Acala plans to launch on Polkadot in 2021. However, Acala's road to Polkadot runs through Kusama. Kusama is a scalable network of specialized blockchains built using Substrate and nearly the same codebase as Polkadot. The network is an experimental development environment for teams who want to move fast and innovate on Kusama, or prepare for deployment on Polkadot.
Karura, built as a sister network to Acala with virtually the same code, is a new blockchain network dedicated to serving the Kusama community as its primary decentralized finance (DeFi) hub. Karura’s cross-chain DeFi hub will provide a stablecoin (kUSD), staking liquidity for KSM called L-KSM, DEX capabilities, borrowing, lending, among other applications.
Karura is referred to as a parachain on Kusama. Kusama plans to have 100+ parachain slots available in the future, but the network is still in its early stages and will launch with a limited number of slots. In order to gain access to a parachain, teams must participate in and win a candle auction using Kusama’s native token, KSM. The token will be locked for the duration of the parachain’s lease.
Karura plans to host the first crowdloan on Kusama and participate in the first round of parachain auctions (details on parachain auctions here). If you are interested in participating in the croudload read the three articles below. If you want to take a deep dive on the process for obtaining a parachain slot on Kusama or its ‘cousin network’ Polkadot should read the Polkadot blog’s detailed overview.
Step 1: Read about Karura: Acala's DeFi Parachain on Kusama
Step 2: Learn how the crowdloan works
Step 3: Read Acala's webpage about the Karura
Step 4: Join the crowd loan waiting list here: https://acala.network/karura-waitlist.html