The DeFi hub of Kusama Network. A canary network of Acala.

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1. What is Karura?

Karura aims to be the first project to lease a parachain through a crowdloan on the Kusama network, and it is designed to function as a hub for decentralized finance on the blockchain, similar to Acala's role on Polkadot. 

The Kusama network has a near-identical codebase to Polkadot, and Karura also bears many similarities with Acala. Both platforms are fast-paced, efficient, inexpensive to use and sufficiently secure for all kinds of financial applications.

2. What Does Karura Offer?

Karura’s core Liquid Staking product allows users to lock up KSM tokens in exchange for L-KSM (Liquid KSM) as collateral and interest. This is similar to how DOT can be staked for LDOT on Acala.

L-KSM is a fungible token and can be traded on exchanges, used in payments and can even be utilized in DeFi applications. As a derivative of KSM, the token can also extract residual value from KSM without affecting the network's security. It also brings greater liquidity to the platform and allows for the many varied use-cases of Proof-of-Stake platforms.

Acala’s aUSD multi-collateral stablecoin can also be borrowed or lent using a collateralized debt position (CDP), similar to how DAI functions. Its various risk parameters like collateral ratio, debt level and interest rates are managed at the protocol level, and CDPs can be opened using various tokens, including DOT, ACA, PolkaBTC and KSM. Karura also plans to introduce a similar kUSD stablecoin on its network.

3. Should you use Karura or Acala?

Acala and Karura will operate in parallel, offering DeFi services to both the Polkadot and Kusama communities. However, once the two blockchains are made interoperable, Acala and Karura will also be interoperable. As a platform, Karura is most beneficial to smaller developers trying to build scalable applications that don't have exorbitant transaction fees and can communicate data and value across decentralized chains.

Karura will also offer an AMM-based (automated market maker) decentralized exchange protocol with dual-token liquidity pools and instant swaps. The platform's future will depend on the open-source community of builders on the network, creating new application use-cases on both the Karura and Acala platforms. Karura is built to serve the DeFi demand of KSM holders, and Acala is built to serve the DeFi demand of Polkadot’s community.

4. How Does Karura Help DeFi?

As Acala's more risky sister network, technology updates will always hit Karura before platforms on Polkadot. This ensures that Karura users are always interacting with the latest DeFi technology while keeping products operating safely and predictably on Polkadot and Acala. Some have dubbed Kusama a “Cypherpunk Heaven,” enabling its vibrant developer community to create world-class tools and financial services platforms with all the features we've come to expect from them.

Karura's multi-collateral stablecoin kUSD is also available for borrowing and lending, and with its in-built decentralized exchange, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are also available through bridges. Like Polkadot, Kusama is built on Substrate, allowing developers to create unique economic models for individual parachains.

Karura also offers high capacity and throughput, providing projects and users with scalable cross-chain liquidity. Through the native oracle price feed built into the platform's code, developers also have access to quality of service and Karura's flex-fee capability, allowing fees to be paid in any token.

KAR has a fixed supply, unlike most DeFi projects out there, and its value is backed by a certain number of reserved ACA. As Acala's “canary network,” Karura hopes to bring a suite of practical applications to the most bleeding-edge interoperable blockchain network in the world, allowing participants and developers to build, invest in and govern with real economic incentives.

The Karura DeFi Hub on Kusama offers:

  • Liquid KSM (L-KSM) Staking
  • Decentralized Exchange
  • Algorithmic Stablecoin kUSD
  • Early KSM Unbonding
  • Fixed KAR Token Supply

5. Kickstarting Blockchains

Kusama is an almost identical copy of Polkadot, but their differences lie in how they're used. While Kusama embodies lower stakes, cheaper costs and more updated software, Polkadot provides stability and security for a premium. While Karura and Acala offer a similar set of services to their respective networks, people will also use them in vastly different ways.

Karura isn't just a network to test out upgrades and patch bugs before deploying them to the mainnet. The ecosystem was made to encourage more developers to create applications for its network of interoperable blockchains. By offering a cheaper alternative platform to lease parachains with an active developer community and the option to crowdloan funds, Kusama and Karura are making a statement about blockchain development to the world.

6. Acala & Karura Partnership 

Acala & Karura have partnered with many different projects to help Acala & Karura bring DeFi closer to Polkadot Network, also they are backed by many big ventures and investors, especially Web3 Foundation. This can be a key point that helps them win the Parachain Slot Auction

7. Core Team Of Acala & Karura

The Acala Network core team is made up of many popular and potential people in the blockchain industry:

Ruitao Su - Acala Co-Founder & CEO

Bette Chen - Acala Co-Founder & COO

Bryan Chen - Acala Co-Founder & CTO

Fuyao Jiang - Acala Co-Founder & Polkawallet Founder

About Karura

Founded by the Acala Foundation, Karura is a scalable, EVM-compatible network optimized for DeFi. The platform offers a suite of financial applications including: a trustless staking derivative (liquid KSM), a multi-collateralized stablecoin backed by cross-chain assets (kUSD), and an AMM DEX – all with micro gas fees that can be paid in any token.

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