July 23, 2024


The KILT Protocol has successfully transitioned from the Kusama canary network to Polkadot’s Relay Chain. In doing so, it has become the first decentralized project to shift completely from Polkadot’s development environment to its more stable, production-ready blockchain.

It’s an important feat that showcases the viability of Polkadot’s intended development model, which allows projects to build and test new features in a public test environment first before deploying them on a stable blockchain infrastructure once they’ve been battle tested.

Kusama is a public, pre-production environment for the Polkadot blockchain that’s intended for developers to test new parachains and applications before they launch on the main network. In this way, Kusama can be thought of as a kind of developer sandbox that enables them to test new projects and features in a way that’s publicly accessible with real cryptocurrency tokens.

The Polkadot network itself often tests new upgrades and features on Kusama before their official launch on its main Relay Chain. One of the main advantages of Kusama is it provides developers with greater flexibility while designing their projects and applications, with looser rules such as less stringent governance parameters. Aside from this, Kusama is essentially the same as Polkadot itself, with a main network called the Relay Chain, where transactions are finalized, and user-generated networks that host individual applications, called parachains.

KILT Protocol, which has created an identity protocol for issuing self-sovereign, verifiable credentials and decentralized identifiers (DIDs) on the blockchain, kicked off its project on the Kusama network last year after successfully winning the sixth parachain auction. The project has enjoyed rapid uptake with multiple large enterprises beginning to implement core business use cases on the KILT protocol. Kusama proved to be an excellent stomping ground for KILT in the early days, thanks to its fast iteration cycles that enabled it to grow rapidly and add new functionality. That said, Kusama is still a test environment – one that’s subject to multiple upgrades and is constantly adding new features – meaning it’s not the most suitable foundation for business critical applications.

As such, the project’s community decided just a few weeks ago that it was ready to shift to a more stable network with greater stability and security than is possible with Kusama. Having secured Polkadot’s 24th parachain slot in August, KILT quickly put its planned migration into motion, and was able to carry it out in full in just over a month.

The rapid migration from Kusama to Polkadot was enabled by a technology stack that is designed to handle such operations. Both Polkadot and Kusama are based on the cross-chain interoperability standard XCM, which makes it possible for applications to easily run on both networks. Meanwhile, Polkadot’s innovative solo-to-parachain pallet allowed the KILT parachain to migrate from one Relay Chain to another with its full transaction history intact, without impacting any of the data or services it supports.

KILT said its successful migration is a fantastic advertisement that proves the viability of Polkadot’s unique canary network model.

“It’s always exciting to do things nobody has done before. With this step, KILT becomes a business-ready decentralized network,” said KILT Protocol founder Ingo Rube. “Polkadot technology made it possible to transfer all achievements from the experimental phase to the production phase. Try that on any other technology base!”

Not every product will follow in KILT’s path as many will continue to operate on two networks, using Kusama as a testing ground for new features and functionality, where they can see how they perform under real network conditions. Then, once any problems are ironed out, those new capabilities can be introduced on the more reliable and secure Polkadot Relay Chain, mitigating any risks.


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