After over a month of fierce competition, surprises and success stories, the second batch of the Kusama parachain auctions is coming to an end. For Kintsugi, these auctions turned into an emotional rollercoaster… with a happy end!
Kintsugi has officially won the 11th Kusama Parachain Slot! The community has voted for trustless Bitcoin to come to the Kusama DeFi ecosystem.
We want to thank everyone who offered their trust and support along the way! Our community, early supporters, testers, … Thank you for being part of this journey!
At this point, we (Dom & Alexei) want to extend a huge thank you to the Interlay team. Everyone has been working non-stop for the past few months to make this work, everyone doing their best and working at the limit. This victory is yours.
Now that Kintsugi won a parachain slot, it will automatically be onboarded as a parachain on Kusama.
For those not familiar with the concept of parachains and auctions — read on here: https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/learn-parachains
From there on, a few steps need to be taken before Kintsugi becomes fully operational.
To make this process as transparent as possible, we have created a detailed Live Kintsugi Launch Roadmap.
You can also check out our blog post for a summary:
Kintsugi2Kusma: Looking Back
Chapter 1: A Slow Start
Kintsugi was announced in late August — right before the second batch of auctions started. For the past 2 years Interlay has been focusing solely on building the best possible BTC bridge — and we hence had a lot of community building and education to catch up on! And we learned our lesson — we envision Interlay and Kintsugi as community owned projects and will from now on ensure the community is involved at every step.
Chapter 2: The Rise of the KINT Samuari
Despite a slow start of merely 13,800 KSM on 15th September (while other teams were already maxing out) the Interlay and Kintsugi community did not give up. Instead, supporters with a little help from the Interlay team rallied and launched the #Kintsugi2Kusama campaign across Discord, Telegram, Twitter, WeChat and all other social media channels you can think of.
The goal: educate the Kusama on why bringing trustless Bitcoin is important for accelerating ecosystem growth.
The result: a cambrian explosion of community blog posts, infographics, art, posters, memes, etc. etc. etc.
“We’ve been working on this since 2018, it all started as a simple paper. Seeing this level of support is more rewarding than anything else — and motivates us to outperform all expectations and prove our worth to our community. We’re building the best bridge out there — and won’t stop until we’ve changed the centralized status quo ” — Alexei, Interlay Co-Founder & CEO
And then it started.
15 September — 13,800 KSM
17 September — 39,000 KSM
23 September — nearly 50,000 KSM
We were catching up, nearly back in the game. Yet, our competitors were not sleeping either. Both Parallel Heiko and Altair were rallying support. Despite all the support, we were still lagging behind — and the clock was ticking.
Chapter 3: Hopes Low, Hopes High.
We confess, our hopes were dwindling — winning slot 9 was nearly out of reach, slot 10 looking tougher and tougher by the hour.
And then — a miracle. We woke up on Friday 24th September to messages from our community reporting a bug in Polkadot.js — it was showing we had 109,000 KSM. All other websites — Subvis.io, parachains.info, Dotmarketcap, even the Kintsugi crowdloan page — were showing 49,000 KSM.
You can imagine the excitement — but also the caution. It just seemed too good to be true. Quickly we started to investigate the issue — manually tracing Kusama crowdloan contributions to determine the correct amount of KSM locked in Kintsugi.
It was not a bug in Polkadot.js but in indexing software used by all other websites.
We had — within a few hours — made a jump of 54,000 KSM, overtaking Parallel Heiko. It was exhilarating.
We closed the day with 120,000 KSM — leading 10,000 KSM ahead of Parallel Heiko, and closing in on Altair’s 133,000 KSM. On September 25th we caught up to Altair, missing merely 200 KSM to take the lead.
“We’ve been working on making sure the bridge is ready for months. Sprint after sprint, after sprint. The entire team worked overtime without breaks. We were all slowly getting tired… but when we saw all the new people joining our channels, asking questions, offering to help and quickly becoming our public voice — it gave the rush. The entire team was committed to go live. We had been working hard for this and with the support of the community we knew it could be done.” — Dom, Interlay Co-Founder & CTO
Yet, it should not be. Heiko rallied support, and within a few hours overtook both us and Altair, taking a lead of over 40,000 KSM.
But neither we, nor our community gave up. It was still possible — there were 2 slots left.
On September 27th we overtook Altair.
We were 20,000 KSM ahead of Altair — 23,000 KSM behind Parallel Heiko. We were in a tricky situation — we are big fans and good friends with Altair… but if they won slot 9 it was game over for us.
Why? Our cap was set at 200,000 KSM (already much higher than the KSM winning slots 3, 4 and 5 in the last batch). Altair’s was 200,000 KSM as well. Parallel Heiko had a 400,000 KSM cap. No matter how hard we tried — we technically could not win against Heiko.
Altair was in the lead during the first 2 days of slot 9, giving them a 35% chance of winning. 35% decide if we get a chance to fight for slot 10, or lose due to technicalities.
Chapter 4: The Wait, the Hope, and Game Over.
So we waited and fought an inner battle: do we wish that Altair wins, or loses? A tough position for the team.
But we were not the only ones who were torn. Altair was in a tough position: do they try to rally final support and leave us standing in the rain… or do they hope that they win slot 9?
At that time, Kintsugi was leading 24,000 KSM ahead of Altair — it all seemed possible for us and our community.
On September 29th 10:30am UTC it was Game Over.
The randomness of the Kusama candle auction had determined that Altair had won slot 9. Kintsugi — purely due to a technical parameter — had lost all chances to win slot 10: Parallel Heiko only had to reach 200,001 KSM and would be impossible to overtake with Kintsugi’s 200,000 cap.
It was a good run — but it was over… or was it?
Chapter 5: Kintsugi Returns.
It’s not 100% clear how it started — but in the depths of the Kusama community an idea was born: Why not open another slot?
There was still enough time for another auction before the crowdloans ended, and 3 projects had collected more support than anyone had expected, locking — at that time — 516,000 KSM (~ $172,860,000). Quickly, the idea formed and turned into a public discussion… with the majority leaning towards slot 11.
But the clock was ticking: if another slot was to be opened, it had to happen quickly, while the crowdloans were still open. Council — in agreement that slot 11 would benefit Kusama — was in debate about how to best proceed.
Being unquestionably biased, Interlay stayed out of the debate — we had accepted that our fate was in the hands of the community, and would accept whatever outcome.
Then, a motion was put forward on-chain. “If Council approves, slot 11 will be opened on 6th October”.
We all stared at our screens as votes started coming in. The motion needed 13 votes in favour to pass…
On 1 October the motion received the necessary 13 Ayes and passed.
Slot 11 had been decided. Kintsugi would get another chance.
We could not believe it — but it looked like we could finally go live. We just had to win this last auction. The community felt the same — and rallied. The 200,000 KSM crowdloan cap — which we believed was way more than enough for this round of auctions — was maxed out within hours.
Chapter 6: The Grande Finale.
We’re here now.
Kintsugi has won parachain slot 11 and is due to become a parachain on Kusama.
This is where the Kintsugi2Kusama story ends… and another one begins: the story how we, all together, revolutionize how people use Bitcoin, changing the centralized status quo.
We’re coders, researchers, makers. Early Bitcoiners and DeFi natives. A community forming across the globe. We’re here to realize a vision: any asset on any chain, simple and trustless.
Join us, if you dare.
We envision a future where blockchains seamlessly connect and interact: anyone can use any digital asset on any blockchain, trustless and without limitations. We work with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos and others to expand interoperability, capital efficiency and openness.
Our flagship product is interBTC — Bitcoin on any blockchain. A 1:1 Bitcoin-backed asset, fully collateralized, interoperable, and censorship-resistant, realizing the true free nature of BTC and decentralized finance. Kintsugi is our canary network on Kusama — the innovation hub of the Interlay network.