Kusama ($KSM), often referred to as "Polkadot's wild cousin," is an experimental blockchain platform aimed at providing a scalable and interoperable framework for developers. Built on Substrate by Parity Technologies, Kusama shares much of its codebase with Polkadot but offers a more agile environment for fast-paced projects. It serves as a "canary network," a testbed for developers to experiment before launching on Polkadot, although many choose to continue with Kusama for their final products. The platform is unique for its multichain, heterogeneously-sharded design and its nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS) consensus system, which allows for rapid on-chain upgrades without forking. It also supports cross-chain message passing (XCMP) for communication between different parachains. Kusama's on-chain governance is decentralized and permission-less, with a faster enactment period compared to Polkadot, making it ideal for projects requiring quick development cycles. Founded by Dr. Gavin Wood, who also co-founded Ethereum, Kusama is backed by a skilled team at Parity Technologies and funded by grants from the Web3 Foundation. As of November 2020, it had a circulating supply of 8.47 million KSM tokens, with an inflation rate of 10% per year. The network's security is ensured through its NPoS mechanism, involving nominators and validators, and a trustless queuing system for cross-chain transactions.