In a 2014 piece to the NYTimes, Marc Andreesen wrote: “Bitcoin is the first practical solution to a longstanding problem in computer science called the Byzantine Generals Problem.” This was both an insightful comment and an overly optimistic one. It shed insight to the link between the decentralization technology of Bitcoin and the world of distributed … Continue reading Blockchain in the lens of BFT
This is the second post in a series discussing: Today I am going to overview the Tendermint core, a BFT algorithm described in several white-papers [tendermint wiki, Buchman's thesis 2016, Kwon's manuscript 2014]. Tendermint was the first in a series of "permissioned" blockchain BFT solutions based off PBFT, followed by Casper and Hot-Stuff. The algorithm below borrows … Continue reading The BFT lens: Tendermint
This post is the first in a series discussing: Today I am going to overview a new algorithmic foundation called ‘Hot-Stuff the Linear, Optimal-Resilience, One-Message BFT Devil’ (in short, Hot-Stuff), developed jointly with my colleagues Ittai Abraham and Guy Gueta, and harness it to explain the safety and liveness of Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget. The key take-aways are: We have excellent … Continue reading The BFT lens: Hot-Stuff and Casper
Over a decade of improvements to the seminal PBFT work have turned out to have safety or liveness issues, as demonstrated in a recent ArXiv note we posted: Revisiting Fast Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance. Ittai Abraham, Guy Gueta, Dahlia Malkhi; with Lorenzo Alvisi, Rama Kotla, Jean-Philippe Martin. [ArXiv 2017] [pdf]
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I was introduced to the beauty of math by my high school Russian math teacher, Mr Gershovits. He taught us not just math, but the pleasure of grappling with math challenges. Most of our school years, we are fed with recipes and templates which we blindly memorize and apply. Mr G taught differently. He presented … Continue reading “Nevertheless, She Persisted” book is out
In the early 2000's, a group of activists advocating the wide-spread use of cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies were engaging over the `cypherpunks' mailing-list in an effort to create an anonymous, monitor-free digital cash. Step by step, they jointly built the ingredients that eventually led to the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009. The story of the … Continue reading Blockchain/BFT