Kusama is meant to be Polkadot’s canary network which is an early, unaudited and unrefined release of Polkadot. Kusama will serve as a proving ground, allowing teams and developers to build and deploy a parachain or try out Polkadot’s governance, staking, nomination and validation functionality in a real environment.
Kusama is an early, highly experimental version of Polkadot presenting real economic conditions. The community will own the network – there will be no central kill switch. Kusama will exist as long as its community maintains it and we envision it will cater to new, early functionality and projects preparing to develop and deploy on Polkadot.