The Head of Ecosystem Development for Web3 Foundation , Dieter Fishbein, talking about the future of Kusama
Dieter Fishbein, the Head of Ecosystem Development for Web3 Foundation. Dieter started as a cryptography researcher at the University of Waterloo. He has 4–5 years working experience in finance focused on investing, primarily in emerging market equities and hedge funds. He worked at a small blockchain-focused VC fund and then joined the Polkadot team about a year ago.
Cathy Zhu, CEO of BW.com global, launched AMA live broadcast in BW English community at 19:00 on May 15. She talked to Dieter Fishbein, Head of Ecosystem Development for Web3 Foundation., and analyzed Polkadot’s brother network Kusama. In the live broadcast, Dieter Fishbein shared the similarities and differences between Kusama and Polkdot. For example, Kusama makes fast lean and exploratory start-ups easier to use the latest technology of Polkdot ecology, Kusama, with high throughput and other beneficial information. Let’s take a look at the content of this AMA.
The following is the dialogue record, edited by BW editor
Cathy: Hi BW family members and community friends, I’m Cathy Zhu, BW global CEO. It’s my great pleasure to invite Dieter to BW community for an online AMA this evening. Welcome, Dieter
Dieter: Hello BW community! Nice to meet you all today. It’s great to see so many excited fans of Kusama
Cathy: Dieter, can you give us a brief introduction about you please?
Dieter：Hi BW and Cathy! Nice to be here I am Dieter Fishbein, the Head of Ecosystem Development for Web3 Foundation. I got my start in the space as a cryptography researcher at the University of Waterloo where I worked on building post-quantum encryption systems for use in embedded systems. This is where I first learned about Bitcoin and started following the space. I spent the next 4–5 years working in finance focused on investing, primarily in emerging market equities and hedge funds. In 2017 I decided to take the plunge and join the space full time. I worked at a small blockchain-focused VC fund and then joined the Polkadot team about a year ago. My role at Polkadot is mainly focused on ensuring there is a vibrant community of projects building on our technology.
Cathy： Great. It is our great pleasure to have you here with us today to share about Kusama, Polkadot’s Cousin Network.The first question: Kusama has been out for a while, but some of our BW community members, still know little about it. So I would like to ask Dieter to introduce it first.
Dieter：Kusama was released as an early version of the same code to be used in Polkadot, which means they share the same underlying architecture: a multichain, heterogeneously-sharded design based on nominated proof of stake (NPOS). They also share key innovations like on-chain governance, hot-swappable runtimes for forkless, on-chain upgrades, and cross-chain message passing for interoperability. The key difference is that compared to Polkadot, Kusama will have a lower barrier to entry for developer teams that wish to deploy as a parachain, as the network will likely have a lower bonding requirement than Polkadot.
It is essentially a less robust, less secure version of Polkadot mainnet.
Cathy： Thank you very much for the introduction. Why do you call Kusama is the cousin network of Polkadot? What is the difference between Kusama and Polkdot?
Dieter：That’s a great question!You can think of Kusama as almost a mirror reflection of Polkadot, but with a slightly different focus and set of use cases.
Kusama is built more for fast, lean, scrappy startups who want to build using the latest tech in the Polkadot ecosystem, but in a more easier manner (hence the lean toward startups).
Kusama will also have high throughput and is ideal for use cases where bank-like security is not necessary. For example, some use cases emerging for Kusama parachains are Gaming, DeFi, DAOs, Marketplaces, and Oracles.
These are some examples of the many projects that will be built exclusively on Kusama.
However, the second main use case of Kusama is for teams who want to fine-tune their technology infrastructure before moving to a deployment on Polkadot.
Cathy：Thanks you so much. Now we know why Kusama is Polkdot Cousin. Next question: What technology did Kusama break through? What is its core? Did you encounter any difficulties during the breakthrough?
Dieter：As mentioned previously, Kusama and Polkadot share the same underlying architecture: a multichain, heterogeneously-sharded design based on nominated proof of stake (NPOS).The main innovations in technology are shared security (each parachain that connects with Kusama piggy-backs off the security supplied by validators on the Kusama relay chain), robust on-chain governance as well as easy upgradeability for parachains.This technology is the product of several years of development work by dozens of engineers and researchers. We ran into many problems along the way but this is expected given the level of sophistication of the technology we are building.
Host：Can you introduce the Web3 Foundation and your relationship with Parity Technologies?
Guest： Yes of course — this is an often misunderstood area so happy to explain.Web3 Foundation (“W3F”) is a not for profit organization based in Zug, Switzerland with 45 employees. W3F focuses on cryptographic research, deploying grants to developer teams, and community development in the Web 3.0 ecosystem and is the steward of the Polkadot and Kusama projects.Parity Technologies is one of the development companies building a Polkadot implementation and is doing so in the Rust programming language. They have around 120 people, mostly developers, based in Berlin, Germany.Parity also built the Substrate framework to make it easier to build standalone blockchains or parachains. They have some of the best developers in the industry. Parity also built the Substrate framework to make it easier to build standalone blockchains or parachains. They have some of the best developers in the industry. https://www.parity.io/signer/ — link for Parity signer
Cathy：What kind of change will Polkadot bring to the blockchain community?
Dieter：So much change!Polkadot’s technology will finally enable Dapps and blockchains to break out of silos and start building toward a world of connected ecosystems.
To me, the way the blockchain world is operating now (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos) would be like the internet in Germany not being able to communicate with the internet in Japan Or Brazil and India.It just doesn’t make sense.
I am confident Polkadot, through its bridges and custom blockchains (called parachains), its on-chain open governance, and its vast scalability, this network can be the backbone of a connected blockchain world, leading to a world operating on Web 3.0.
Cathy：When will Polkadot announce its time to bring the project (Polkadot) online?
Dieter：This is a commonly asked question…short answer is likely within days but definitely very very soon.
We’re an organization that doesn’t believe in advertising our target dates as these change frequently. If we did advertise target dates, then there may be temptation to try to stick to these dates even if more time is needed for appropriate development work.We don’t want to sacrifice development quality to meet arbitrary targets.
Cathy：What is the plan for high-utility infrastructure for Substrate and Polkadot?
Dieter：Polkadot and Substrate are to provide a high utility, high scalability, and a great developer experience.Substrate is a complete game-changer in blockchain development, and we’ve already seen teams like Polymath’s Polymesh project and Nodle who are moving from other ecosystems to begin taking advantage of Substrate.Substrate makes it easy for developers to build custom blockchains with a modular and flexible framework built by some of the best blockchain developers in the world.
In terms of high utility, Polkadot’s scalability and sharding is what makes it unique. Polkadot will be built of multiple shards (parachains), which are custom blockchains built for a specific use case.
Instead of current ecosystems where you have 1 choice of blockchain runtime and underlying capabilities, now teams will be able to choose the best parachain to build on.
For example, a gaming Dapp built on a parachain optimized for gaming, or if a team finds there is an area of need in Polkadot’s ecosystem, they can built their own entire parachain to meet the needs of the market!
Cathy：Cool cool. we love to hear those input from true expert.Is there any update regarding the initial slot number for pararchain?
Dieter：Kusama will most likely begin with a single parachain, most likely a common good parachain that off-loads logic from the relay chain (such as parachain auctions).Additional utility parachains like a smart contract parachain and data storage parachain will be added later, and hopefully the community will be able to bid on parachain slots and attach their own parachains later this year.
Cathy: Kusama has almost the same codebase as Polkadot and will have parachain slots on its own. What are the plans for Kusama?
Dieter：That’s correct.Earlier in this I discussed the main use-cases for Kusama — as a platform for earlier stage teams and for teams that intended to have a Polkadot deployment but also wanted a pre-production deployment to test new features before deploying to Polkadot.We expect Kusama to fulfill this role and Web3 Foundation and Parity will remain committed to this network in perpetuity. Forever.However, since Kusama will have robust on-chain governance then it’s possible that token-holders could take the network in a completely different direction. We will have to wait and see!
Cathy: Excellent. How will Kusama interact with Polkadot in the future?
Dieter：The plan is to build a bridge to Kusama, similar to the bridges Polkadot will have to Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other networks.As a mentioned before, there will also be some teams who build and fine-tune their project on Kusama before deploying on Polkadot for various reasons.Reasons for moving to Polkadot from Kusama could be for the increased backing by Polkadot’s larger Validator set (for example, for some DeFi or banking parachains or Dapps), among other things.
Cathy: Have any teams already started building with Kusama?
Guest：Yes, it has already been an exciting year for Kusama!The team at Acala Network has announced that they’ll be launching a parachain on Kusama for a DeFi and stablecoin platform.Chainlink also announced they will build an Oracle parachain on Kusama.Chainlink’s move to Polkadot and Kusama is their first ecosystem outside of Ethereum.Moonbeam, a platform built by the PureStake team, is also planning on launching a Kusama parachain that will be able to run Ethereum DApps.There are several other projects building or planning to build on Kusama, and these will come to the public as soon as they are ready
Cathy:What is the team behind Kusama?
Dieter：Kusama is being built by the same teams behind Polkadot Network!The network was founded in 2019 by Gavin Wood, former co-founder and CTO of Ethereum.Kusama is a project of Web3 Foundation which works with best-in-class entities such as Parity Technologies to build Kusama and foster development of the services and applications that will run on it.
Cathy:When will parachains will be available after Polkadot officially launches?
Dieter：We do not know exactly when parachains will be available, due to development timelines shifting, but we expect parachains to follow soon after Polkadot launch.Since Kusama gets all of Polkadot’s new technology first, it is likely that we’ll see a parachain on Kusama before Polkadot.
Cathy:How can people stay updated on the latest with Polkadot and Kusama?
Dieter：Thanks for asking!One of the best ways is to sign up for email updates through our newsletter.For Polkadot and Kusama, you can follow us on our Twitter accounts.Also, you can follow us on Crowdcast for all of our online events.
newsletter — https://hubs.ly/H0p73z-0
Polkadot Twitter — https://twitter.com/polkadotnetwork
Kusama Twitter — https://twitter.com/kusamanetwork
Thanks so much for having me Cathy and BW!