.

Seamless on-chain

Kusama makes upgrading a blockchain more like upgrading a conventional app, with the ability to make most updates seamlessly and automatically in the background.

Legacy blockchains
No financial agency

Legacy blockchains are dependent on centralized organizations to finance activities that benefit the network, and communities as a whole have no financial agency.

On-chain treasuries

Parachains can leverage on-chain treasuries, giving decentralized communities the financial agency once limited to corporations and governments.

Legacy blockchains
No clear decision

Most blockchains have no formal governance procedures. Individual stakeholders are often powerless to propose changes, with decisions made by opaque groups of insiders.

Built-in, customizable

Parachains can leverage Kusama’s built-in, transparent governance features or create their own to implement the system that’s best for their community.

Legacy blockchains
Difficult and costly
to secure

Securing blockchains requires a massive amount of resources, creating a significant barrier to entry for new chains and leading to competition for scarce resources between chains.


Parachains get robust security automatically when they connect to Kusama—no need to bootstrap their own network of miners or validators.

Legacy blockchains
Difficult and costly to
build and maintain

Building a conventional blockchain typically takes years of hard work and large teams of experts. Maintenance is costly and time consuming.

Streamlined development with Substrate

Parachains can use the Substrate blockchain framework to drastically simplify and speed up development and maintenance.

Legacy blockchains
High, unpredictable
transaction fees

Fees on blockchains are often unpredictable, fluctuating based on short-term network usage and congestion.

Low, transparent

Transaction fees are known in advance and fee structures can be customized by parachain teams. Users can pay fees in the parachain’s native token.

Legacy blockchains
Limited transaction

Blockchains and smart contracts are typically limited to a few basic transaction types, like sending funds or triggering a contract. Transactions between chains are limited and often mediated by centralized services.

Any type of

Kusama allows any type of data to be sent between dapps and parachains, creating an interoperable internet of blockchains and opening the door to a host of innovative new services.

Welcome to the paraverse.

From DeFi to identity and supply chain, gaming and NFTs, IoT, DAOs, and more, parachains can be built for any use case. They can also take on various forms depending on their intended function, including:

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Independent token economies
Parachains with their own tokens, fee structures, and economic ecosystems.
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Smart contract parachains
Platforms for hosting smart contract based dapps and services.
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Common good parachains
Designed for the benefit of the entire Kusama ecosystem, common good chains typically use the network’s native token, KSM.
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Parachain hubs
Parachains that provide a range of functionality to serve a broader community or use case, for example DeFi hubs and governance hubs.
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Bridge parachains
Bridges allow Kusama parachains to connect to external networks like Polkadot, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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Pay-as-you-go parachains for early stage networks and those that don’t need continuous connectivity to Kusama.

Parachains as autonomous agents

Parachains can act autonomously based on the will of their communities to participate in Kusama governance and allocate on-chain treasuries. This opens the door to new decentralized funding models, from project funding to decentralized sovereign wealth funds and even cross-chain mergers and acquisitions.


Parachains as digital nation states

With their own communities, rules, economies, governance, treasuries, and relationships with external chains, parachains are akin to decentralized digital nations. Kusama allows them to come together, communicate and share security guarantees for the betterment of the entire ecosystem.


Parachain Slot Auctions & Crowdloans

Parachains connect to Kusama by leasing a parachain slot via auction. Parachain slots can be leased for up to 1 year at a time with the option to renew, and grant the parachain continuous connection to the network for the duration of the lease.

How auctions work


To bid in an auction, parachain teams agree to lock up (or bond) a portion of Kusama’s native token, KSM, for the duration of the lease. While bonded for a lease, the KSM cannot be used for other activities like staking or transfers.

Auction cost

After the lease, the full amount of KSM is unlocked, meaning auctions do not require teams to “spend” KSM. The cost of running a parachain on Kusama is best characterized as the opportunity cost of not being able to use the bonded KSM for other activities.


Some parachain teams will fund their bid with the help of a crowdloan campaign, which allows them to accept contributions from KSM holders. Crowdloan contributors get their KSM back at the end of the lease, and parachain teams can choose to reward them in various ways, including with a distribution of the parachain’s native token.

Auction Duration

Auctions on Kusama have an open bidding period of approximately 1 week. At the end of the week, the precise moment of the auction’s close is determined retroactively. This prevents last-minute “auction sniping” and promotes more accurate price discovery. Parachains can onboard to Kusama immediately after the auction.

Learn more about how auctions and crowdloans work in this in-depth video explainer.

Dive deeper into auctions and crowdloans

This bird breaks down walls.
Parachain launch NFTs

Three limited edition NFTs were created to celebrate the launch of Kusama parachains. Representing three interpretations of the Kusama canary by Berlin street artists Awer, Vidam and Andreas Preis, the paintings were created on a section of the Berlin wall now used as an open canvas for free artistic expression. The collection was limited to 9,999 NFTs, which have already been claimed.

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