What is Kusama?
Kusama's coin tagline is "Expect Chaos!". Kusama is the developer's version of Polkadot, where they can test their DAAPS before adding it to the Polkadot network. Kusama was founded in 2019 by Gavin Woods, who was one of the original founders of Ethereum who led the creation of Solidity and the Ethereum Virtual machine.
Kusama is a proving ground for robust, enterprise-level DAAPS and smart contracts because it allows the teams and developers who will eventually build them to first build and deploy a parachain.
A parachain is a data structure that is specific to an application that is globally consistent and is able to be validated by the validators of the Polkadot Relay Chain. Kusama is the pre-production environment for any new Polkadot feature. Kusama works off the proof of stake protocol and allows for the ability to drop a stake in an instance.
Kusama is more than a testnet, as it's live and the tokens have value. There are real-world economic consequences, for holes in DAPPS, smart contracts, and the code developed. It is different from a testnet, like Ethereums Ropsten or even ETH 2.0 as those tokens are worth nothing. Kusama is owned and governed by a community of network participants who vote on and control the future of the network.