Kraken Breaks New Ground with First-of-its-Kind Parachain Auction Platform

Clients looking to support their favorite Kusama projects can now, for the first time, participate in Parachain Slot Auctions (or ‘Parachain Auctions’ for short) directly from the Kraken platform. 

Key points to note:
1. Parachain auctions are not available to residents of the US, Canada, Japan and Australia.

2. Only verified Intermediate accounts and higher are eligible to participate in the Parachain Auctions. Get verified now.

3. Parachain Auctions are an entirely new mechanism for supporting projects. It is important that you understand how they work before participating.

4. The focus of this post and our offering is on the Kusama Parachain Auctions (Polkadot auctions are set to happen later in 2021).

What are Parachains?

Parachains are custom blockchains that are integrated within the Kusama network. They can be customized for any number of use cases and feed into the main blockchain and heart of its network, called the Relay Chain, thus benefiting from Kusama’s network security.

Importantly, only 100 parachain slots are expected to be available, a number that is flexible and subject to change by governance vote over time. To claim one of these slots, the parachain projects have to win a parachain slot auction. 

For Kusama auctions, the project with the most KSM bonded to support its bid, at the time the auction snapshot is taken, will generally be able to claim the auctioned parachain slot. Projects may, in their discretion, give rewards to contributors who support their winning bid. 

If the auction is lost, the KSM bonded by contributors may be re-claimed at the end of that project’s specified campaign duration, which may last for one or more auctions.   

For more detailed information on Parachain Auctions, check out our “Parachain Auctions Explained” page.

In the first ever parachain auction, Kraken will allow clients to support the bids of at least two projects, starting with Karura and Shiden, with potentially more on the way for the first auction. Kraken will continue to support additional auctions and parachain projects moving forward. 

Here’s a rundown of the projects on this first parachain auction: 

Karura (KAR) – Described as a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) hub and stablecoin platform for the Kusama network, Karura is intended to operate on Kusama as a parachain. It will aim to host several different functions on its platform, including a crypto collateralized stablecoin, a decentralized exchange (AMM), access to liquid staking, and an EVM compatible blockchain.  

Shiden (SDN) – Shiden is intended to function as a smart contract layer for the Kusama network where developers can design and build new decentralized applications. Built as a parachain, Shiden aims to be a cross-chain platform, meaning that it can support various smart contracts that are not native to Kusama, including ones built for Ethereum. Shiden also supports many layer 2 solutions, offering ways to improve upon its network’s scalability and transaction speeds.


Rewards for supporting parachain projects vary per project. Please see our Support Center article for an illustrative breakdown of the potential rewards per KSM contributed, percentage of tokens issued to parachain auction contributors, campaign durations, token vesting schedules and more. The Support Center will only reflect information on currently supported projects. 

Contribute Now

Please Note: 

  • Only verified Intermediate accounts and higher are eligible to participate in the Parachain Auctions. Get verified now.
  • If your KSM is currently staked on the Kusama network, you will need to unstake  it before you can use it to participate in a parachain auction. 
  • The KSM you contribute to support a parachain auction bid is locked, meaning it will be unavailable for trading, staking, withdrawal, or use in other parachain auction bids. 
  • This will be true for the duration of the project’s auction campaign, including further attempts at parachain slot auctions. 
  • If the project wins, your KSM will be locked for the duration of the parachain slot acquired (which may be up to 48 weeks). 
  • At the end of this period, bonded KSM will be unlocked and Kraken will aim to promptly return it to your account.

For detailed information on how to participate in Parachain Auctions on Kraken, please read our support article.

Example flow of tokens for Karura (KAR)



How is a winner of the auction determined?

  • Parachain slot auctions use a candle auction format. At the end of the auction, a snapshot will be taken at a random, unknowable point during the auction period, and the project with the most KSM bonded to support their bid at that time generally wins. 

What happens to my KSM if the project I support wins?

  • Your KSM will remain bonded on the Kusama network for the duration of the parachain slot acquired by the winning project (6-48 weeks, depending on the project’s bid). At the end of this period, Kraken will aim to promptly return your KSM to your account.

What happens to my KSM if the project I support loses the Parachain Auction? 

  • Following the end of the project’s campaign duration (which may last one or more sequential auction periods), Kraken will aim to promptly return the KSM to contributors.

Can I unbond my KSM before a Parachain Auction has ended?

  • No. Once you have contributed to a Parachain Auction, your KSM remains locked on the network for a period of time, which varies based on whether the project you support wins or loses at Auction (see above). 

Can I cancel or edit the amount of KSM I contribute to a Parachain Auction?

  • While you cannot cancel or edit the amount of KSM, you can add more KSM to your contribution while the auction is still open.

How many tokens will I get if the project I support wins? When will I receive the tokens? 

  • As soon as we receive rewards, and where possible, we will credit the rewarded tokens to your Kraken account on a pro rata basis relative to the amount of KSM you bonded through us in the auction bid (versus the total amount of KSM bonded through us in that auction bid). This approach is project-dependent and subject to change. 
  • Ultimately, the amount of reward tokens received, and the timing of that distribution, is at the discretion of the project team. Please check with the projects themselves for any further information. 

When will trading for parachain project tokens start?

  • Kraken intends to explore listing parachain project tokens for trading at the appropriate time, but we cannot make any guarantees that trading will be available at any particular time or in any particular jurisdiction, if at all. 

Will I be able to withdraw parachain project tokens?

  • Yes. Parachain project tokens will be withdrawable from Kraken, subject to any restrictions on transferability being lifted. This will not always happen immediately following the launch of the project’s parachain network.  

Will I be able to stake parachain project tokens?

  • It depends. Kraken is always looking to support new staking assets and will evaluate staking for parachain project tokens on a case by case basis. We can make no guarantees regarding specific tokens at this time.

Can I deposit KSM now?

  • Yes – deposits for KSM are open.

Can I use my staked KSM to participate in a parachain slot auction?

  • No – if you wish to participate in a parachain auction, you will have to unstake your KSM in your account beforehand. You can learn how to unstake here.

I don’t have any KSM – how can I participate?

  • You can buy KSM on Kraken with USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, BTC, ETH or DOT.

What is the minimum KSM I can participate with? 

Does Kraken charge a fee?

  • Yes – initially, Kraken will charge a 10% fee on the project’s token rewards that we claim on your behalf. 
  • However, projects may also provide bonuses on the base reward rate that you may lessen the effective fee you pay. For example, Karura suggests that auction supporters through Kraken will receive a 10% referral bonus.
  • Fees will not be deducted for the KSM we bond and unbond on your behalf through the auction process. 
  • Find out more information here

Can I participate in the parachain auction from any country? 

  • No – Parachain Auctions on Kraken are not available to residents of the US, Canada, Japan and Australia at this time.

Deposit KSM Now

  • You can deposit your KSM to your Kraken account and participate in the upcoming parachain slot auctions. Find out more  on how to deposit KSM on Kraken here.
  • You can also buy KSM on Kraken here.  

How to deposit KSM

  1. Navigate to “Funding” > Select the asset. You can find the asset either by ticking “Show all assets” or by searching (e.g for “KSM”).
  2. Click “Deposit” next to the asset and follow the on-screen instructions.

Confirmations required before KSM deposits credit

  • KSM: 20 (typically 2 minutes)

Auction Minimums

Fees and Funding Minimums 

Which services will be available for parachain project tokens supported by Kraken?


Not (yet) available

Participate with caution

Kraken does not guarantee, and does not assume any responsibility for, the acts or omissions of any parachain auction candidate (“Candidates”), the performance of their products or services, or the performance of the Kusama network. This includes any aspect of the Parachain Slot Auction process; any aspect of a Candidate’s Parachain Slot Auction bid; the amount, functionality, value, or date of delivery of rewards for participation in a parachain slot auction; and your ability to reclaim any KSM you contribute in a Parachain Slot Auction. The descriptions of Candidates and the Parachain Slot Auction process are based on information provided by third parties, may not be accurate, and are subject to change. 

Kraken does not recommend that you support, and does not endorse, any specific Candidate or Parachain Slot Auctions in general. Before participating in a Parachain Slot Auction, you must understand the risks and determine that such participation is appropriate for you. See our Terms of Service for more information.

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