Kusama is an early, experimental version of Polkadot that exists as an independent network. It intends to act as a sandbox for developers, allowing teams to deploy and test pre-release versions of their projects before launching them on Polkadot's mainnet. Kusama will also serve as a testbed for Parity Technologies leading up to the mainnet launch of Polkadot. Like its sister chain, Kusama uses a native token, KSM, to power computation and give holders the ability to participate in securing the network and voting on upgrade proposals.