Kusama art boom: NFT, blockchain games, metaverse and crypto art…

9 min readNov 1, 2021


The Kusama ecosystem is brewing a boom of art and NFT.

NFT is the abbreviation of “Non-Fungible Token”, which refers to digital assets held on certain blockchains that are easy to exchange.

This year, NFT has become widely known. From tech celebrities, football stars to rappers, more people issue and collect NFTs. Some major companies have also begun to set their foot in NFT field. According to Coingecko data, the current market value of NFT has reached 18.7 billion, and it has become a force that cannot be ignored in the crypto world. Kusama, who takes “Expect Chaos” as his creed, certainly has no reason to miss this craze.

Polkadot/Kusama founder Gavin Wood said in an interview that “Kusama is strongly supporting the art world. Kusama has funded some art projects to try to make the art world have some understanding of the blockchain.”

In March of this year, the “Virtual Niche-Have you ever seen memes in the mirror?” exhibition funded by the Kusama Treasury was exhibited at the in UCCA Lab ( Ullens Center for Contemporary Art), Beijing. This is known as the world’s first crypto art exhibition.

“Virtual Niche” exhibition audience experience VR maze

In the Kusama ecosystem, we have seen a lot of interesting NFT practices, and may have the potential to set off a wave of innovation in the NFT field. In this article, we have summarized a part, hoping to help everyone notice this booming field and participate in it.

1. NFT protocol

The NFT protocol is crucial because it allows NFTs to be standardized, which makes it easier to create NFTs, and it also facilitates the circulation of NFTs between different DAPPs and blockchains.

Before understanding the NFT protocol of Kusama Ecosystem, we can review some of the more commonly used NFT protocols.

There are currently two popular Ethereum NFT protocols:

  • ERC-721 is the earliest Ethereum NFT standard, and each token requires a separate smart contract. The ERC 721 standard is adopted by CryptoKitties and Decentraland.
  • ERC-1155 is a “multi-token standard” that allows a smart contract to handle multiple types of tokens, which can include fungible tokens, non-fungible tokens, semi-fungible tokens, etc.

RMRK standard

RMRK is the first NFT standard on Kusama, and it can be used to mint and trade NFT on Kusama. Many of the familiar Kusama artworks are minted using the RMRK standard.

RMRK was created by Bruno Skvorc, who used to be the technical educator of Web3 and has always been an active NFT advocater in the Polkadot&Kusama ecosystem.

Compared with some other NFT protocols, the biggest feature of RMRK is that the NFT generated by it can also react to the interaction of the outside world after being minted, thereby continuously evolving.

RMRK 1.0 has been implemented and has the following functions:

  • The core is the interactive EMOTE function, which allows NFT to accept emoticons on the chain. The EMOTE function is a price discovery mechanism, which is a bit similar to the effect of “likes”, and it is also a mechanism for interacting with NFT.
  • The basic functions are SEND, MINT and CONSUME.
  • Transaction-related functions include LIST and BUY. The LIST function allows users to put NFTs on the chain for sale. NFT sales can be done without a certain UI or auction platform, and there is no middleman. With the BUY function, you can buy listed items and immediately transfer KSM to the seller.

RMRK 2.0 was launched in October, and the highlights include the following functions:

  • Nested NFT: Let the NFT have other NFTs, and after having it, the original NFT can get different rendering effects. For example, a game character NFT can have a variety of equipment and clothing NFTs. This feature can also pack a bunch of NFTs into a collection for sale.
  • Conditional rendering: Allow a specific NFT to show different visual effects according to specific conditions. NFT can react to some values ​​on the chain and change its appearance.
  • Multi-resource NFT: NFT can consist of multiple resources. For example, a game NFT can contain a piece of JS code to display in the browser, a high-definition art picture as the cover, and a PDF manual to explain how to play the game. Different resources will be displayed on different platforms.

Bruno described RMRK as “Art Lego.” In Bruno’s own words, RMRK is “the most advanced NFT system in the world that can run without even a smart contract. It has created a world beyond ERC721 and ERC1155, where you can do more than just collect some digital assets. Lying in your wallet and eating ashes waiting to die, or waiting for the next wave of hype cycle.”

NFT Pallet (Unique Network)

NFT Pallet is an NFT module in Substrate, developed by Unique Network. Its basic functions include creating NFT collections, minting tokens and managing their ownership, etc. In addition to NFT Pallet, the Unique chain also includes a smart contract module, and developers can implement some custom logic. Unique Network plans to become the NFT parachain of Kusama and Polkadot.

The NFT created in Unique has some unique characteristics.

1. A more flexible economic model

I think any gamer should be tortured when he/she first started playing blockchain games. Every time you perform an operation, you have to pay a gas fee and confirm a transaction, which not only costs money, but also ruins the game experience.

In contrast, Unique provides a variety of gas charging modes, which developers can choose by themselves.

For example, if you develop an NFT game, you can choose the charging mode as “user mode” and let users pay by themselves, just like most current NFT games.

You can also choose the “sponsorship model” to prepay for your users, seduce them to play your game, and wait for them to get started, and then guide users to pay, just like the various online and mobile games we play now.

2. “Re-fungible” model

We all know that the characteristics of NFT are unique and indivisible, but in reality, there is indeed a need for “co-owning a certain item”, such as joint ownership of a piece of art.

Unique provides a special collection mode: Re-fungible. Simply put, it divides the ownership of its own unique NFT, so that it becomes fungible again, and can be partially transferred to multiple owners.

2. NFT infrastructure


PolkadotAssetJS mainly contains a web application that can directly display the artworks and collections in the Kusama wallet. The application can display NFT balances and NFT transaction records.

In addition, it also contains an open-source Typescript library, allowing developers to display their NFT and balance.

Unique NFT trading market

Unique has established an NFT trading market where you can browse, sell, and buy NFTs.

Website: https://unqnft.io/#/market

Chiba Gallery

Chiba Gallery is an crypto-art gallery on Kusama, where you can browse NFT artworks. At present, I see no works on display in the gallery for the time being.

Chiba Gallery is mainly developed by the Bit.Country team and the Unique team.

3. NFT applications


Bit.Country is a Metaverse project based on Substrate and plans to bid for Kusama and Polkadot Parachain.

Bit.Country allows everyone to create their own meta-universe, which is another world in virtual space where users can buy land, build buildings, participate in activities, work and make money, etc.

You can build your own Bit Country virtual community and create a world for your community members. Your assets in Metaverse, such as land and clothing, are all NFTs, and you can also enjoy NFT artworks in virtual galleries. The Bit.Country testnet is not yet online. You can learn more about Bit.Country in this PolkaWorld interview.


Kanaria (https://kanaria.rmrk.app/) is an NFT game based on Kusama and developed using the RMRK standard, developed by the RMRK team. At the same time, it is also the first use case of RMRK, showing various unique functions.

Kanaria’s gameplay is to sell a fixed number of Kanaria bird eggs NFT, these eggs can hatch different Kanaria birds, and the unsold eggs will be burned within the specified time.

Users can send emoticons to these NFTs to show different appearances. Kanaria hosted an event, where the NFT that received the most Emote would be rewarded. During this period, the transaction volume increased significantly, and even the Kusama network was squeezed twice.

Kanaria Bird NFT can also be equipped with other NFTs. These NFT equipments may come from users’ behavior on other cooperation chains. For example, minting vksm to participate in Bifrost’s Crowdloan can obtain Kanaria’s rare equipment.


SubstraPunk is a Substrate-based virtual avatar NFT collection project developed by the Unique team, paying tribute to the famous NFT project CryptoPunks.

This project won the blockchain track championship of the Hackusama development competition. Currently in Unique’s NFT trading market, the most expensive Punk has a price of 149.6 KSM, which is close to US$30,000 based on the current KSM price.

The price of some SubstraPunk on https://unqnft.io/#/market

ComingID NFT

ComingChat is an encrypted communication tool based on Substrate, developed by the Coming Foundation. Every user will get a ComingID (CID for short) when registering for ComingChat, and each CID is an NFT.

CID NFT has different ID numbers, logos, watermarks and a variety of card face styles to ensure its scarcity. CID NFT is programmable and can realize various forging, production and design.


In terms of circulation, CID NFT can be transferred directly in the ComingChat application and can be directly traded. In the future, it is planned to launch some mainstream NFT trading platforms.

Evolution Land

Evolution Land is a virtual business blockchain game developed by the Darwinia team.

In the game, users can buy and sell land NFTs, buy “apostles” and “drills” NFTs to mine the elemental resources contained in the land, build buildings, and make props. There are various built-in NFT markets in the game for trading, and players can also perform swap, liquidity mining, farming, etc. in the DeFi venue “Gringotts” in the game.

It is worth noting that the evolution land is deployed in multiple chains. There are different continents in the Evolution Land game. There are currently 3 open continents deployed on Ethereum, TRON, and Heco. Another continent will be deployed on Crab. Crab is based on Substrate and is the canary network of Darwinia Networks. It plans to bid for the Kusama Parachain.

The Darwinia team is also using Substrate to develop a series of cross-chain bridges to connect different continents and allow users to interact between different continents.

4. Summary

At present, Kusama’s NFT ecosystem is still at an early stage. Some infrastructures are not particularly complete and there are not many applications, but many innovations can still be seen. It is expected that after a period of development, Kusama will become the base camp for blockchain art and NFT development in the future.

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