Polkadot is not a conventional blockchain. It is actually an ecosystem of interconnected blockchains called parallelized chains (parachains). Parachains are application-specific and they plug into a single base platform called Relay Chain.
The Relay Chain does 2 main things:
1. It secures the parachains.
2. It contains Polkadot's consensus and voting logic.
Polkadot was conceptualized by Ethereum co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood. He is also the inventor of the Solidity smart contract programming language.
Polkadot has an interesting history. It raised funds through an ICO in 2017. A hacker "froze" 66% of these funds within a few days of the raise!
What I like best about Polkadot is that its network has a common set of validators for securing multiple blockchains. And that transactions are spread across multiple parallel blockchains.
DOT is the native token of the Polkadot network. DOT helps in operating and governing the network, and in creating parachains.
GRANDPA (GHOST-based Recursive ANcestor Deriving Prefix Agreement) and BABE (Blind Assignment for Blockchain Extension)
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