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Kusama Unveils BEEFY Upgrade, Paves Way for Interoperability with Ethereum and Beyond

In a landmark development, Polkadot’s canary network Kusama has announced the activation of a new consensus protocol, BEEFY, that will enable seamless verification of the blockchain on Ethereum and other EVM-compatible networks.

The BEEFY protocol is a game-changer for Kusama, enabling the cryptographic state of the network and all its parachains to be efficiently verified on some of the world’s most-used blockchains. Its activation marks a critical step forward in bridging the gap between Kusama and the wider blockchain ecosystem, facilitating improved connectivity and interaction, a long-stated ambition for Polkadot.

A key feature of the BEEFY upgrade is the introduction of two innovative bridges: Snowbridge, a common good bridge that directly connects Kusama to Ethereum to enhance the flow of information and transactions, and Hyperbridge which provides secure interoperability with Ethereum’s fragmented Layer-2 (L2) networks and emerging new chains. The bridges are seen as pivotal to fostering a more interconnected and efficient blockchain environment for users.

“The BEEFY upgrade massively bolsters the value of interacting with Kusama and the Polkadot ecosystem,” said Seun Lanlege, Founder of blockchain research and development lab Polytope Labs. “More than ever, web3 users covet interoperable solutions and the ability to move from one ecosystem to another without encountering friction. I expect this upgrade to meet their expectations.”

Historically, the Polkadot ecosystem to which Kusama belongs has operated in relative isolation from the broader blockchain world, connecting only to its own network of disparate parachains. The BEEFY upgrade marks the fulfillment of a vision outlined in the original Polkadot whitepaper, published in 2016, which positioned it as a highly interoperable, multi-chain framework capable of securely communicating with other blockchains as effectively as it does with its own parachains.

BEEFY holds significant implications for the wider crypto community, as its integration into Kusama effectively opens up new “trade routes” by enabling crypto users to trade and conduct business with Polkadot parachains seamlessly. The development is a major advancement for Polkadot’s technology and a leap forward in the quest for a more interconnected blockchain world.

The activation of Kusama’s new consensus protocol is not the first example of connections being formed between the Polkadot ecosystem and the broader blockchain world. Several trustless bridges are already in operation linking Polkadot with a range of networks including Ethereum, Avalanche, Cardano, and Binance Smart Chain, simplifying the transfer of digital assets, data, and smart contract instructions between these networks.

Another trustless bridge supported by Web3 Foundation Grants is Interlay, which links Polkadot to the Bitcoin blockchain by leveraging the XCLAIM protocol and PolkaBTC backed 1:1 with Bitcoin.

About Kusama

Kusama is a Substrate-based blockchain network conceived as a risk-taking, fast-moving ‘canary in the coal mine’ for its cousin Polkadot. A living platform created for change agents to take back control, spark innovation and disrupt the status quo, Kusama’s interconnected network of specialized parachains breaks down the walls of the centralized web.