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Balance Transfers

Balance transfers are used to send a balance from one account to another account. To start transferring a balance, we will begin by using Polkadot-JS UI. This guide assumes that you've already created an account and have some funds that are ready to be transferred.


We support only the use of the Polkadot-JS UI together with the browser extension, Ledger and Parity Signer for signing transactions. We do not provide support for third party applications.

Sending Funds using UI, Extension, Parity Signer & Ledger


See the video tutorial below to learn how to send funds using the supported tools.

Transfer of Funds

See the Polkadot Support pages for detailed information about transferring funds using the Polkadot-JS UI.

Signing Transactions

See the Polkadot Support pages for detailed information about signing transactions using:

Keep-Alive Checks


See this video tutorial and this support page to learn about keep-alive checks and existential deposit.

In Kusama there are two main ways to transfer funds from one account to another:

  • transfer keep-alive (default option) will not allow you to send an amount that would allow the sending account to be removed due to it going below the existential deposit of .
  • transfer will allow you to send KSM regardless of the consequence. If the balance drops below the existential deposit your account will be reaped. It may be that you do not want to keep the account alive (for example, because you are moving all of your funds to a different address). To switch the keep-alive check off visit this support article.

Attempting to send less than the existential deposit to an account with 0 KSM will always fail, no matter if the keep-alive check is on or not.

For instance, attempting to transfer 0.0001 KSM to an account you just generated (and thus has no KSM) will fail, since 0.1 is less than the existential deposit of 0.001666 KSM and the account cannot be initialized with such a low balance.


Even if the transfer fails due to a keep-alive check, the transaction fee will be deducted from the sending account if you attempt to transfer.

Existing Reference Error

If you are trying to reap an account and you receive an error similar to "There is an existing reference count on the sender account. As such the account cannot be reaped from the state", then you have existing references to this account that must be first removed before it can be reaped. References may still exist from:

  • Bonded tokens (most likely)
  • Unpurged session keys (if you were previously a validator)
  • Token locks
  • Existing recovery info
  • Existing assets

Bonded Tokens

If you have tokens that are bonded, you will need to unbond them before you can reap your account. Follow the instructions at Unbonding and Rebonding to check if you have bonded tokens, stop nominating (if necessary) and unbond your tokens.

Checking for Locks


See this video tutorial and this support page to learn how to check for locks and remove them.

You can also check for locks by querying system.account(AccountId) in Chain state tab under the Developer drop-down menu in the Polkadot-JS UI. Select your account, then click the "+" button next to the dropdowns, and check the relative data JSON object. If you see a non-zero value for anything other than free, you have locks on your account that need to get resolved.

Purging Session Keys

If you used this account to set up a validator and you did not purge your keys before unbonding your tokens, you need to purge your keys. You can do this by seeing the How to Stop Validating page. This can also be checked by checking session.nextKeys in the chain state for an existing key.

Existing Recovery Info

On Kusama, you can check if recovery has been set up by checking the recovery.recoverable(AccountId) chain state. This can be found under Developer > Chain state in [PolkadotJS Apps][polkadot-js apps].

Existing Non-KSM Assets

Currently, Kusama does not use the Assets Pallet, so this is probably not the reason for your tokens having existing references.