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What is BABE in Polkadot?

Polkadot is a fixture in the top-10 and a work in progress.

Pretty much every other crypto project, after all, is dynamic—refinements, building, and upgrades.

At the center of Polkadot's interoperability—its primary value proposition—is BABE. It is an acronym for Blind Assignment for Blockchain Extension (BABE). This mechanism powers the network block production via epochs and slots, helping select the validators and achieving consensus. 

Cardano's Ouroboros Praos inspired BABE. Notably, both protocols use a staking mechanism for the platform's security and transaction confirmation. At the same time, Cardano has the concept of epochs which are split into slots.

Unique as it is, BABE is flexible. The mechanism can function in isolation for finality. Alternatively, it can be coupled with other finality gadgets like Polkadot's GRANDPA.

Using BABE, Polkadot can select block producers in each slot using the round-robin pattern with measures in place to prevent deliberate attacks on would-validators—since they are known in advance. 

One way of preventing this attack and concealing the identity of BABE's chosen slot leader is by using the verifiable random function (VRF). All a block producer has to do is evaluate the VRF. If it falls below a given minimum threshold, they would have the right to author that block.

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